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Breast Cancer Channel
Reported October 31, 2013

Pregnancy & Obesity Hormone Linked to Breast Cancer?

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Like humans, young rats that give birth have a reduced risk of developing breast cancer later in life, but a new study shows that this protective effect in animals is negated if they’re exposed to an obesity-linked hormone during pregnancy, according to research from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, PhD and researchers studied the breast cancer risk after pregnancy in rats, and exposed them to a hormone cause by fat tissue, leptin. Their results show that the rats, similar to women, had an initial increased risk of breast cancer after giving birth, then the risk declined to a lower risk than the rats that did not give birth.

"It appears that treating rats with leptin during pregnancy prevented the protective changes in genes from happening. This work points to an important direction for research to prevent breast cancer in women since obesity is an epidemic," Dr. Hilakivi-Clarke was quoted as saying.

For more information, go to: http://explore.georgetown.edu/news/?ID=72725

SOURCE: Cancer Prevention Research, October 2013

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