Breast cancer risk may increase after giving birth, study says

The study was led by doctors at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

A woman’s risk of developing breast cancer to a temporary increase of 80 percent for the years after giving birth, according to a new study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine on Tuesday. However, the increase is not as alarming as the statistic may sound, because, according to the authors, breast cancer is rare in younger women.

“This should not indicate when the women decide to take their children, because while we see that this additional risk after birth, this is a period of time, when the overall level of risk is exceptionally low,” Dr. Hazel Nichols, head study author, told Reuters. “This is not translating to a large number of additional breast cancer.”

Doctors at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center examined 15 different studies that contains the data of approximately 890,000 women under the age of 55 — some of who have children, and others, who never give birth in order to determine whether there is a correlation between breast cancer and the recent childbirth.

The researchers concluded women who have given birth “have an increased risk of breast cancer for more than 20 years after the birth compared with those who have not.


More specifically, they found that the risk of developing breast cancer peaks five years after giving birth, before slightly declining after 34 years, according to the research, the results of which.

“The association crossed over from positive to negative, about 24 years after the birth,” the study explains.

It is interesting that the researchers found no increased risk of breast cancer for women who have their first child before the age of 25, reports huffington post.

“Increase in breast cancer risk after childbirth were pronounced when it is combined with a family history of breast cancer and was greater for women who were older at the first birth, or who are already more births,” the authors of the study wrote, pointing to the breastfeeding do not “change the overall risk patterns.”

Mia Gaudet, director of research for the epidemiological research at the American Cancer Society, who was not involved in the study, told Reuters breastfeeding conclusion is questionable, because the study does not evaluate the risks against the duration of the breastfeeding, it is simply noted or breast-feeding had taken place.

While previous studies have concluded women who gave birth before 30 years of age have a lower risk of breast cancer compared with women who have a child after that same age, the authors of the study say that their conclusion let see how long it can take for these benefits.

“If your last child was at the age of 35, we may begin screening at age 40 instead of classical music at the age of 50, because the risk can go up after five years. And so it is very important now is that doctors this question and put them in the history of the patient,” David Agus, the director of the USC Norris Westside Cancer Center, told “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday.


That being said, the risk of developing breast cancer at a young age is still uncommon. It more often occurs in women who are 50 years or older, Agus told CBS.

“In this age group, breast cancer is rare. The risk of developing breast cancer is still low overall, even if you already have a child five years ago,” Nichols told the huffington post.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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