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Pregnancy linked to breast cancer prevention

Pregnancy hormone found to help younger women prevent breast cancer.
Having a full-term pregnancy at an early age could help reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, new research has found.

The latest findings presented at the 100th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research revealed that a hormone produced by the placenta in early pregnancy can prevent breast cancer.

Scientists at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in the US showed in animal studies that the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is already used and approved for fertility treatment, also serves as one of the most effective anti-cancer agents.

In response to the discovery, Dr Johana Vanegas, research associate at Fox Chase Cancer Centre, said: "The ability to replicate the naturally protective effects of pregnancy against breast cancer will hold a significant public health value."

According to Breast Cancer Care, the disease is the most common cancer in women under the age of 35, with almost 1,500 women aged between 35 and 39 diagnosed annually.

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