A large, new study should reassure the millions of American women who have migraine – they don’t raise the risk for breast cancer.

“There is no association between migraine and breast cancer risk,” said lead researcher Rulla Tamimi, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “There is no positive association, so there is no reason for concern, and there is no protective effect either.”

The idea that migraine and breast cancer might be connected came about because both involve sex hormone levels, Tamimi said.

The report, based on more than 100,000 women saw no association between migraine and breast cancer or migraine and female sex hormones. It was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City said, “in the ongoing quest to find out what contributes to the causes of cancer, sometimes a negative association can also shed light on the subject.” She added, “this study will give relief to many migraine sufferers, and give them one less thing to worry about.”

Tamimi’s team also looked at the levels of sex hormones of about 2,000 premenopausal women and found no link between hormone levels and migraines.


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