For the first time, scientists have found what could be a causative link between the concentration of circulating Y-chromosome fetal cells in women who gave birth to children of either sex and their risk of later developing breast cancer and colon cancer. The findings show that the presence of fetal cells is a double-edged sword: Women with the lowest concentration of fetal cells were 70 percent less likely to have breast cancer, while women with the highest concentration of fetal cells had a four-fold increased risk for colon cancer when compared with healthy controls.
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