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The Link between Breast Cancer and Menopause Symptoms

Just when you were begging for someone to put you out of your menopausal stage, to stop the hot flashes and night sweats — research is emerging that may make you think twice. Women who experience menopause symptoms may be at a decreased risk of developing breast cancer. Read on to find out.

The Link between Breast Cancer and Menopause Symptoms1

In fact, According to the recent study from The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Women who have experienced hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause may have a 50% lower risk of developing breast cancer than postmenopausal women who have never had such symptoms. Their findings were published in the February 2011 print issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention

Where Is the Link?

The Link between Breast Cancer and Menopause Symptoms2

When women enter perimenopause, estrogen levels may fluctuate and drop. When they experience lower levels of estrogen, it means that they can experience hot flashes due to estrogen and the hypothalamus, which regulates body temperature.

In spite of the troublesome effects of perimenopause, low estrogen also means that women are less likely to develop breast cancer. Due to higher levels of reproductive hormones are the principal cause of cancer. Increased estrogen levels may cause the rapid division of cells in the breast, which can lead to the development of cancerous tissues.

Also, the association between menopause symptoms and decreased cancer risk did not change even after the researchers accounted for other factors known to boost breast cancer risk, such as obesity.

What Are the Details of The Study?

The study was funded by The National Cancer Institute. Nearly 1,500 women were interviewed, with two-thirds of them being breast cancer survivors.

The Link between Breast Cancer and Menopause Symptoms3

Menopause symptoms may reduce cancer development in women. The researchers presented their work in terms of the two most prevalent types of breast cancer, invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma. When the facts were presented, the risk factor for invasive ductal carcinoma and lobular carcinoma was reduced between 40 – 60%.

The results of this study were the same for women who had used hormone replacement therapy (HRT). However, there are other studies from Women Health Initiative, those found that synthetic hormones increased the risk of ovarian and breast cancer as well as other health issues.

What Is the Future of Breast Cancer Researches?

To be factual, this study is only one of many. However, if these results are confirmed by future researches, then they could provide doctors with new impetus in pinpointing the causes of breast cancer, including how to prevent it and how to treat it.

Severe Menopause Symptoms

Symptoms can range from discomforting to extreme and life changing. Keep reading to recognize which symptoms are normal and the amount of intensity that co

Q&A: What Happens to My Hormones during Menopause?

As women approach menopause they may want to know what will happen to their hormone levels and how to treat the symptoms hormone changes cause.

Menopause: Signs and Symptoms

Body changing in ways you don't understand? You may have reached menopause. Check out the signs and symptoms of menopause here.

  • BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
  • Hopkins, Virginia. Lee, John R. M.D. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York: Warner Books Inc., 1996.
  • Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • Martin, Raquel. The Estrogen Alternative. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000.