Breast Cancer and Hormones: An Overview of the Relationship

By: Akshita Gupta  For: Date: 1st March 2023

1. Understand the role of hormones: Hormones are chemical messengers in the body that regulate various functions, including growth and development. Certain hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, can promote the growth of breast cancer cells.

2. Know your risk factors: Women who have higher levels of estrogen and progesterone in their bodies, such as those who started menstruation early or entered menopause late, have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Other risk factors include a family history of breast cancer, certain genetic mutations, and exposure to hormone therapy or oral contraceptives.

3. Consider hormone therapy carefully: Hormone therapy, such as estrogen replacement therapy or hormone-blocking medications, may be recommended to manage symptoms of menopause or prevent breast cancer recurrence. However, these treatments can also increase the risk of breast cancer and other health problems. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of hormone therapy and whether it's right for you.

4. Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase the levels of estrogen in your body, which can increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help reduce your risk.

5. Limit alcohol consumption: Alcohol can increase the levels of estrogen in your body and also damage DNA, increasing the risk of breast cancer. It's important to limit alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per day for women.

6. Get regular screenings: Regular breast cancer screenings, such as mammograms and clinical breast exams, can help detect breast cancer early, when it's most treatable. Talk to your doctor about when to start screening and how often to get screened based on your individual risk factors.