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Serum adrenal androgens in women in primary operable breast cancer and their relationship with age and body mass index

Lookup NU author(s): Seb Aspinall, Dr David Cook, Dr Brian Shenton, Andrew Griffiths, Clive Griffith, Richard Bliss, Professor Thomas Lennard


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Several studies have found elevated levels of adrenal androgens in postmenopausal women and depressed levels in premenopausal women with breast cancer, suggesting a role for adrenal androgens in the aetiology of breast cancer. We have measured serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate and androstenedione in 81 women with primary operable breast cancer and 62 age-matched controls. Results showed that serum levels of both adrenal androgens fell significantly with age in women with breast cancer (P = 0.003). However, no relationship was observed between serum adrenal androgen levels and body mass index in either women with breast cancer or controls. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate levels were elevated in postmenopausal women with breast cancer compared to controls, and this was not due to preoperative stress. No differences were observed in androstenedione levels between premenopausal or postmenopausal women with breast cancer and controls, nor were dehydroepiandrostenedione sulphate levels significantly different between premenopausal women with breast cancer and controls. These results suggest that dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate has a role in the aetiology of postmenopausal breast cancer. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Aspinall, S., Cook, D., Shenton, B.K., Griffiths, A., Griffith, C., Bliss, R., Lennard, T.W.J.

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Breast

Year: 2003

Volume: 12

Issue: 1

Pages: 63-71

Print publication date: 01/02/2003

ISSN (print): 0960-9776

ISSN (electronic): 1532-3080


DOI: 10.1016/S0960-9776(02)00264-3

PubMed id: 14659357


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