While researchers do not know what causes cancer, they believe that birth can increase the possibility of diagnosis, according to a new report.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center recently conducted a study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, to determine the relationship between the disease and childbirth.
To do that, they collected data from 15 previous studies that examined a total of 889 944 women. They assessed breast cancer risk after birth and considered other factors, including breastfeeding and family history of breast cancer.
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After analyzing the results, they found that younger women who recently had a child may have a higher risk of breast cancer compared to their peers of the same age who do not have children. In fact, the risk for mothers 55 and younger was about 80 percent higher and the chances of developing it were no more than five years after they were born. The risk level of 23 years after birth.
"What most people know is that women who have children tend to have lower risk of breast cancer than women who have not had children, but it really depends on what breast cancer looks like women before the age of 60 and beyond," co-author Hazel Nichols said in a statement. "We found that it may take more than 20 years for birth to be protective of breast cancer, and that before, the risk of breast cancer was higher in women who recently had a child."
Despite their results, researchers noted the overall risk that breast cancer remains low for mothers after pregnancy. They also discovered that their results did not apply to all younger women. The risk was higher for women who had their first child after 35 years, but there was no increased risk of breast cancer after a new birth for women who had their first child before 25 years.
"This is a sign of the fact that, like breast cancer factors for young women, different from risk factors in older women, there are different types of breast cancer and the risk factors for developing one type towards another may differ," says Nichols.
The authors now hope that their investigations will help improve breast cancer prediction and lead to increased awareness among young mothers.
"There are many ongoing studies that try to improve our ability to assess breast cancer risk assessment at the individual level," concluded Nichols. "This is evidence that can be considered to build new prediction models."
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