Migraine might reduce the risk of breast cancer according
to a new study that has found an association between high incidence of migraine
and lower risk of the disease.
The study led by Dr. Christopher I. Li from the
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found women who had migraine
were at 30 percent lower risk for breast cancer than those who did not have the
The study involved 3,412 postmenopausal women of
whom 1,938 had been diagnosed with breast cancer and 1,474 had no history of
the disease. The researchers wanted to see the incidence of migraine in
these two groups.
One possibility for this link is that according to
the researchers those who experienced migraine had lower levels of estrogen,
which at a higher level is a risk factor for breast cancer.
But not all scientists agree on such an
Below are some basics about migraine from a
What is migraine?
Migraine is a condition that results in headaches on one
or two sides of the head and possibly nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to
light and sounds. People with a migraine headache may feel pain in the temples,
or behind one eye or ear.
Migraine can occur any time of the day and last a few
hours or up to one or two days. The condition does not pose a serious threat to
health, but can seriously affect your day-to-day life. This is the most common
form of headache that sends patients to see their doctors.
Migraine can affect both women and men, but mostly those
age 15 to 55.
How common are migraines?
It is estimated that migraine pain and symptoms affect
29.5 million Americans.
women more often than men.
What causes migraines?
Like many other diseases or disorders, the exact cause of
migraine remains unknown.
that lead to migraines include lack of or too much sleep, skipped meals, bright
lights, loud noises, or strong odors, hormone changes during the menstrual
cycle, stress and anxiety, or relaxation after stress, weather changes, alcohol
(often red wine), caffeine (too much or withdrawal), foods that contain
nitrates, such as hot dogs and lunch meats, foods that contain MSG (monosodium
glutamate), a flavor enhancer found in fast foods, broths, seasonings, and
spices, foods that contain tyramine, such as aged cheeses, soy products, fava
beans, hard sausages, smoked fish, and Chianti wine, and aspartame (NutraSweet®
Are there different kinds of migraine?
There are two forms of migraine, migraine with aura and
migraine without aura. With the former, a person may experience sensory symptom
10 to 30 minutes before an attack like seeing flashing lights, zigzag lines, or
blind spot; numbness, or tingling in the face or bands; disturbed sense of
smell, taste or touch; and feeling mentally fuzzy.
Only one in five people with migraine experience
How can I tell if I have a migraine or just a bad
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