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Why do women with schizophrenia
have an increased risk of breast cancer?

Markku Lähteenvuo, MD, PhD, Chief of Forensic Psychiatry at Niuvanniemi Hospital, Finland is one of the co-authors of the study. Listen for two minutes as he discusses the key findings and how this study may affect the use of antipsychotics.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. The lifetime prevalence of breast cancer is about 12%, but in patients with schizophrenia it is 25% more common than in the general population. Since a high concentration of prolactin is associated with a higher risk for the development of breast cancer, a study in Finland from 2021 investigated whether exposure to prolactin-increasing antipsychotics contributes to increased odds of breast cancer.1

“As long-term exposure to prolactin-increasing antipsychotics might increase the risk of breast cancer in women with schizophrenia, antipsychotics without prolactin-increasing properties should be considered as a first-line long-term treatment for female patients”
Heidi Taipale, Marco Solmi, Markku Lähteenvuo, Antti Tanskanen,
Christoph U Correll, Jari Tiihonen, The Lancet Psychiatry, Oct 01, 2021.

References title

    References title

    1. Taipale H, Solmi M, Lähteenvuo M, et al. Antipsychotic use and risk of breast cancer in women with schizophrenia: a nationwide nested case-control study in Finland. Lancet Psychiatry. 2021;8(10):883-891. doi:10.1016/ S2215-0366(21)00241-8
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