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Bone Mineral Density Predicts Breast Cancer Risk

Armen Hareyan's picture

Researchers have found that bone mineral density (BMD) can be used as breast cancer predictor to identify women at risk of getting breast cancer.

A team of researchers from University of Arizona, Tucson examined 9941 post-menopausal women during and eight-and-a- half-year period. In the study 327 women were diagnosed with breast cancer. Researchers looked at the links between hip BMD, Gail model, and disease risk.

The scientists who conducted the research report that women with high Gail risk model have 35% increased risk for breast cancer later in life. This is not surprisings, but it was new to to find that each increased unit of hip BMD also increases the risk by 25%. Women having both parameters high were at extremely high risk of developing breast cancer.

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Gail risk model includes parameters like family history, reproductive information, woman's age, race, ethnicity, information on breast biopsies and atypical breast findings. This model is already being used in predicting breast cancer risk.

BMD contains information on bone mineral density. It is already known that breast cancer is linked to bone health. For example, vitamin D deficiency is strongly linked to breast cancer, and at the same time it is very important to have normal levels of vitamin D to have healthy bones. Also it is known, that high BMD occurs mainly in those overweight or obese, which is also a major factor affecting overall health.

Dr. Zhao Chen from the University of Arizona in Tucson says: "Future studies should investigate whether incorporating BMD and Gail score with other risk factors, such as breast density, can further improve the identification of women at high risk for developing breast cancer."

BMD has not yet been considered in predicting breast cancer risk, and researchers suggest that together with Gail risk model it can be a powerful predictor for women at risk.