Latest research done by a group of scientist lead by Professor Tim Key from the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford found that Premenopausal women* with high levels of sex hormones in their blood have an increased risk of breast cancer.80% of all breast cancer diagnoses are in women over 50.
The Oxford researchers took data from the seven earlier studies they take the diagnostic record of the hormone levels in the blood of up to 760 premenopausal women with breast cancer and 1700 without,and They found that women who had the highest levels of sex hormones were at an increased risk of breast cancer of between a fifth and a third, compared with women with the lowest hormone levels
This result demonstrate a new link between higher overall levels of the female sex hormones and breast cancer in premenopausal women.These were the ‘female’ sex hormones oestradiol and oestrone, and ‘male’ sex hormones androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) and testosterone.
They also looked at the association between increased hormone levels in premenopausal women* and their lifecycle factors such as drinking and smoking,and found that women who smoked 15 or more cigarettes a day, or drank two or more glasses of wine a day, had higher levels of the male sex hormones compared with women who didn’t smoke or didn’t drink.Women who drank the most alcohol also had higher levels of oestrogens.But still researchers dont know the why having higher levels of some sex hormones might increase a woman’s risk. so there is need for further study.
*premenopausal woman having normal menstrual cycles with monthly periods- unless, of course, she is pregnant.