This is the result of a study that was published by the Istituto Regina Elena, Rome, the Istituto Tumori in Milan and the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Rome, 18 June 2008 - Breast cancer is the cancer that occurs in Italian women most often. In the past year 39,735 new cases and 9,045 deaths were registered from breast cancer in Italy.

"The diagnosis of breast cancer and the subsequent therapy changes the whole life of affected women and their families. The individual trauma is enormous," explains Prof. Dr. Paola Muti, Director of the Istituto Nazionale Tumori Regina Elena (IRE).
The research for therapies is of particular importance, but there should also be a focus on prevention that will allow this disease can be prevented. New research can contribute to a prevention strategy.

In this regard, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published in the June issue an Italian study that addresses the endogenous melatonin production.
Melatonin is a key molecule that regulates our circadian rhythms.
The researchers measured in their study, which was conducted with about 1,000 women, the level of 6-sulfatoxymelatonin in the blood, a metabolite of melatonin.
The study showed after 17 years of research that women who had higher melatonin levels at baseline, in subsequent years had a 40% lower probability of developing breast cancer. Women who were also non-smokers had a 60% lower probability.

The results of this study emphasize the important role of melatonin in the prevention of breast cancer.

"Our researchers are now investigating how exactly the antitumor effect of melatonin works," explains Prof. Dr. Paola Muti.

Source: IFO

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