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 .
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 [91,95-97].
Premenopausal breast cancer risk
Fewer studies have looked at blood androgens and breast cancer risk in premenopausal women. However, studies to date suggest higher levels of blood testosterone also increase breast cancer risk in premenopausal women [92-93,98].