Many of those other risk factors (being overweight, using birth control, getting pregnant late, use of alcohol) increase the effect of sex hormones in your blood – which is why they raise breast cancer risk.
What if you knew, early on, that your hormone levels were naturally higher than average, and thus you should be extra-careful about weight gain, and drinking too much? And that maybe you should schedule having your family sooner rather than later?
Useful information, right?
Dr. Zhang and colleagues caution that the study’s results are preliminary, and that more work needs to be done before doctors start adding sex hormones to the array of levels already covered in a regular screening blood test.
But there may come a day when you track your sex hormone level as closely as you do your cholesterol and blood sugar levels – and for the same reason:
Preventive medicine. Knowledge is power, and knowing you’re at increased risk for breast cancer is certainly a powerful impetus to keep those hormone levels in check via diet, exercise, and other simple lifestyle changes.
Gray, B. (2012, October 18). Blood test may help define breast cancer risk in older women. Retrieved from http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/10/18/blood-test-may-help-define-breast-cancer-risk-in-older-women?vwo=501cd