Breast Cancer Genes May Be Related To Breast Development
By Robin Wulffson MD for eMaxHealth.com
The female breast comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Obviously genetic factors are involved in these endowments. Now, researchers have identified seven genetic markers linked with a woman’s breast size. Beyond cosmetics, their findings may provide further insight into factors involved in breast cancer risk. The study, conducted by the genetic testing company 23andMe, was published on June 30 in the journal BMC Medical Genetics.
The researchers note that some factors of breast morphology, such as density, are directly related to breast cancer risk; however, the relationship between breast size and cancer is less clear. They note that breast size is a moderately heritable trait; however, genetic variants leading to differences in breast size have not been identified. In view of this, Dr. Nicholas Eriksson and colleagues designed a study to investigate the genetic factors underlying breast size. The study group was comprised of 16,715 women of European ancestry. For this group of women, the researchers conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of self-reported bra cup size, controlling for age, genetic ancestry, breast surgeries, pregnancy history, and bra band size.