Case-Control Study of Breast Cancer in South African Women


To assess whether the use of injectable progestogen contraceptives and of oral contraceptives influences the risk of breast cancer.


Cases of primary invasive breast cancer (474) among African women and women of mixed race, were enrolled from two tertiary care hospitals in Cape Town . Hospital controls (1625) were frequency matched to the cases in a ratio of up to 4:1 on age, ethnic group, and area of residence. Controls for cases referred from outlying areas were enrolled from outlying hospitals. Information was collected from the patients by trained nurses on demographic factors, reproductive and contraceptive history, and risk factors for breast cancer.


Use of injectable progestogen contraceptives was not associated with risk of breast cancer.

Samuel Shapiro M.B., Principal Investigator
Slone Epidemiology Center

Lynn Rosenberg, Sc.D., Co-Investigator
Slone Epidemiology Center

Margaret Hoffman, M.B., Principal Investigator
University of Cape Town

Source of Funding:

National Cancer Institute

Study Period:

1994 to 1997

  • Micklesfield L, Rosenberg L, Cooper D, Hoffman M, Kalia A, Stander I, Lambert E. Bone mineral density and lifetime physical activity in South African women. Calcif Tissue Int 2003;73:463-9.
  • Rosenberg L, Kelly JP, Shapiro S, Hoffman M, Cooper D. Risk factors for breast cancer in South African women [letter to the editor]. S Afr Med J 2002;92:1212-3.
  • Hoffman M, de Pinho H, Cooper D, Sayed R, Dent DM, Gudgeon A, van Zyl J, Rosenberg L, Shapiro S. Breast cancer incidence and determinants of cancer stage in the Western Cape. S Afr Med J 2000;90:1212-6.
  • Shapiro S, Rosenberg L, Hoffman M, Truter H, Cooper D, Rao S, Dent D, Gudgeon A, van Zyl J, Katzenellenbogen J, Bailie R. Risk of breast cancer in relation to the use of injectable progestogen contraceptives and combined estrogen/progestogen contraceptives. Am J Epidemiol 2000;151:396-403.
  • Coogan PF, Rosenberg L, Shapiro S, Hoffman M. Lactation and breast carcinoma risk in a South African population. Cancer 1999;86:982-9.
  • Bailie R, Katzenellenbogen J, Hoffman M, Schierhout G, Truter H, Dent D, Gudgeon A, van Zyl J, Rosenberg L, Shapiro S. A case control study of breast cancer risk and exposure to injectable progestogen contraceptives: methods and patterns of use among controls. S Afr Med J 1997;87:302-5.