Latest research has found that women who register high levels of estrogen and testosterone may face higher risk of being victimized by breast cancer. The study was conducted by a team of researchers from Harvard medical school and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Blood samples were collected from nurses in the hospital. Additional information such as general health details, breast cancer details was recorded. Blood sampled were taken nine years prior to the study.The study showed that the risk of cancer increases with an increase in the number of estrogen and testosterone hormones. With each increase of these hormones, the risk of cancer was elevated by 16%. The study considered eight types hormones that included both related to sexuality and growth. It was found that hormones such as estrone and estrogen, androgens and prolactin, when present in high levels, are mainly responsible for the increase in breast cancer risk.
Further, the increase in the level of risk can range between 50% and 200% depending on the concentration of hormone in blood. Every hormone that was above its normal level caused a 10% increase in risk of cancer. However, the risk of cancer increased by two times if a woman registered an increase in about five to six hormone levels. As the level of hormones increased to seven or eight, the risk was found to triple. Women who were diagnosed with ER positive disease were more prone to cancers due to an imbalance of these hormones in the body.
According to Dr. Shelley Tworoger, the risk of breast cancer increased with an increase in growth and sex hormones. Dr. Tworoger belongs to the Brigham and Women’s hospital. She further elucidated that the risk is higher in ER positive cancer. When tests and experiments were conducted in the lab, it was found that prolactin and androgens hormones, when present in excess, stimulated the growth of breast cancer cells. When ER is not positive, androgens that can be turned into estrogen, activate the growth of cancer cells in the breast.
This study can be very useful in assessing the risk of breast cancer. Taking the levels of hormones in the body under consideration, the level of risk can be calculated more accurately. Both growth hormones and sex hormones have to be considered for analysis and assessment of risk. The incidence of breast cancer in the modern times has grown substantially. Late pregnancy, irregular lifestyle and unhealthy diet habits can be the cause for the increasing trend of breast cancers.