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Previous research has linked alcohol, smoking during pregnancy to mental and physical development problems and low birth weight to heart disease in adulthood. New research is suggesting a link between birth weight and the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer and testicular cancer during adulthood. Babies over 8.8 pounds at birth (or over the 90th percentile weight for their gestational week) face a greater risk of these cancers. Increased birth weight is also linked to a greater risk of acute myeloid leukemia in babies to young adults. Animal studies link high fat diet of mothers during pregnancy to increased risk of breast cancer in their female children. Thus, it is important that women don't gain more than the recommended 15 to 25 pounds during their pregnancy and they should maintain a healthy diet during the entire pregnancy. The reason for the increased risk of cancer could be due to the fact that larger babies have more cells that could potentially mutate or a mother's large weight gain could expose the fetus to extra growth hormones at a time when cells are already dividing very quickly.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Red Nova
About: Pregnancy diet could increase the risk of cancer in offspring
Date: 27 December 2004
Source: Red Nova
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