Exposure to high dose estrogens in adolescence: long term effects on mammographic breast density [ 2006 - 2006 ]

Also known as: Do hormones in adolescence affect adult breast density?

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Alison Venn (Principal investigator) ,  A/Pr Dorota Gertig Ms Helen Jordan Prof Anne Kavanagh

Brief description Breast density is a well established risk factor for breast cancer, and has been shown to be reversibly influenced by hormone exposures in adult life. As one of the important roles of sex hormones during puberty is mammary cell proliferation, it is plausible that exposures at this earlier life stage might have a sustained influence on breast tissue composition and density, and subsequent breast cancer risk. This project aims to increase our understanding of the influence of sex hormones in adolescence on breast cancer risk by testing the hypothesis that exposure to large doses of sex hormones during adolescence has long-term effects on mammographic density. This will be done by comparing the mammographic densities of women who were treated with high doses of estrogen for tall stature during adolescence with women who were similarly assessed for tall stature but not treated. No previous study in humans has examined the long-term effects on breast tissue of high dose estrogen exposure at this early life stage. This is not surprising, given the difficulty in finding a suitable exposed population. This cohort of women, assessed or treated for tall stature, provides us with a unique opportunity to examine these influences. This research will add to our understanding of the influence of sex hormones in adolescence on mammographic density and breast cancer risk. If hormonal factors in adolescence are shown to influence mammographic density, this may lead to new avenues for breast cancer prevention efforts that are targeted much earlier in life. This information may lead to new research directions examining adolescent hormonal exposures (both endogenous and exogenous) and their influence on breast tissue.

Funding Amount $AUD 89,050.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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