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Secondhand Smoke & Breast Cancer Risk

Posted Dec 07 2009 12:00am
A new population-based study provides more evidence that secondhand smoke might increase a woman's breast cancer risk.  In this new study, researchers collected information on lifetime passive smoke exposure in multiple settings from more than 57,000 non-smoking women without a history of breast cancer.  Ten years after the collection of this information, a total of 1,754 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.  Estimates of breast cancer risk were calculated from these numbers.  The results of this analysis showed:
  • For all breast cancers, a higher lifetime exposure (intensity and duration) to secondhand smoke was associated with an 11-14% increased breast cancer risk.
  • In postmenopausal women  a low lifetime exposure to secondhand smoke was associated with a 17% increase in breast cancer risk.  Breast cancer risk increased to 19% with moderate exposure and increased to 26% with high lifetime exposure to secondhand smoke.
While the concept that secondhand smoke might increase breast cancer risk has been a controversial one that has often been hotly debated, this new study further suggests that lifetime exposure to secondhand smoke might indeed increase one's breast cancer risk.  In this particular study, postmenopausal women with high lifetime exposure appear to be at the greatest risk.  The results of this study are important because they can help you make important lifestyle changes like avoiding areas where smoking is prevalent.  Day 5 of my 7-Day Prescription for Healthier Breasts says to "eliminate all smoke from your life".  While this might be difficult, this new research shows the importance of avoiding smoke for reducing your personal risk of breast cancer.

To learn more about my 7-Day Prescription for Healhier Breasts, read my book Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer at
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