A new health study claims women have a higher breast cancer risk immediately after giving birth to a child.
According to the new study conducted by doctors from the University of North Carolina and the Institute of Cancer Research in London, women who have babies may have a greater risk for breast cancer than women without children. The latest research does not go in line with previous research that suggests women who have children tend to have lower breast cancer risk than those who do not.
As per the study, the breast cancer risk reaches the peak at five years after childbirth and then goes up for 24 years after a woman’s last child. The risk, however, starts to fall after 24 years and is at its lowest 35 years out, reported USA Today.
For the purpose of the study, the researchers analyzed data from 15 studies involving more than 890,000 women aged more than 55 to assess breast cancer risk in relation to recent childbirth for the report. It was found that breast cancer risk may be greater if a woman is older when she gives birth for the first time or has a family history of breast cancer.
The study found that breast cancer is more common in women who are in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, while younger women are still less at risk of developing breast cancer. Also, researchers found no increased risk for women who had their first child before age 25.
“This is one piece of evidence that can be considered for building new prediction models … We want women and their doctors not to assume that recently having a child is always protective for breast cancer,” said Hazel Nichols, member of University of North Carolina’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center who was involved in the study.