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Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 1979 Nov;(53):187-93.

The hormonal basis of breast cancer.

National Cancer Institute monograph

M C Pike, V R Gerkins, J T Casagrande, G E Gray, J Brown, B E Henderson

PMID: 537626


Both animal experiments and certain well-established breast cancer risk factors suggest that risk to the disease is fundamentally determined by the hormones of the pituitary-gonadal axis. Although international comparisons of urinary estrogens have given support to this ypothesis, case-control studies and international comparisons of plasma estrogens and prolactin have not. Methodological problems and sampling biases probably account for the inconsistency of these investigations. Taking advantage of the known familial increased risk to breast cancer, we conducted comparative studies of teenage daughters of patients with breast cancer, including a group of girls whose mothers had bilateral breast cancer when they were less than 50 years old. The results of these studies revealed that these high-risk girls appear to have elevated levels of estrogens, prolactin, and progesterone.

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