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Prolactin a cancer risk?

Prolactin a cancer risk?

A Swedish study published in the July 6 JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE supports the theory that elevated blood levels of the hormone prolactin increase the risk of male breast cancer. Some researchers have suggested that prolactin, which maintains milk secretion in women just after they have given birth, might also be a factor in the development of female breast cancer.

In reviewing the records of 95 men with breast cancer and comparing them with patients with other types of cancer, scientists at University Hospital in Lund, Sweden, found that significantly more breast cancer patients either had undergone certain drug treatments or had suffered severe head trauma, both of which can raise blood prolactin levels. A head injury to the hypothalamus, the regulatory area at the base of the brain, could interfere with control of the hormone's production.

Although only about one in 100 breast cancer patients in the United States are men, research on male breast cancer could give clues to the cause of the disease in women. The Swedish scientists say similar studies linking prolactin breast cancer in women "have given inconsistent results" so far.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Jul 9, 1988
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