13 May 2015
Men with naturally higher levels of oestrogen could be at a greater risk of developing breast cancer, a new study has suggested.
Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the research found that males with high levels of the female hormone were 2.5 times more likely to develop breast cancer, compared to men with the lowest levels.
The study, which was supported by Cancer Research UK and the National Cancer Institute, is the first to link oestrogen levels in the blood and male breast cancer, though there have been previous connections in women.
The research looked at a large international pool of men with breast cancer and compared the oestrogen levels of 101 men who went on to develop breast cancer with 217 healthy men.
Study author Professor Tim Key, Cancer Research UK's hormone and nutrition expert at the University of Oxford, said the research has shown that oestrogen has a big role to play in male breast cancer.
"So now the challenge is to find out exactly what this hormone is doing to trigger this rare form of the disease in men, and why some men have higher levels of oestrogen in their blood. Our discovery is a crucial step forward in understanding the factors behind male breast cancer," he added.
Posted by Edward Bartel
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