Women who suffer from migraines at least May take some comfort in a recent, the first of its kind that offers a study of the history of these headaches are associated with a significantly lower risk of breast cancer.
A research team at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, reported its findings in the November issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
"We found that, overall, women who had a history of migraines were 30 percent lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who do not have a history of headaches," said the authors. The findings in May of new ways to reduce the risk of a woman for breast cancer, they said.
In particular, a history of migraine appears to reduce the risk of under-the most common types of breast cancer: those who are estrogen receptor and / or progesterone receptor positive. These tumors have estrogen and / or progesterone receptors, or docking sites on the surface of their cells, making them more sensitive to hormone-blocking drugs such as tumors that lack receivers.
The biological mechanism behind the association between migraine and breast cancer is not fully known, but researchers suspect it has to do with fluctuations in levels of circulating hormones.
Migraines seem to have a hormonal component to the extent that they occur more frequently in women than in men, and some of their known triggers are associated with hormones, the authors said.
Although these results must be interpreted with caution, they indicate a new factor that May be linked to risk of breast cancer. "This gives us a new avenue to explore the biology behind risk reduction. It is hoped that this could help to stimulate other ideas and expand our knowledge on the biology of breast cancer," said the authors.
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