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Low testosterone levels may increase women's risk of breast cancer

Category: Hormones and Metabolism

Low testosterone levels have been closely associated with men's risk of developing prostate cancer. However, a new study suggests that women may also benefit from testosterone testing.

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health found that women who have low testosterone levels in their saliva are more likely to develop breast cancer.

For the study, investigators administered salivary testosterone tests to 357 women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and 184 healthy age-matched women for a control group. They found that testosterone levels were significantly lower in women with breast cancer.

Researchers wrote in their report that higher testosterone levels may help prevent elevated estrogen levels, which has been shown to increase a woman's risk for breast cancer, especially around the time they are going through menopause.

"[Testosterone] levels are significantly lower in women with breast cancer compared to age-matched control women," they wrote. "These findings support the protective role of biovailable testosterone in counteracting the proliferative effects of estrogens on mammary tissue."

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