Smoking 'increases risk of breast cancer in older women by almost a fifth'

Study published in British Journal of Cancer found women who used to smoke were still 7% more at risk of diseaseSmoking increases the risk of breast cancer in older women by almost a fifth, a study has found. The discovery adds to a growing weight of evidence linking exposure to tobacco smoke with the disease.US scientists who tracked the progress of around 186,000 women aged 50 to 71 found that those who smoked were 19% more likely to develop breast cancer than those who had never smoked. Women who once smoked but then kicked the habit were still 7% more at risk.The results held true even after accounting for alcohol consumption, which is a breast cancer risk factor that is more common among smokers.In 2009 the International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded there was "limited evidence" that smoking tobacco could trigger breast cancer. But in the last few years findings have led to a U-turn in expert opinion.Last year, researchers from the American Cancer Society reported results showing a 24% higher rate of breast cancer among women who smoked.The risk was much greater among those who started smoking young, either before they started menstruating or before having their first child.The new study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, covered a period of around 10 years. During this time, 7,500 of the women were diagnosed with breast cancer.Dr Sarah Nyante, from the US National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, said: "Our study adds to a growi...
Source: Guardian Unlimited Science - Category: Science Tags: The Guardian United States World news Health Smoking Medical research Society Cancer UK news Breast cancer Science Source Type: news

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