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Big bras mean big risk for breast cancer

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By David Liu, PHD

A new study in the journal MBC Medical Genetics finally confirms an observation that bigger breasts or women using bigger bras are more likely to develop breast cancer.

Estrogen is known to promote the growth of breast cancer. It also promotes the growth of the breast and thus a bigger breast size or bra size is associated with a greater risk for breast cancer, which is common sense.

But the study led by a California-based personal genomics and biotechnology company called 23andme reportedly found out of seven single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are linked to breast size, three of them are also correlated with breast cancer risk. 

The study may lead to a genetic testing for breast cancer risk.  But one does not need one to assess her risk for the disease that kills about 50,000 people in the United States each year.  Just looking at the size of her bra would give her some idea about her risk.

Breast cancer is in many cases preventable. Things women can do effectively reduce the risk include engaging in physical exercise, maintaining high levels of vitamin D, eating lots of green vegetables or eating a plant-food-based diet, and avoiding fried foods and high fat and high sugar food and beverages.

One in eight women in the U.S. are expected to develop breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the National Cancer Institute.

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