Male breast cancer linked to oestrogen levels

MEN with naturally high levels of oestrogen are at greater risk of breast cancer, a study has found.

Researchers found that men with the highest levels were 2.5 times more likely to develop the disease than those with the lowest.

It is the first time oestrogen circulating in the blood has been positively linked to male breast cancer, a rare condition affecting about 350 men a year in the UK.

This is despite the known connection between the hormone and breast, womb and ovarian cancers in women.

Each year, almost 50,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer, making it primarily – but not exclusively – a female disease.

The new study compared oestrogen levels in 101 men who went on to develop breast cancer and 217 healthy men.

Lead researcher Professor Tim Key, Cancer Research UK’s hormone and nutrition expert at Oxford University, said: “We’ve shown for the first time that just