Health: Antibiotics Scare

A study linking germ fighters to breast cancer doesn't tell the whole story

Does taking antibiotics really double a woman's risk of getting breast cancer? That was the clear impression left by some headlines last week, but that may say more about the dangers of first impressions than it does about antibiotics.

The news sprang from a review of the medical records of more than 10,000 women who belonged to a Seattle-area health plan. The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, compared pharmacy and breast-cancer-screening records and found that women who filled 25 or more prescriptions for antibiotics over a 17year period developed breast cancer at twice the rate...

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