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Early Menstruation, Estrogen Exposure, and Risk  

Why does starting menstruation at an earlier age slightly increase your risk of breast cancer?

To understand why women who begin menstruating at a young age are at a slightly elevated risk of developing breast cancer, one must understand the role of estrogen. Estrogen alone does not cause cancer. The hormone, estrogen, is an essential part of a womanís physiology.

However, estrogen's principal function is to speed the process of cell proliferation. Therefore, estrogen can increase the chance of a mutation occurring and/or encourage the growth of cancerous cells once they appear.

The more estrogen a woman is exposed to during her lifetime, the greater the opportunity for the hormone to promote the growth of a tumor. The reason why women who began menstruation at an early age are at greater risk of developing breast cancer is because these women have had a longer lifetime exposure to estrogen.


Questions Related to Early Menstruation, Estrogen Exposure, and Risk
Does antibiotic use increase breast cancer risk?
What does the term, "risk factor" for cancer (including breast cancer), mean?
My mother had breast cancer. Does this mean I am at greater risk?
I was diagnosed with breast cancer 7 years ago, but I am now in remission. Am I at a higher risk of getting the disease again in the future?
Can benign cysts become cancerous?
I have no family history of breast cancer. Why should I worry about getting breast cancer?
Is there anything I can do to lower my risk of getting breast cancer?
Does Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) increase my breast cancer risk?
What is the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool?
What women are at risk for breast cancer?
What risk factors are most important in determining my likelihood of getting breast cancer?
If I didnít nurse my children, am I at greater risk of breast cancer?
Does exposure to toxins and chemicals in the environment increase oneís risk of breast cancer?
Do breast implants increase your risk of breast cancer?
Does radiation exposure increase your breast cancer risk?
What is the connection between estrogen and breast cancer?
I have had fertility treatments. Does this increase my risk of breast cancer?
If I take birth control pills, am I at greater risk of getting breast cancer?
What are phytoestrogens? Do they cause breast cancer?
What causes breast cancer?
What are the risk factors that put a woman at a higher risk for breast cancer?
What risk factors for breast cancer can you control?
What risk factors for breast cancer can you not control?
I started menstruating at a very young age. Am I at greater risk of getting breast cancer?
If I am overweight, am I at a greater risk of developing breast cancer?
I've heard that being overweight before menopause helps lower your risk of breast cancer. Is this true?
Is there a link between alcohol and breast cancer?
Why does alcohol consumption increase the risk of breast cancer ?
Can exercise reduce breast cancer risk?
Does a woman's height influence her breast cancer risk?
I have never had children. Am I at a greater risk for breast cancer?
I began menopause later than average. Does this put me at increased risk for breast cancer?
Can I inherit breast cancer from my mother or other women in my family?
I often experience breast pain. What is this pain? Does the breast pain mean that I am more likely to get breast cancer?
I have very lumpy breasts. Does this mean I will develop breast cancer or am at high risk?
Iíve been told that I have high breast density. What is high breast density? Does this increase my risk of breast cancer?
Are women who have fibrocystic changes in their breasts at higher risk for breast cancer?
Is there a link between smoking and breast cancer?
Does stress increase your risk of breast cancer?
Does abortion increase a woman's risk of breast cancer?
If I am HIV-positive, can I breastfeed my baby?
If I am being treated for AIDS, can I breastfeed my baby?
If I take aspirin or ibuprofen regularly, will the medication increase my risk of developing breast cancer?
What is the connection between dietary fats and fiber and risk of breast cancer?
Can eating soy foods affect the risk of developing breast cancer?
Do statin drugs lower the risk of breast cancer?
Does estrogen replacement therapy increase my risk of breast cancer?
I often experience mastalgia. What causes mastalgia? Does mastalgia mean that I am more likely to get breast cancer?
Does using antiperspirants raise the risk of breast cancer?
Ever since I was a teenager, one of my breasts is larger than the other breast. Does this affect my risk of breast cancer?

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