Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 529–540 | Cite as

Estrogens in the breast tissue: a systematic review

  • Lusine YaghjyanEmail author
  • Graham A. Colditz
Review article


The role of estrogens in breast carcinogenesis has been investigated at the level of whole body (plasma) and cell (molecular, receptors, etc.). Growing attention focused on the breast tissue being an intracrine organ, with potentially important local estrogen production in the breast. However, very little is known about the local breast tissue estrogen levels. Understanding the role of the tissue estrogens in breast carcinogenesis might open new avenues in breast cancer prevention. This systematic review summarizes published studies that measured local estrogen levels in the breast and offers suggestions for strategies to fill gaps in our existing scientific knowledge.


Estrogen metabolites Tissue estrogen metabolism Breast carcinogenesis 



Body mass index


Coefficient of variation


Laboratory of proteomics and analytical technologies


Mass spectrometry


National Cancer Institute



Dr. Graham Colditz is supported by ACS Clinical Research Professorship.

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Supplementary material

10552_2011_9729_MOESM1_ESM.doc (109 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 109 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of SurgeryWashington University in St. Louis School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Public HealthWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

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