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Grantees of the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Prevention Research Initiative Gather in Houston to Report Interim Findings
Date:11/15/2007

Unique Collaborative Meeting Includes Leading Scientists Investigating

Pregnancy and Breast Cancer Prevention

HOUSTON, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Eighteen scientists investigating novel means for primary prevention of breast cancer by studying the natural impact of pregnancy on breast tissue met at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston on Monday, November 12, 2007 to share interim findings. All are part of the unique Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Prevention Research Initiative, one of many Avon Foundation-funded programs seeking new directions in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.

The meeting, convened by the Avon Foundation and Baylor College of Medicine, brought together a network of grant recipients who have been challenged through the Breast Cancer Prevention Research Initiative to use different approaches to address the question: what changes occur in a woman's breast tissue during pregnancy that alter her future risk of breast cancer. The goal is to identify the changes that reduce breast cancer risk and seek ways to provide the protective benefits to all women, regardless of reproductive history.

Pregnancy is associated with profound physiological changes in breast tissue and results in complex, age-dependent effects on breast cancer risk, with a transient increase in risk immediately following pregnancy, followed by long-lasting protection or risk, dependent upon age at first full-term pregnancy. Women who have their first full-term pregnancy before the age of 25 are at a decreased lifetime risk of breast cancer compared to women who never have children or who have a first pregnancy after the age of 35. Although the mechanisms that mediate pregnancy related changes in human breast tissue are poorly understood, it is hoped that a better understanding of these changes might lead to the development of innovative prevention strategies.

While specific interim data will not be released to the p
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SOURCE Avon Foundation; Baylor College of Medicine
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