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Reproductive Factors

  • Mats Lambe
Chapter

Abstract

A large body of experimental and epidemiological evidence points to a major influence of ovarian hormones on breast cancer risk. In particular, estrogens have been shown to induce and promote mammary tumors in rodents, though the exact role of progesterone remains unclear (Henderson et al. 1982, Bernstein and Ross 1993, Hankinson and Eliassen 2007). Steroid hormones affect the risk of breast cancer by stimulating cellular replication and mitotic activity in breast epithelium, processes which are believed to be crucial in the pathogenesis of mammary cancer. A high rate of cell division increases both the frequency and the likelihood of propagation of copying errors and DNA changes (Pike et al. 1983). The stimulative effect may be either direct or indirect, possibly exerted through different growth factors. Results from animal studies indicate that estrogen metabolites have genotoxic properties (Yager and Davidson 2006). One manifestation of the relationship between hormones and breast cancer is the numerous reproductive factors that are well established or suspected modulators of breast cancer risk.

Keywords

Breast Cancer Breast Cancer Risk Invasive Lobular Carcinoma Increase Breast Cancer Risk Ovarian Hormone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden

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