Breast cancer and pregnancy
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
Pregnancy affects a woman’s risk of breast cancer in different ways, depending on how old she is. At the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Louise Brinton says the risk goes up with age.
[Dr. Louise Brinton speaks] ``You see about a threefold difference in risk between a woman who has a first birth at age 35 and one who has a first birth prior to 18.’’
Dr. Brinton says hormonal changes resulting from pregnancy may be a factor.
Of course, the vast majority even of women who have their first baby late don’t get breast cancer; it’s just the risk is higher than when they were younger.
And there are some things women – whether or not they are pregnant – can do to make some reduction in their risk. These include maintaining a healthy body weight and being physically active.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011