Breast Cancer Risk Increased by Second Hand Smoke
A new research effort on invasive breast cancer risk has identified a new threat to women second hand smoke. Reviewing the cases of more than 80,000 American women from 1993 through 1998, a study funded by U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has shed light on this unexpected breast cancer risk.
The study has found that women who were once smokers or had been exposed at length to second hand smoke face up to a 20% higher risk for developing breast cancer in their post-menopausal years.
Dr. Karen Margolis of the HealthPartners Research Foundation in Minneapolis Minnesota is a co-author of the study. Margolis highlighted some of the groups findings as they relate to smoking, We were able to see the risk elevated in women who smoked as few as five to 15 cigarettes per day; but the more women smoked and the longer women smoked, the higher the risks, and it's really pretty consistent.
While the risk increase is undeniable, it should be noted that long term exposure to second hand smoke cannot be measured directly.Researchers also believe that the best way to prevent smoking or second hand smoke exposure from becoming a factor in the first place is to eliminate them as factors earlier in life.
Margolis and her co-authors concluded their studys report saying, "Our findings highlight the need for interventions to prevent initiation of smoking, especially at an early age, and to encourage smoking cessation at all ages."