A new study now suggests that women with high levels of a hormone that can be detected using a simple blood test may have higher risk of breast cancer.
According to the study, those who have elevated levels of anti -Mullerian hormone (AMH) – which indicates the size of a woman's ovarian reserve – are 60 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer compared to women with low levels of the hormone.
Researchers from New York University (NYU) School of Medicine examined blood samples from almost 6,000 premenopausal women across the US and Europe.
Post ananlysis, they found that those with the highest levels of the hormone were more likely to develop breast cancer.
Publishing their finding in the International Journal of Cancer, the authors said the hormone is a 'possible biomarker' for breast cancer.
Speaking about the study, lead author Professor Anne Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, from NYU School of Medicine, said that the link they found between anti-Mullerian hormone and breast cancer risk is interesting because few markers of risk in the blood have been identified for premenopausal women.
He added, “Our study found a moderate risk increase and we hope additional markers can now be found to help substantially improve individual risk prediction.”
Co-author Anthony Swerdlow, professor of epidemiology at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, who leads the Breast Cancer Now Generations Study, added that in the future, anti-Mullerian hormone could be factored into new ways of predicting individual women's risk of developing the disease.