Menopause Symptoms and Breast cancer

Here’s a silver lining for what can be an unpleasant part of growing older. The latest research finds that women who’ve suffered from hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause are at a lower for risk for breast cancer.

Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle studied 1500 women looking at the relationship between menopause symptoms and breast cancer risk. They found that those who had the most hot flashes had a very low risk of developing breast cancer. In fact for women with the most severe menopausal symptoms, the risk was lowered an average of 50 percent, compared to women who reported no menopausal symptoms.

We already know that estrogen and progesterone play a role in breast cancer. The researchers figure the reduction of these hormones, which trigger the most severe menopausal symptoms, might be protective.

Not that anyone would consider inducing flashes, night sweats, and anxiety. But if scientists can better understand the underlying biological mechanisms,that could help them develop strategies for prevention.

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