Study links moles on the skin to breast cancer

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DENVER -- Moles can be a mirror of our health, especially when it comes to cancer. Changes in a mole can indicate skin cancer, but a new study shows it's not the appearance, but the "number" of moles that may determine a woman's risk for breast cancer.

Researchers in the United States and France found that breast cancer patients tend to have more moles, which could be because they also have a higher level of the hormone estrogen.

Dr. Karng Log of Swedish Medical Center in Englewood says it's important to point out that moles don't "cause" breast cancer and adds, “It is a small factor but there are many other factors that have bigger influences.”

He goes on to explain the link between the origin of moles and hormone levels. “When women have moles it's associated with hyperpigmentation and that change in pigmentation is often associated with a change in hormone levels.”

Medical experts say no woman should panic after hearing the findings of this study, but every woman should know the basics when it comes to breast cancer prevention.

The best weapon against cancer is a low fat diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, regular exercise and yearly mammogram screenings beginning at age 40.

Another study by researchers at Harvard warns that red meat may be linked to breast cancer.

They looked at over 88,000 women between the ages of 26 and 45. Women who ate more meat were more likely to develop breast cancer over the next 20 years.

In the past, a compound in the protein in red meat has been linked to faster cell division and the growth of tumors.