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• New research is showing that the risk of breast cancer is not necessarily lowered after childbirth and doctors should be aware of this, writes Futurity. Evidence and data differ from age and when the birth occurred.
• What are effective ways for donors to support breast cancer research? Where are dollars best spent?
Younger women who have recently had a child may have a higher risk of breast cancer than their peers of the same age who do not have children, according to new research.
The findings, which appear in the Annals of Internal Medicine, may seem contrary to conventional wisdom that childbirth is protective against breast cancer. Researchers say childbirth still does become protective, but it can take more than two decades for benefits to emerge.
Breast cancer is more common in older women, with the median age of 62 at diagnosis in the United States. Researchers from the Premenopausal Breast Cancer Collaborative Group who led the study identified elevated breast cancer risk after childbirth in women younger than 55.
“What most people know is that women who have children tend to have lower breast cancer risk than women who have not had children, but that really comes from what breast cancer looks like for women in their 60s and beyond,” says Hazel B. Nichols, an assistant professor in the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health epidemiology department.
“We found that it can take more than 20 years for childbirth to become protective for breast cancer, and that before that, breast cancer risk was higher in women who had recently had a child,” Nichols says.
Read the full article about breast cancer and birth by Laura Oleniacz at Futurity.