Breast cancer

10 August 2010

Smoking, piercings linked to breast abscesses

Smoking greatly increases the risk of breast abscesses, painful inflammatory lesions that are difficult to treat and tend to recur at rates as high as 40% to 50%.

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Smoking greatly increases the risk of breast abscesses, painful inflammatory lesions that are difficult to treat and tend to recur at rates as high as 40% to 50%, a new study has found.

The University of Iowa study was also one of the first to show evidence that nipple piercing is a risk factor for breast abscesses, with the development of abscesses occurring up to seven years after the piercing.

Other major risk factors for the condition include obesity and diabetes, the researchers noted.

Study results

In the study, published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, researchers looked at data from 68 breast abscess patients, including 43 who were smokers and nine who had had a nipple piercing. None of the women had a history of breast cancer, breast radiation therapy or breast surgery within the previous 12 months.

Compared with non-smokers, smokers were six times more likely to develop breast abscesses, the investigators found. And the condition was 15 times more likely to recur in smokers than non-smokers, the researchers noted.

"Nearly 60% of patients with a recurrence of breast abscess were heavy smokers," Dr Vinod Gollapalli, a post-doctoral fellow in the surgery department at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City, US,  said in a journal news release. "Since smoking appears to be a strong risk factor for both causing breast abscess and its recurrence, we recommend patients should be counselled to quit smoking as an integral part of treatment." - (August 2010)

(Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)

 

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Dr Gudgeon qualified in Birmingham, England, in 1968. She has more than 40 years experience in oncology, and in 1994 she founded her practice, Cape Breast Care, where she treats benign and malignant breast cancers. Dr Boeddinghaus obtained her qualification at UCT Medical School in 1994 and her MRCP in London in 1998. She has worked extensively in the field of oncology and has a special interest in the hormonal management of breast cancer. She now works with Dr Gudgeon at Cape Breast Care. Read more.

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