Bigger isn’t always better according to one study that finds women with bigger breasts have a higher risk of breast cancer.
According to the Daily Mail, scientists found that women with bigger breasts have a higher risk of breast cancer in a study of 16,000 women. The study found genetic mutations associated with breast size were also linked to the disease. Researchers on the study say the increased risk with cancer in women with bigger breasts has to do with the heightened some of these genes that are involved in regulating the female sex hormone oestrogen, which can trigger the growth of both breasts and tumors.
Participants in the study, carried out by a US company, were asked to give their bra size on a 10-point scale from smaller than AAA to larger than DDD.The genetic code of the women, who were all of European origin, were read by scientists who looked through millions of tiny mutations in their DNA, called single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Out of seven that were strongly linked to breast size, three were also associated with breast cancer.
Scientist of the California-based genetics firm 23andMe, Dr Nicholas Eriksson said it was the first substantial link between breast size and cancer, but stated that more research needed in order for the data to be considered absolute. ”Our results identify genetic variants that have an effect on both breast cancer and natural variation in breast size. While the precise relationships between breast size, density, obesity and breast cancer remain difficult to untangle, understanding the biology…may aid in the development of novel screening tools.”
Eriksson said one of the three mutations regulates the activity of the oestrogen receptor gene that plays a vital role in breast growth and in the majority of breast cancer cases while another is located in a region of a woman’s genome that shows abnormalities in those with certain types of breast cancer.
While little is known about the biology of breast size, which scientists believe is only half hereditary, high oestrogen levels are known to be a risk factor for breast cancer.
Women with Bigger Breasts Have a Higher Risk of Breast Cancer.