Paper of the Month - October, 2011

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Association of active and passive smoking with risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women: a prospective cohort study.

Luo J, Margolis KL, Wactawski-Wende J et al.
Experimental studies have shown that compounds found in tobacco smoke may induce mammary tumors. Despite this mechanistic evidence, multiple systematic reviews of epidemiological studies published up to 2002 concluded that there was no overall association between active smoking and breast cancer risk, and attributed the conflicting results of individual studies in part to the confounding effects of alcohol. However, evidence from more recent cohort studies suggests an increased risk of breast cancer that is independent of the effect of alcohol among women who smoke cigarettes for a long period of time or who started smoking at a young age. Similarly, studies of passive smoking suggest that this is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.


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