Premenopausal women who were heavier than average at birth or had not been breastfed as infants appear to be at increased risk for developing breast cancer, epidemiologists at the University at Buffalos School of Public health and Health Professions have found.
Results of the study, which showed no association between birth weight and breastfeeding in infancy and postmenopausal breast-cancer risk, were reported at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in Anaheim, Calif. "The intrauterine and neonatal life periods have been suggested as critical windows in mammary gland development," said Maddalena Barba, M.D., research instructor in the UB Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and lead researcher on the study. "In utero and early childhood exposures might affect breast cancer risk by altering the hormonal environment of the developing fetus and young infant through mechanisms not yet completely clarified."
Barba and colleagues from UBs School of Public Health and Health Professions analyzed data collected from 2,382 women participating in the Western New York Exposures and Breast Cancer Study conducted from 1996-2001 during in-person, computer-assisted interviews. Complete information on the exposures of interest was available for 845 participants newly diagnosed with breast cancer during the study period who served as cases, and for 1,573 matched controls.
Lois Baker | EurekAlert!
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