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While hot flashes may be among the most uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, women who experience them may consider themselves lucky. A new study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centers shows that these women may be 50 percent less likely to receive a positive breast cancer test.
In fact, the protective effect of hot flashes appeared to increase with their frequency and intensity. While most women would likely prefer to avoid hot flashes, there may be a significant benefit to experiencing them.
The researchers speculated that hormone levels are likely at the heart of this correlation. It is known that high estrogen levels are linked to an increased breast cancer risk, and hot flashes are generally caused by fluctuation in the amount of the hormone, which eventually leads to an overall decreases in estrogen.
"While menopausal symptoms can certainly have a negative impact on quality of life, our study suggests that there may be a silver lining if the reduction in breast cancer risk is confirmed in future studies," said Christopher Li, who led the study.
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