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Twin Study Shows New Breast Cancer Risk

Hormonal Surges in Adolescence Put Some Women at Risk

Could Affect Many

If those findings hold true, researchers say a substantial subgroup of women are at higher risk for breast cancer because of very early puberty, and the problem will continue to grow in significance as the age of puberty continues to decline in the U.S.

In an editorial that accompanies the study, Patricia Hartge, ScD, of the National Cancer Institute, says more research will be needed to confirm these results. But the study provides intriguing evidence that two distinct pathways to breast cancer may exist.

"As studies succeed in finding gene-hormone interactions, we can expect to illuminate the pathways to breast cancer and reduce the chances that it will develop," writes Hartge.

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