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Are Bigger-Busted Women More Likely to Get Breast Cancer?

vyzares, flickr

The size of a woman’s (non-surgically-enhanced) bustline is often determined by DNA. But could bra size also predict a woman’s odds of developing breast cancer?

After analyzing data from more than 16,000 women of European ancestry, researchers found a total of seven genetic factors significantly associated with breast size, three of which had already been found to also strongly correlate with breast cancer.

One of the SNPs — which stands for single nucleotide polymorphism, a variation at a single site in DNA — is known to regulate the expression of the estrogen receptor gene. That particular SNP doesn’t just play a vital role in breast growth, it’s also found in the majority of breast cancer cases.

Another SNP influences breast density — a risk factor for breast cancer — and research suggests it could also be associated with breast size.

Such findings indicate that some of the same biological pathways are behind breast growth and breast cancer, but more research is needed to provide a solid link.


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