Breast cancer risk boosted by passive smoking

2 March 2011

Passive smoking may increase the chances a person will develop breast cancer.

According to new research published in the British Medical Journal, the risk of breast cancer was a third higher in women who had been exposed to second-hand tobacco smoke for several decades.

The researchers behind the study claimed it was highly 'suggestive' and reiterated the importance of kicking the habit - both as a means of boosting smokers' health and the health of those around them.

Led by assistant professor Juhua Luo, from West Virginia University, in the US, the investigation looked at almost 80,000 women aged between 50 and 79.

In the group, 3,250 had developed invasive breast cancer between initial assessment and a follow up - ten years later.

They found that ten years exposure as a child, 20 years exposure as an adult and ten years exposure as an adult at work increased breast cancer risk by 32 per cent.

The researchers also noted that smokers are 16 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer after the menopause.
 

1 Luo, Juhua et al. "Association of active and passive smoking with risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women: A prospective cohort study". British Medical Journal. Tuesday, March 1st 2011.

2 Barker, Holly et al. "LOXL2-mediated matrix remodelling in metastasis and mammary gland involution". Cancer Research. Tuesday, February 15th 2011.


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