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ImageHot flushes during menopause halve the chances of breast cancer among women.

A study shows that the worse the hot flushes are, the lower is the risk of a woman developing the most common forms of breast cancer.

Researchers from the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre, both in the US, based their findings on a survey of over 1,000 women aged 55 to 74 who were diagnosed with breast cancer, the journal Cancer Epidemiology reports .

It suggests the same hormone deficiency, which causes such symptoms, also lowers the chances of developing a tumour, according to a Washington university statement.

Women who suffer several hot flushes a day during menopause are likely to have around 40 per cent less oestradiol - a form of the hormone oestrogen. It plays a key role in the development of some types of breast cancer.

The most common symptoms are hot flushes and sweating attacks, affecting three in four women. Depression, mood swings, tiredness and headaches are also common symptoms.

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