High Bone Density Linked With Breast Cancer

High Bone Density Linked With Breast Cancer

Older women with high bone density are about twice as likely to develop breast cancer. This has been reported in a recent study carried out at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre, UK. Researchers followed the health history of 8905 women who were 65 years or older and without breast cancer. After a period of six years, tests were performed on their bones of the wrist, arm, and heel. It was found that the women who had maximum bone density were more likely to develop breast cancer.

During the six year period, a total of 315 women (3.5%) developed breast cancer. After taking into consideration other risk factors that contribute to breast cancer, such as age and obesity, it was found that the risk for women with high bone density was 2.7 times greater than that for women with low bone density.

Bone density, is not a cause of breast cancer, but is an indirect measure of hormone levels such as testosterone and oestrogen that have been linked to bone density and breast cancer. Women with high bone density are more sensitive to the hormone’s effects than women with low bone density. The results suggest that bone mineral density might help to predict the risk of breast cancer in older women. It also suggests that older women who have low bone mass have a decreased risk of breast cancer.

These findings suggest an association between osteoporosis and breast cancer, two of the most prevalent conditions affecting older women. Though the bone density test may be important in assessing the risk of breast cancer, it is too early to predict anything as there are many unanswered questions. Also, the study involved older women, and it is not clear how the tests could be used for younger women.

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