A studies released yesterday highlighted the risks and benefits of lifestyle choices in combatting cancer, showing the dangers of smoking for post-menopausal women.

Post-menopausal women who smoke, or who used to smoke, face an up to 16-per cent higher risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who have never smoked, according to a paper published online by the British Medical Journal.

Women who have been extensively exposed to passive smoking, either as children or in adulthood, could also be at greater risk of breast cancer, it added.

However, this apparent risk does not apply to women who were only moderately exposed to second-hand smoke.

The study covered almost 80,000 US women aged between 50 and 79 who were followed for 10 years.

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