Case-Control Study of Breast Cancer (Toronto)


To evaluate the associations of oral contraceptive use, alcohol consumption, and other factors with the risk of breast cancer.

To examine certain aspects of case-control study methodology by obtaining interviews on hospital and community controls in the same study.


This case-control study was conducted in Toronto in collaboration with Dr. A. E. Clarke of the Ontario Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation. Women under 70 years of age with breast cancer diagnosed within the past six months were identified from records at the Princess Margaret Hospital.  Two women matched on decade of age and residence and were selected for each case in a systematic way from census and voting files. Cases and controls were interviewed at home. For the last 214 cases, a hospital control series was interviewed as well at home.


Alcohol consumption and oral contraceptive use were not materially associated with the risk of breast cancer. There were insufficient cases among young women to assess the influence of current oral contraceptive use.

Lynn Rosenberg, Sc.D., Principal Investigator
Slone Epidemiology Center

A.E. Clarke, Principal Investigator
Ontario Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation

Source of Funding:

Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc., Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation

Study Period:

March 1982 to 1986

  • Rosenberg L, Palmer JR, Clarke EA, Shapiro S. A case-control study of the risk of breast cancer in relation to oral contraceptive use. Am J Epidemiol 1992;136:1437-44.
  • Rosenberg L, Palmer JR, Shapiro S.  Oestrogen replacement therapy and breast cancer: results from the Slone Epidemiology Unit’s Toronto Breast Cancer Study.  In: Mann RD, ed.  Hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer risk.  Park Ridge, NJ: The Parthenon Publishing Group, 1992:253-64.
  • Palmer JR, Rosenberg L, Clarke EA, Miller DR, Shapiro S. Breast cancer risk after estrogen replacement therapy: results from the Toronto breast cancer study. Am J Epidemiol 1991;134:1386-95.
  • Palmer JR, Rosenberg L, Clarke EA, Stolley PD, Warshauer ME, Zauber AG, Shapiro S. Breast cancer and cigarette smoking: a hypothesis. Am J Epidemiol 1991;134:1-13.
  • Kreiger N, King WD, Rosenberg L, Clarke EA, Palmer J, Shapiro S. Steroid receptor status and the epidemiology of breast cancer. Ann Epidemiol 1991;1:513-23.
  • Rosenberg L, Palmer JR, Miller DR, Clarke EA, Shapiro S. A case-control study of alcoholic beverage consumption and breast cancer. Am J Epidemiol 1990;131:6-14.
  • Kaufman DW, Werler MM, Palmer JR, Rosenberg L, Stolley PD, Warshauer ME, Clarke EA, Miller DR, Shapiro S. Diazepam use in relation to breast cancer: results from two case-control studies. Am J Epidemiol 1990;131:483-90.