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Urban Women May Have Greater Breast Cancer Risk
Date:11/26/2007

Study finds city-dwelling females have more dense breasts,,,,

MONDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Women who live in urban areas appear to have more dense breast tissue than their suburban or rural counterparts, new research suggests.

The finding is potentially important because women with more dense breasts have a higher risk of breast cancer.

The study, which compared rural women from Greece to suburban and urban women in the United Kingdom, found that city-dwelling women were 54 percent more likely than their rural peers to have dense breasts.

"Our study suggests that the closer to urban and high population densities that a woman resides, and in particular works, the greater likelihood there is that she will have denser breasts," said study author Dr. Nicholas Perry, director of the London Breast Institute at the Princess Grace Hospital.

"For every 1 percent increase in breast density, there is said to be a 2 percent increase in the relative risk of developing breast cancer," he added.

Perry was to present the findings Monday at the Radiological Society of North America's annual meeting, in Chicago.

Each year, nearly 180,000 American women are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and about 40,500 die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Over a lifetime, about one in eight women will develop breast cancer.

Known risk factors include a family history of the disease, getting your first period before the age of 12, beginning menopause after age 55, not having children or having your first child after 30, being overweight, drinking more than one alcoholic drink a day, and living a sedentary lifestyle, according to the ACS.

The new study included digital mammograms from 972 women, between 29 and 87 years old, living or working in rural, suburban and urban areas. Two hundred and twenty-five women were from rural areas, 135 lived in the s
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