Women who experienced persistent hot flashes during menopause are likely to develop breast cancer, new research revealed. Scientists claimed that highs and lows in estrogen exposure may trigger the condition years later. ( Elías Alarcón | Pixabay )
Researchers reveal that women who experience night sweats along with other symptoms for at least a decade are at the highest risk of developing breast cancer.
The large-scale research, which was conducted by City of Hope National Medical Center in California, evaluated the data gathered from 25,499 post-menopausal women between the ages of 50 and 79. The study consisted of three clinical trials and in-depth analysis to examine the health issues responsible for breast cancer and death in post-menopausal women.
Link Between Breast Cancer And Menopause
The study researchers analyzed these women for almost two decades to determine the link between vasomotor symptoms or VMS, such as night sweats and hot flashes, and breast cancer.
The findings published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society, revealed that the women suffering from consistent VMS for 10 years or more are exposed to the risk of breast cancer as opposed to women who never experience these symptoms.
"In this large group of women who were not users of hormone therapy, persistent hot flashes and night sweats for 10 or more years were associated with a slight but significant increase in breast cancer incidence," said Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director. "Other risk factors included an elevated body mass index of more than 30 and current alcohol use.
Dr. Pinkerton adds that more studies are required in women with persistent hot flashes to comprehend the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
The Link Between Menopause And Mortality
Breast cancer deaths in women who underwent persistent VMS is also higher. However, the difference is insignificant, meaning, women suffering from persistent VMS are not likely to die from breast cancer when compared to women without VMS.
This is not the first time that links between VMS and breast cancer have been established. However, the study findings have been inconsistent.