DES Daughters Face Higher Breast Cancer Risk: Study
LONDON (Reuters Health) - Thousands of women whose mothers
were prescribed a synthetic hormone to prevent miscarriages
face more than double the normal risk of breast cancer,
British newspapers said on Monday.
They said that an American study of 5,000 women due to be published
this week had found that those over 40 whose mothers were give
diethylstilboestrol (DES) were 2.5 times more likely to develop
Up to 6 million women worldwide have reportedly used DES, which
was promoted by several manufacturers for preventing miscarriage
and preterm births. It was introduced in the 1940s, but withdrawn
in 1975 after an association was reported between in utero exposure
to the drug and the subsequent development of cancer of the cervix
The Daily Mail said that the latest study, by researchers at the
US National Cancer Institute, followed 5,000 women who were
exposed to DES and compared them with a group who were not.
Overall, the DES daughters had a 40% increased risk of breast
cancer but the risk was 250% higher in a subgroup of women over
The findings are due to be published in the journal Cancer
Causes and Control.
[10/01/2002; Reuters Health]
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