Breast Cancer Linked to Second-Hand Smoke

Though it's no surprise exposure to smoking elevates a woman's chances of breast cancer, what's interesting here is that second-hand smoke raises the cancer risks on a par with active smoking.

Canadian researchers analyzed 19 studies to determine any links between second-hand and active smoking with breast cancer by calculating the risks of lifelong nonsmokers exposed to cigarette smoke and comparing the health of female smokers with those never exposed to smoke.

Overall, second-hand smoke increased a non-smoker's risk of breast cancer over the long haul by 27 percent. Among more complete studies, researchers found passive smoke more than tripled those odds (90 percent). And the news is worse for premenopausal women whose breast cancer risks shot up an average 68 percent.

If you're not convinced how dangerous passive smoke can be, look no further than Dana Reeve, the brave widow of the late Christopher Reeve who was recently diagnosed with lung cancer although she never smoked a day in her life and is about three decades younger than the typical patient.

International Journal of Cancer, Vol. 117, No. 4, November 20, 2005: 619-628

Yahoo News December 2, 2005

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