Navigation Links
Study Ties Hot Flashes to Lower Breast Cancer Risk

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Here's some good news for women ever bothered by hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms: Your risk for breast cancer may be reduced as much as 50 percent, researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle report.

"We know that hormones are important to breast cancer risk, and we also know that menopausal symptoms occur primarily because of changes in hormones that women experience as they go through menopause," said lead author and breast cancer epidemiologist Dr. Christopher I. Li.

Now, for the first time, he said researchers looked at the relationship between menopause symptoms and breast cancer risk.

"If we can confirm this finding, it may be somewhat of a silver lining for women who experience menopausal symptoms, because they can often really reduce a woman's quality of life," he said.

For the study, published in the Jan. 26 online edition of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, Li's team questioned to 1,437 postmenopausal women, 988 of whom had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The women, who were between 55 and 74 years old, were asked about menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, vaginal dryness, irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding, depression and anxiety.

The researchers found that women who had the most hot flashes had a very low risk of developing breast cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women.

In fact, for women with the most severe menopausal symptoms, the relative risk of developing either of the two most common breast cancers -- invasive ductal and invasive lobular carcinoma -- was lowered an average of 50 percent, compared to women who reported no menopausal symptoms.

In 2002, a major U.S. study on hormone replacement therapy (estrogen and progestin) was halted early because of an increased risk in breast cancer risk for the women taking the hormones. Li said that since it's known that estrogen and progesterone play a role in breast cancer, reduction of these hormones, which trigger the most severe menopausal symptoms, might be protective, Li said.

Moreover, the association between menopausal symptoms and the risk for breast cancer remained even after taking into account other factors, such as weight and use of hormone replacement therapy, Li noted.

"These findings tell us more about what may cause or prevent breast cancer," Li said. "We certainly wouldn't go around inducing menopausal symptoms to reduce breast cancer risk. But if we can better understand the underlying biological mechanisms, that could help in developing prevention strategies," he said.

Breast cancer oncologist Dr. Stefan Gluck, a professor at the University of Miami's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, said this study "is another small, but important piece in our mosaic in understanding breast cancer."

The study confirms the suspicion that high levels of estrogen increase the risk of breast cancer, he added. "But we did not have proof that if [women] had less estrogen they have less breast cancer."

The reduction in risk is substantial, Gluck said. "At age 50 a woman has, on average, a 2 percent risk of getting breast cancer, so if she experiences menopausal symptoms the risk is suddenly only 1 percent," he said.

Similarly, an 80-year-old woman has a 14 percent risk of developing breast cancer, Gluck said. If she had menopausal symptoms, her risk is cut to only 7 percent, he noted.

"If you have menopausal symptoms, understand it's a natural process and it might reduce the risk of breast cancer," Gluck said. "So, it is something biologically good."

More information

For more information on breast cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Christopher I. Li, M.D., Ph.D., breast cancer epidemiologist, Hutchinson Centers Public Health Sciences Division, Seattle; Stefan Gluck, M.D., Ph.D., professor, University of Miami, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center; Jan. 26, 2011, Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Yearly mammograms from age 40 save 71 percent more lives, study shows
2. Organic food in pregnancy -- new study
3. Abortion Typically Doesnt Harm Mental Health: Study
4. Widespread Use of Defibrillators in Public Places Saves Lives: Study
5. RIC study suggests researchers are entering a new era of advances in brain research
6. Sharing child caregiving may increase parental conflict, study finds
7. Stroke Centers Providing Better Care, Study Finds
8. Study raises safety concerns about experimental cancer approach
9. New study finds reminders for immunizations challenging for pediatric practices
10. Elderly With Dementia, Delirium Confused by ER Visits: Study
11. Rise in Some Head and Neck Cancers Tied to Oral Sex: Study
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Study Ties Hot Flashes to Lower Breast Cancer Risk
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... Dr. Thomas ... Associates, Inc. and Dr. Tucker Bierbaum with Emergency Medicine at St., Joseph ... that both STEMI and Sepsis conditions present in similar ways and require time-critical intervention ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... CognisantMD ... for diagnostic imaging in the Waterloo region. Using the Ocean Platform, family physicians ... directly from their electronic medical record (EMR) without the need for redundant patient ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... WorldCare International, Inc., the first ... annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits Conference was hosted by the International ... November 11th, 2015. The conference was held at the Hawaii Convention Center in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... As part of a ... ™ attracts volunteers together who want to combine talents and resources to help ... in the process. The non-profit launched its first major fundraiser on November 6, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Dr. John Pierce, Medical Director at the Ageless Forever clinic in Las ... Pro laser therapy cap. FDA cleared for safety and efficacy, the Capillus272 offers men ... surgery, prescription pills, or topical foams. , “Capillus272™ Pro is a home-use device ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... UTRECHT, the Netherlands , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ...   A new combination approach blends immunotherapy ... --> A new combination approach blends immunotherapy with ... A new combination approach blends immunotherapy with ... the Netherlands has found that immunotherapy ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has announced ... Outlook to 2019 - Rise in Cardiac Disorders and Growing ... to their offering. Boston ... scientific and others. --> The market ... Boston scientific and others. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ... Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive ... offering. --> ) has ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: