Migraines May Indicate a Reduced Risk for Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is one of the most alarming health conditions that affect women of all ages worldwide. Recent statistics show that if four out of ten women are prone to this dreadful disease. If you have a family history of breast cancer, then your risk for the disease considerably increases as well.

In the past few years, clinical trials and medical researches yielded results that show a wide variety of risk factors for breast cancer. Some point out that early menarche and increased hormone levels may early warning signs for breast cancer risk. Others say that lack of adequate sleep, excessive alcoholic intake, and low levels of physical inactivity may also be contributing factors to the development of breast cancer.

Aside from discovering the various risk factors for breast cancer, studies also revealed some notable factors that may indicate a reduced risk. One of which is the study that shows that drinking coffee can somehow reduce the threat of acquiring the said disease. In a recent study made, it was also discovered that migraines might actually be a sign of a reduced breast cancer risk.

Migraines and Breasts

In a recent study made, it was shown that women who were unlucky to have migraines are fortunate to have lower risk for breast cancer. Based on the results of the study that was initiated by Dr. Christopher Li, a cancer epidemiologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, women who have experienced a migraine is less likely to develop breast cancer. The study involved 3,500 subjects who were all postmenopausal women.

In the study, 57% or 2,000 women had breast cancer while the rest did not. By surveying the health history and records of the subjects, Li and his colleagues discovered that women who had records of migraine had a 305 lower risk of having breast cancer as compared to women who don’t suffer from the dreadful headaches.

Explanation Behind the Unapparent Relation

How can severe head aches affect the tendency to develop breast cancer? According to researchers, estrogen might be the crucial factor linking the two conditions. You see, the occurrence and development of breast cancer is often linked with high levels of the hormone estrogen in the bloodstream.

In contrast, migraines often occur when the levels of estrogen decrease, especially during a woman’s menstrual period. As such, women who experience estrogen fluctuations are unlikely candidates for breast cancer.

Another hypothesis is that the reduced risk for breast cancer might step from the benefits gained from taking non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs are often taken by those who suffer from migraine. Some studies show that the use of these medications is often associated with low risk levels for developing a wide variety of cancers.

Caffeine intake and migraine are also strongly associated with each other. Some postulate that increased caffeine intake can ward off the pain and suffering brought about migraines. In fact, many people who suffer from migraines drink caffeinated beverages in order to boost their energy levels and diminish the effects of the headaches.

Fortunately, a Harvard study showed that increased caffeine intake does not only reduce migraine pains. Instead, the study showed that women who drink caffeine-containing beverages might actually have a lower risk for developing breast cancer during their postmenopausal years.


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