Does breast cancer originate in utero?

Higher risk of breast cancer in women prenatally exposed to diethylstilbestrol

1990 Study Abstract

Factors that increase the risk of cancer during adult life may also increase the risk of cancer when they act in utero (eg, ionising radiation and diethylstilboestrol in human beings and chemicals in animals).

The existing empirical data seem to be compatible with the hypothesis that increased concentrations of oestrogens in pregnancy increase the probability of future occurrence of breast cancer in daughters.


  • Hypothesis: does breast cancer originate in utero?, The Lancet, NCBI PubMed PMID: 1970028, 1990 Apr.
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