June 12, 2014. According to two studies published in this week’s PLOS Medicine, cutaneous nevi or moles could be an indication of breast cancer- with a greater number of nevi suggesting more likeliness to develop breast cancer. The sample data used was from two large prospective cohorts -74,523 female nurses followed for 24 years in the US and 89,902 women followed for 18 years in France.
According to Science Daily, women with “very many” nevi had a 13% higher chance of developing breast cancer than women reporting no nevi. However, after adjusting for known breast cancer risk factors such as disease or family history of breast cancer, the association was no longer significant. One of the major shortcomings of the study is that the sample of people studied were all white and so the results may not apply to non-white women.
The purpose of these studies is not to conclude that nevi cause breast cancer, but that more number of nevi is affected by levels of sex hormones that may be involved in the development of breast cancer.
“Additional studies should be carried out to investigate melanocytic nevi and other cutaneous features in association with the risks of breast cancer and other estrogen-related proliferative diseases. It is our hope that this research will provide etiologic insights and test practical uses of nevi and related phenotypes for their potential utility in breast cancer risk assessment.”, said Barbara Fuhrman and Victor Cardenas.
ORIGINAL SOURCE: Science Daily