Women with Big Firstborn Babies May Have Higher Breast Cancer Risk
Women whoseِ firstborn infants haveِ a high birth weight mayِ haveِ more thanِ double theِ chances ofِ havingِ breast cancer decades laterِ inِ life, a newِ study suggests.
Researchers foundِ that women withِ big babies — thoseِ weighing inِ the top fifthِ of babies onِ a growth chart, orِ moreِ than 8.25 pounds — hadِ a risk ofِ breast cancer thatِ was 2.5 times higher thanِ that ofِ women withِ smaller infants.
We wereِ notِ expecting a large baby toِ beِ that strong a predictor ofِ breast cancer.
The findings are published online today (July 17) in the journal PLoS One.
Pregnancy hormones affect women’s health
In theِ study, researchers looked atِ two groups ofِ women.
In oneِ analysis, theyِ reviewed data fromِ 410 women participating inِ the Framingham Offspring Birth History Study.
In thisِ trial, information wasِ gathered regardingِ the women’s health histories andِ their babies’ birth weights, alongِ with theِ women’s levels ofِ three pregnancy hormones: estrogen, anti-estrogen andِ insulinlike growth factors.
Family history important
Although theِ research suggests thatِ havingِ a heavier infant mayِ increase a woman’s risk ofِ breast cancer, andِ will helpِ researchers inِ their thinking aboutِ breast cancer’s development, theyِ won’t change theِ advice orِ treatments currentlyِ given toِ women, saidِ Dr.
Michaela Higgins, a breast cancer specialist atِ the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center inِ Boston.
Besides needing toِ confirm theِ findings inِ a larger study, Higgins saidِ the research failed toِ considerِ the women’s complete family history ofِ breast cancer.