The Link between Smoking and Breast Cancer

Smoking and breast cancer are quite strongly linked.

It is a well-established fact that smoking negatively impacts your health. The carbon monoxide expressed lowers the level of oxygenation in your blood, slowing down the healing process and general cell regeneration. The chemical mixture that is fast-tracked into your lungs is laced with carcinogens and other harmful materials. The result is that the average smoker’s lifespan is ten years shorter than the average lifespan of a non-smoker.

Unfortunately, the harm from smoking affects more than just the lungs. Bronchitis and lung cancer remain two of the leading causes of death for people who smoke. Still, heart disease, stroke, and other cancers that target the thoracic and abdominal regions are also more common in smokers. This appears to include breast cancer.

Research in Progress

With a notable increase in breast cancer among premenopausal women over the past forty years, researchers have become increasingly interested in what factors put younger women at risk. Smoking has recently become part of their inquiries, with researchers tentatively agreeing that smoking does increase the likelihood that a tumor will form in the breast at an earlier age than may typically be expected.

These same researchers, as well as the authors of several other studies performed over the past five years, do state that further research is needed. With the current data set and limited chronological scope, it is difficult to assess the direct correlation between smoking and increased risk of breast cancer. However, the existing research is compelling enough for medical professionals to have yet another reason to urge their patients to quit smoking.

Asking for Help

Nicotine addiction is a serious medical issue, but you don’t need to be ashamed. We now understand the chemical process behind dopamine-dependent addiction better than ever. That knowledge has allowed medical professionals and psychologists to combine their expertise to create pathways that can work without the stigma.

If you have decided to quit for you and your family, then there are a whole host of options that can help you beat addiction. If one approach doesn’t work for you, then don’t give up. Most people have to try quitting several times before they succeed. That option may not be the right one for you, but the question remains: where do you start?

It can be tempting to just try to go it alone. You may have picked up some nicotine gum in the past. Perhaps you didn’t even tell anyone you were trying to quit. The truth is you are probably going to need a team to quit permanently. In order to build that team, start with your doctor.

Start Honest, Stay Honest

When you first speak with your doctor, it is essential that you are completely honest regarding the intensity of your dependence. They need to know how many cigarettes you usually go through per day. And they may also want to know what your withdrawals are like when you have to delay a cigarette break. This information will help them to prepare you for what may happen during the quitting process. On their end, they will be able to advise you on the physical side and suggest ameliorative products for severe withdrawals. They may also be able to put you in touch with local support groups and therapists.

For additional help finding resources that will support your emotional and mental health during this challenging process, you can contact SAMHSA at 1-800-662-4357. They provide treatment referral services for individuals struggling with addiction and mental health. It is one hundred percent confidential and free, so you have nothing to lose.

Smoking with Cancer

If you have already been diagnosed with breast cancer, then the need to quit is more vital than ever. Given the effects of smoking on the healing process, continuing to smoke can seriously harm your chances of surviving surgery and treatment. In short, smoking and breast cancer are a rough combination.

Unfortunately, with the emotional and physical stress that accompanies a breast cancer diagnosis, quitting will be even more difficult. For assistance, talk to the staff at Breast Health Institute Houston about what resources are available to help you quit.

Can a Benign Breast Cyst Turn into Cancer?

can a benign breast cyst turn into cancer

According to, about 25% of breast masses turn out to be cysts. Cysts are round or oval organic structures filled with fluid. Many people think we can feel all breast cysts through the skin. Although this is true of many cysts, some are so small they are only detected with diagnostic imaging. A cyst that you can feel OR seen through imaging is a “gross cyst.” Still, some cysts are so tiny that they are virtually undetectable until they grow.

Continue reading “Can a Benign Breast Cyst Turn into Cancer?”

The Link Between Infertility Treatment and Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer and Infertility

According to, fertility treatments seem to affect breast cancer risk in younger women who succeed in conceiving. These findings are from a July 12, 2012, study by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Women whose fertility treatments resulted in conception were found more likely to develop breast cancer than those who did not conceive.

Continue reading “The Link Between Infertility Treatment and Breast Cancer”

Breast Cancer Risk Decreased by Breastfeeding?

Breast Feeding And Breast Cancer

Breast Feeding And Breast Cancer

Recent studies have suggested a link between the act of breastfeeding and the reduction of the risk for cancer. While natural breastfeeding of your newborn child is always encouraged, now there may be more than one good reason to continue this behavior.

Breastfeeding is typically very healthy for a baby, and can help bolster their developmental, social, and mental growth. By breastfeeding, not only are you strengthening your child, but you are establishing an intimate bond with them as well.

And now, you could even be decreasing your chances of developing breast cancer. At The Breast Institute Houston, we are always supportive of proactive research and new findings that appear to help with cancer risk reduction. Our breast center family has deducted some research to figure out the science behind this theory, and whether breastfeeding your child can really help you avoid developing cancer. To consult with the best breast cancer doctor in Houston, reach out to Dr. Miltenburg today.

Breastfeeding Reduces Exposure to Estrogen

One of the main contributors to breast cancer is the hormone estrogen, which is naturally produced in female bodies. During lactation, a mother experiences hormonal changes. This shift in the production of hormones can cause a delay in the menstrual periods, which means there is a reduction of estrogen development. During this period, the female body is less exposed to estrogen than someone who never experiences lactation. Therefore, the chances for developing breast cancer are highly reduced.

Likewise, breastfeeding and the lactation period can also reduce the risk for ovarian cancer. Since the mother does not ovulate or have menstrual cycles during this time, she is less exposed to these risks. Overall, the promotion of breastfeeding is highly encouraged.

Tips for Maximizing Breastfeeding Safety

The best way to ensure that you are reducing the risk for cancer during the lactation period is to breastfeed your child for at least six months, if not more. During this time, the baby should be exclusively fed by natural breastfeeding, rather than through formula solutions in a bottle.

The American Institute for Cancer Research provides ample evidence of the extreme health benefits to both you and your child during the six-month practice of exclusive breastfeeding. This is largely due to the fact that your baby receives the best nutrients for them during this crucial developmental stage.

Mothers who breastfeed for over a year are 63% less likely to develop cancer than those who spend less than half a year breastfeeding. Those who choose to breastfeed their child for over 30 months have over a 91% chance of reducing the risk for ovarian cancer.

Breastfeeding Protects Your Baby as Well

Not only can you reduce the risks for cancer by breastfeeding, but your child is benefiting from the same protection as well. Natural breastfeeding can keep your child from later developing health issues such as obesity or weight management issues. The nutrients found in breast milk also create a protection that reduces your child’s risk for breast, kidney, pancreatic, rectal, and endometrial cancers.

Plus, your child’s immune system is hyper-boosted during the breastfeeding period. And the longer you’re able to naturally breastfeed your child, the stronger their immune system will be. There is clear research to show that breastfeeding is one of the most advantageous things you can do for both your child and yourself.

Best Breast Cancer Doctor in Houston

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the breastfeeding period, or you want to learn more about the ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer, get in touch with the best breast cancer doctor in Houston. You can contact us online for a quick response or to schedule a consultation. We are also available at (713) 714-3930 to speak with you at any time. We look forward to answering all your questions and getting you the help you need as soon as possible!