How does age at menarche affect a woman's risk for breast cancer?

Updated: Dec 26, 2019
  • Author: Graham A Colditz, MD, DrPH; Chief Editor: Chandandeep Nagi, MD  more...
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Earlier age at menarche has been consistently associated with increased risk of both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer. Early menarche may be associated with more rapid onset of regular ovulatory menstrual cycles and hence greater lifetime exposure to endogenous hormones. [17] Evidence also suggests that early menarche may relate to higher postmenopausal estrogen levels. [18]

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