Smoking before Menopause Increases Breast Cancer risk.

In a new article from the January 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of JAMA/Archives journals, reveals that smoking before menopause could be associated to an increased risk of developing breast cancer.  Data from the study came from the Nurses’ Health Study, Fei Xue, M.D., Sc.D., of Brigham and Woman’s Hospital along with Harvard Medical School, Boston.  Those studied totaled 111,140 women from 1976 to 2006 for active smoking and 36,017 women from 1982 to 2006 for secondhand smoking.  As a whole, 8,772 breast cancer cases developed as a result of the study.  The risk of having breast cancer as a result were attributed to the following factors:

  1. High quantity of current and past smoking.
  2. Smoking for a longer period of time.
  3. Childhood and adolescent smoking habits.
  4. The number of packs per day and the number of years that quantity was smoked.

The researchers concluded that, “Smoking before menopause was positively associated with breast cancer risk, and there were hints from our results that smoking after menopause might be associated with a slightly decreased breast cancer risk.”  On the other hand, the study pointed out that never smoking and passive smoking in childhood or adulthood were not associated with an increase in breast cancer risk. 

Lastly, here are 2 facts about breast cancer…

  • Tabacco smoke contains potential human breast carcinogens, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, aromatic amines and N-nitrosamines.
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer to affect women worldwide.

Credit source: Archives of Internal Medicine, January 24th issue and

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