Breast cancer and baby’s higher weight at birth is co-related

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baby-weight-and-breast-cancerAug 1, New Delhi: Women who give birth to a baby weighing 3.75 kg or more had a 2.5 times higher risk of breast cancer, according to a study published by University of Texas.

Radek Bukowski of the University of Texas and colleagues analyzed data from two studies. One of them was conducted with 410 women followed for 17 years. 31 (7.6%) of women who developed breast cancer in late fifties or early sixties had given birth to babies with higher weight. This study, however, the researchers said, shows an association does not prove, by its methodology, the latter is causal.

In the other study, Bukowski and his colleagues analyzed data on nearly 24,000 women whose blood levels of hormones estrogen and antiestrogen and growth factors similar to insulin were measured. The analysis also took into account other factors such as age and maternal weight, age at menarche and onset of menopause. Children’s weight at birth proved to be a factor associated with risk of breast cancer independently.

The researchers hypothesize that give birth to a baby’s weight creates a high pregnancy hormonal environment that would promote the development of the disease some 40 years later. This environment includes high levels of estrogen and growth factors like insulin and low levels of anti-estrogen hormones that are protective.

Studies in animal models have suggested, the researchers reported that the number of stem cells of the breast, which are involved in cancer development, may increase or decrease in response to hormone exposure. These cells could retain a memory of previous exposure to hormones.

According to Michaela Higgins of Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston, whose remarks were reported by NBC News, have several children, especially before age 30, would protect against breast cancer, possibly related to the hormone progesterone. Breastfeeding is also protective. But these factors have less influence than family history, she says, which were only partially taken into account in this study.

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Posted by on Wednesday, August 1st, 2012. Filed under Health, Life Style. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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