Two new studies show that there is a direct correlation between the number of moles that a woman has on her body and her chances of getting breast cancer.
One study showed that women with 15 or more moles on one arm are 35 percent more likely to one day get breast cancer when compared to women with no moles. Experts say that the connection between moles and breast cancer could come down to estrogen, as estrogen has been shown to accelerate growth with both tumors and moles.
The research, known as Nurses’ Health Study, looked at 74,000 nurses starting in 1986. The women were between the ages of 40 and 65, and over the course of 24 years, 5,500 of those women were diagnosed with breast cancer. The researchers found that of the women who were diagnosed, almost 12 percent had a high number of moles, while a much smaller percent had little to no moles at all.
"It's an interesting study. I've never seen this association before," said Dr. Subhakar Mutyala of the Baylor Scott & White Cancer Institute in Texas, while adding that more research needed to be done before the findings could be incorporated with everyday breast cancer treatments. “It's not clear how this would fit into current screening recommendations.”
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The second study took it one step further, finding that women with more moles had higher levels of both estrogen and testosterone, and the high estrogen levels can easily explain why women with more moles have a higher chance of getting breast cancer.
Sources: Daily Mail, CBS News, WebMD, Eureka Alert- Press Release