Increased Estrogen Level and Breast Cancer

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Women who are having high levels of estrogen or testosterone hormones are more predisposed of developing breast cancer, according to a new research.

There are already several researches that tackle about the risk factors of breast cancer. Some of these risk factors includes diet, stress, and mostly involves internal and external environment of a women. According to the new research which was published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Breast Cancer Research, there are various hormones present in a woman’s body, and some of which when elevated can cause the women to be of heightened risk of breast cancer.

Estrogen is a hormone of the body which functions for the normal development of secondary sex characteristics of a woman. It is as well significant during the menstrual cycle of a woman and during her pregnancy. However, when this hormone is of significantly high level, it can result to health risks which include breast cancer. The new research concluded that there is about sixteen (16) per cent elevated risk for every additional elevation of the hormones.

The research used blood samples from women in which additional information were gathered such as their breast cancer status. The research findings reveal that there is about fifty (50) to two-hundred (200) per cent increased risk of having breast cancer for those women with significantly high estrogen level, and other hormones which include testosterone, and prolactine. Each hormone is individually associated to the risk of developing breast cancer. This means that as each level of hormone increases, the risk also escalates. The risk could even be doubled or tripled depending on the level of each hormone.

Estrogen is implicated to increase the risk of breast cancer because of its role in the cell division of breast cells. A dramatic increase in the levels can alter the function of the hormone and the possibility of over doing its desired effect. This hormone is also significant for the breast growth and development. According to other researches, those women who have early menarch, or early menstruation are more predisposed to the disease because of the longer exposure to estrogen hormone.

“Elevated estrogens had the biggest effect on risk, especially for ER positive cancer. However, androgens, and prolactin also contribute to increasing risk of breast cancer. These hormones are known to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells in the lab and, while androgens can be converted to estrogen in the body, these hormones have also been found to stimulate cancer cell growth in the absence of ER. Our results suggest that models used to assess breast cancer risk could be improved by taking into account multiple sex hormone and growth hormone levels,” said Dr Shelley Tworoger, from Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Nevertheless, these hormones are not bad hormones, they are necessary for the body. The twist and turns only come when these hormones dramatically increase its levels.




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