Migraine May Reduce Breast Cancer

Written by: Captain Skellett // May 28th, 2009 // Recent Research

It’s not exactly cutting-edge news this one, but I only heard about it last week and when I told my friend (hi Gemma!) she hadn’t heard about it, and being a migraine sufferer herself was tres interested. So Gemma, this one’s for you!

A study of 3500 post-menopausal women last year found that those who have been diagnosed with a migraine in their lifetime were 30% less likely to get invasive breast cancer.

Cool right?

Anyway, the scientists at the time, and probably still, aren’t sure why it happens – it’s PROBABLY connected to hormones (because women get more migraines when oestrogen levels are low such as when they’re menstruating, and women with high oestrogen levels are more likely to get breast cancer. AND HERE’S A BONUS – you get less migraines when you’re pregnant! Knock me up, Scotty! …inappropriate…). If it’s not the hormones, it could be the drugs people take to treat migraines (NSAIDS) reducing the risk of breast cancer.

Further research from the standard PR release reveals the following (which is why you should always do your research!) – Having a constant low oestrogen level doesn’t cause migraines, it’s the sudden drop, that’s not okay because oestrogen acts as a central neurosmodulator and withdrawal from it can cause headaches.

I think it’s pretty exciting stuff, partly because I get a few headaches here and there, and partly because anything about hormones is always interesting to me – they control so much and interact in so many ways that they’re really hard to understand. I love that complicated stuff. Life should be a bit complex.

Captain Skellett

I be Captain Skellett. Me blog started in April 2009 when I was working full time and didn’t get a chance to talk science. Now I have changed jobs and talk science all the time, but that doesn’t stop me blogging. More About Captain Skellett   Google


2 Responses to “Migraine May Reduce Breast Cancer”

  1. gem says:

    hi dude!
    i wonder if there’s a way to stop oestrogen dropping suddenly…?

    Captain Skellett Reply:

    Hmmm… Going on the pill might help – that screws around with your hormones a bit anyway and might stabilise them out (or it might make them worse, I think it depends – you might be able to find a brand that works for you). Or you could get pregnant, but that’s probably an expensive option! The good news is that it might go away by itself after menopause, but that’s a long way down the track.

    I think a “cure” for oestrogen dropping is still a fair way down the track, what we really need is to find something that helps the brain get over the withdrawal… but who knows.

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