Reproductive and hormonal risk factors of breast cancer: A historical perspective
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of Women's Health. 2017, 9, 265-272. 10.2147/IJWH.S129017
The complexity of breast cancer etiology has puzzled scientists for more than 300 years. In this brief review, we emphasize the importance of reproductive and hormonal factors in relation to the risk of breast cancer. By following the historical course of how various risk factors have been determined, this study attempts to illustrate the origin of hypotheses, their subsequent rejection, and development of new hypotheses. Starting with the contributions of Italian physicians in the 18th century and covering the activity of British epidemiologists before World War II, this review ends up with the international collaboration that became increasingly important in the second half of the 20th century.