Preeclampsia May Lower Risk of Breast Cancer

Julie Ryan Evans

Photo by JudinTulsa
There are a lot of healthy things women can do to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer -- exercise, eat right, drink alcohol in moderation -- but one very unhealthy thing may also reduce that risk too: Preeclampsia.

A recent study found that women who suffer from preeclampsia -- one of the leading causes of maternal and infant death -- may have a lower risk of breast cancer in the future. While it's unclear why, studies of rats show that preeclampsia may cause the placenta to release a serum with cancer-fighting properties into the blood stream.

I had preeclampsia, and it was the most terrifying experience of my life. While my son and I were lucky to have survived the experience with no real repercussions to date, everything I've heard and read about the disease since has me fearful for my future, such as the fact that preeclampsia may cause future heart problems.

So while there's no good news about preeclampsia until it's wiped out for good, this is at least a small positive note of hope for women who have suffered from it. And how wonderful if for all the damage preeclampsia does, it could help find a cure for cancer.

"Preeclampsia is not a condition we want any mother to endure," said Dr. Anne Gingery, author of the study. "We are simply using a unique way to find factors to be used for care and treatment of cancer. Sometimes it just takes looking at a question differently."

Have you suffered from preeclampsia?

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