Cancer warning over hormone levels

Raised levels of several hormones can triple the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women, a study has shown. Scientists looked at the combined effect of multiple sex and growth hormones on a woman’s cancer chances. They found that one hormone at higher than normal levels increased the breast cancer risk by 10% compared with having no elevated hormones. But the risk for women with five or six hormones at raised levels was doubled, while having seven or eight tripled the odds of getting cancer.

Levels of the growth hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) and c-peptide, a biomarker for insulin, were also measured. Insulin acts as a growth hormone as well as regulating the body’s use of sugar. Over a period of nine years, the scientists identified 320 post-menopausal women who were diagnosed with breast cancer and not on hormone-replacement therapy. Hormone levels in the cancer patients were matched against those of women who did not develop the disease. Read more…

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