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Home > Understanding Breast Cancer > Risk Factors and Prevention > Uncontrollable Risk Factors > Blood Androgen Levels

  


Blood Androgen Levels

Androgens (such as testosterone) are natural hormones. They are important in sexual development in both men and women. In women, androgens are produced in small amounts by the ovaries and the adrenal glands.

Similar to higher blood estrogen levels, higher amounts of androgens in the blood may be linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in women [18,42-44].

Learn more about blood estrogen levels and breast cancer risk

Postmenopausal breast cancer risk

Most studies on androgens and breast cancer risk have looked at the androgen testosterone. In postmenopausal women, studies show higher levels of blood testosterone increase the risk of breast cancer [18,42-44].

Premenopausal breast cancer risk

A pooled analysis of data from five studies found that higher levels of blood testosterone increase breast cancer risk in premenopausal women [45].

Studies in premenopausal women are challenging because blood hormone levels vary over the menstrual cycle. 

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For a summary of research studies on blood androgen levels and breast cancer risk, visit the Breast Cancer Research section.

Updated 02/07/14 

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Birth Control Pill Use 

Blood Estrogen Levels 

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