Breast cancer patients often wonder what their daughters might do to reduce their risk of also developing cancer. Are there dietary intakes or behaviors that can be modified by their daughters to lower their own chances of getting the disease? A new study published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, sought information relevant to this question.
Dr. Catherine Berkey, a biostatistician at Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, led a team that investigated childhood and adolescent risk factors for benign breast disease among girls with a family history of breast cancer. Benign breast disease, a large class of breast ailments that can cause breast lumps or breast pain, is a known risk factor for breast cancer. The authors found that among adolescent girls with a family history of breast cancer (or maternal benign breast disease), there was a significant association between amount of alcohol consumed and further increased risk of getting benign breast disease as young women.
The investigators analyzed information from the Growing Up Today Study (GUTS, founded by co-author Dr. Graham Colditz), which includes females who were aged nine to 15 years old in 1996 and who completed annual questionnaires from 1996 to 2001, then again in 2003, 2005, and 2007. Participants provided information regarding alcohol consumption, age at first menstrual period, height, and body mass index.
In the final two surveys, the participants (who were aged 18 to 27 years at the time) reported whether they had ever been diagnosed with benign breast disease. A total of 67 reported receiving this diagnosis (confirmed by breast biopsy), while another 6,741 reported they had never been diagnosed with the disease. Also, participants' mothers reported their own cases of benign breast disease and breast cancer, as well as breast cancer in their sisters and mothers (maternal aunts and maternal grandmothers of the participants).
Young women whose mothers or aunts had breast cancer were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with benign breast disease compared to young women with no family history. Young women whose mothers had benign breast disease also saw their own risk (for benign breast disease) nearly double. More importantly, among adolescent girls having a mother, aunt, or grandmother with breast cancer, the more alcohol the girls consumed, the more likely they were to develop benign breast disease as young women. The same held true for girls whose mothers had benign breast disease. These findings are consistent with previous studies (on older women) showing that drinking by adult women increases their risk of breast cancer.
"Our study suggests that adolescent females already at higher risk for breast cancer, in light of their family history, should be aware that avoiding alcohol may reduce their risk for benign breast disease as young women, which might be accompanied by reduced breast cancer risk later in life" said Dr. Berkey.
Furthermore, girls with a family history who had the most rapid height growth spurt were at increased risk, whereas in girls with no family history, height and body shape impacted their chances of developing benign breast disease. These findings suggest that risk factors for breast cancer may differ between women with a family history of breast cancer and women without a family history.
Jen Beal | EurekAlert!
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences