"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," Dr. Christopher Li said.
Li was the lead researcher on the population-based study, which was undertaken at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
Researchers studied the cases of of several hundred women diagnosed with breast cancer from 2004 to 2010 in Seattle-Puget Sound metropolitan area. A selection of 938 cancer-free participants served as the control group. The analysis revealed that young women who had previously or were currently smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, and had done so for at least 10 years, were 60 percent more likely to develop estrogen receptor positive breast cancer -- the most common type of breast cancer.
The study failed to find a connection between smoking and the risk of triple-negative breast cancer, a less common but more aggressive type.
[The Science Recorder]