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Early full-term pregnancy is an effective natural protection against breast cancer in both humans and experimental rodents. The protective effect of an early pregnancy is in part linked to changes in circulating hormones that are involved in both normal breast development and breast cancer. For example, a reduction in circulating growth hormone (GH) has been shown to protect rats from carcinogen-induced mammary tumors. We examined the ability of a full-term pregnancy to alter the endocrine GH/IGF-I axis and how this change affected normal mammary gland function in two commonly used rat models (Sprague-Dawley and Wistar-Furth). Circulating GH and IGF-I were measured in blood drawn every 30 minutes from parous and aged-matched virgin (AMV) female rats. Mean serum GH levels were significantly decreased (p


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Cancer Prevention Research





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