Migraines Could Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

A new study shows that women who get migraines may be less likely to get breast cancer.

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Migraines May Lower Breast Cancer Risk

The pain may pay off

-Julie Ryan Evans

woman with a headacheI went 30-something years without ever having a migraine. In fact, truth be told, I really thought people who said they had migraines were exaggerating a bad headache and should just toughen up … UNTIL I GOT MY FIRST ONE.

I thought I was having a stroke; I threw up and then tried to squint through my blinded vision at the computer long enough to Google some symptoms and the number for a doctor. It was awful, and I felt awful for the eye rolling I’d done when someone complained of a migraine.

But as bad as they are, a new study shows that women who have a history of migraines may be up to 30 percent less likely to get breast cancer!

However, researchers aren’t sure if it’s the actual migraines that produce the results or the pain relievers, which have been linked to a decreased rate of breast cancer among women who use them.

“It may be the treatments used for migraines that are responsible for this risk reduction rather than the migraine itself,” says study co-author Christopher Li, a cancer epidemiologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. “We are interpreting the results with caution.”

If pain relievers are ruled out as the cause for the findings, then the reduced rates could be linked to lower estrogen in women who get migraines or the fact that women who get migraines regularly may receive more frequent health care.

So next time you’re about to barf from the pain in your head, take heart. It may be helping your boobs.

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