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Smoking Tied to Increased Risk of Breast Cancer­­­

Update Date: Feb 10, 2014 09:34 AM EST
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Over the past decades, smoking has been tied to more and more diseases other than lung and throat cancer. In a new study, researchers have tied smoking to an increased risk of developing the most common type of breast cancer for women. With more evidence that smoking is extremely detrimental for one's health, getting people to quit becomes even more important every single day.

"I think that there is growing evidence that breast cancer is another health hazard associated with smoking," study researcher, Christopher Li, MD, PhD said reported by FOX News. "In this study, we were able to look at the different molecular subtypes [of breast cancer] and how smoking affects them."

For this study, Li from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA and his colleagues examined 1,898 participants. 778 of the participants were diagnosed with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, which is the most common subtype of breast cancer. 182 participants had the less common but more aggressive type of breast cancer called triple-negative breast cancer. The remaining 938 participants were cancer free and acted as the control group. All participants were between the ages of 20 and 44 and they were diagnosed from 2004 to 2010 in the Seattle-Puget Sound city area.

From this data, the researchers were able to tied young female smokers to an increased risk of the most common type of breast cancer. The team calculated that for women who were current or recent smokers that went through a pack a day for at least one decade, their risk of developing estrogen receptor positive breast cancer increased by 60 percent. The researchers did not find a relationship between smoking and risk of triple-negative breast cancer.

"The health hazards associated with smoking are numerous and well known. This study adds to our knowledge in suggesting that with respect to breast cancer, smoking may increase the risk of the most common molecular subtype of breast cancer but not influence risk of one of the rarer, more aggressive subtypes," said Li according to the press release.

The study, "Active smoking and risk of estrogen receptor positive and triple-negative breast cancer among women 20 years of age," was published in the journal, Cancer.

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