Lower Risk of Breast Cancer for Women With Migraine

Finally, some good news for migraineurs. Women with migraine had a 30 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those without, according to a recently released study. Hormonal changes, which commonly trigger migraine, are a potential link.

In particular, migraine history appeared to reduce the risk of the most common subtypes of breast cancer: those that are estrogen-receptor and/or progesterone-receptor positive. Such tumors have estrogen and/or progesterone receptors, or docking sites, on the surface of their cells, which makes them more responsive to hormone-blocking drugs than tumors that lack such receptors.

The biological mechanism behind the association between migraines and breast cancer is not fully known, but Li and colleagues suspect that it has to do with fluctuations in levels of circulating hormones.

5 Responses to Lower Risk of Breast Cancer for Women With Migraine

  1. Kerri,
    I would like to read the original article, but I can’t find it in any library database. Would you please let me know what your source is? Thanks

    Here’s the abstract: Access to the entire article requires a paid subscription to the journal.


  2. Megan Oltman says:

    We’ll take all the good news we can get!

  3. wisdom says:

    Interesting. I had not heard there was a link in such a manner before. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Kathi says:

    I really hope this is true! My mother (a chronic migraine sufferer) had breast cancer 9 years ago. So far, she is doing well. My great aunt, also a chronic migraine sufferer, (mother’s aunt) died of breast cancer. All this puts me in the highest risk category (the xray tech who does my mammograms told me that).

  5. Kathi says:

    In addition to the above, my grandmother was just diagnosed with breast cancer on Monday, she is NOT a migraine sufferer (which always surprised me because ALL the other women in my family are until I found out that a med she has been on for most of her life is used as a preventative so, now I wonder has it just prevented her from having them?)

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