Study May Have Found Link Between Elevated Hormone Levels and Breast Cancer

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The work to understand breast cancer and develop a cure is never ending. According to The Boston Globe, there isn't sufficient testing for women to understand their risk factors. Some clinics look for the BRCA genetic marker, while others review age and family history to calculate risk. However, a recent study conducted by Boston-based researchers and presented at the American Association for Cancer Research conference revealed another possible marker.

The findings took a look at 473 participants of the Harvard Nurses Health study that developed breast cancer. These women more often had elevated levels of testosterone, estrogen and prolactin hormones. The data was compared to the 770 women of the Harvard study that didn't get the disease. 

"We confirmed what we and others have previously seen — that these hormones are associated with breast cancer risk," Shelley Tworoger, co-author of the study and an epidemiologist Brigham and Women's Hospital, told the source.

Overall it's believed that these findings can help improve breast cancer risk factor predictions by up to 6 percent.

Scientists at the National Cancer Institute and The National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project teamed up to provide a web-based risk assessment tool for public use. The calculator may be adjusted as new research is conducted and is meant to be a resource to share with your health care provider.

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