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Migraines Linked to Breast Cancer

A history of migraine is strongly associated with reduced risk of hormone receptor-positive invasive breast cancer among postmenopausal women, according to a study published in the November issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention,It has long been know that migraines have been associated with falling levels of estrogen during a woman's reproductive years; that migraine is more common among women than men; and that there is a correlation between lifetime estrogen exposure and breast cancer risk.

The relationship between migraine and breast cancer was dependent on the estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) status of the tumor.  Women with no history of migraine were at significantly reduced risk of ER+/PR+ ductal carcinoma, ER+/PR- ductal carcinom, and ER+/PR+ lobular carcinoma.  The risk of ER-/PR- ductal carcinoma and ER+/PR- lobular carcinoma did not differ significantly between migraineurs and women without migraine.

This study tells us that by altering exposure to hormones during premenopausal years, we can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer in the postmenopausal years.

More information about breast cancer is available at the breast cancer attorneys of Pennsylvania.