Cancer is a serious health issue, but there are a number of risk factors that can increase or decrease one’s risk. One such factor is androgens, hormones naturally produced in both men and women. While they are usually associated with male health and characteristics, they also play a role in cancer development.
What are Androgens?
Androgens are hormones naturally produced by both men and women and play an important role in the development of sexual characteristics and the regulation of various bodily functions. In men, androgens are the major male sex hormones and are mainly responsible for reproductive health. In women, they can affect certain processes such as breast size and secondary sex characteristics, as well as the reproductive system.
How do Androgens Affect Cancer Development?
The effect of androgens on cancer development is not fully understood, but it is thought that they may be a factor in certain cancers.
Studies have linked high levels of androgens with an increased risk for prostate cancer. This is thought to be due to the way androgens can stimulate cell growth, which can cause an accumulation of mutated cells that eventually develop into cancerous tumors. Research has also shown that lower levels of androgens may be protective against prostate cancer.
Other cancers such as testicular and ovarian cancer have also been linked to androgen levels. Some research suggests that higher levels of androgens can increase the risk of ovarian cancer, while low levels of androgens may reduce the risk.
The Link between Androgens and Other Health Issues
In addition to cancer, androgens can also be linked to other health issues. High levels of androgens can cause excessive hair growth, especially in females, as well as irregular menstrual cycles and infertility. They can also lead to hirsutism, which is the abnormal growth of body hair.
Androgens may also cause the skin to become oily and acne may worsen. Some androgen-related health issues can be managed and treated with medication, so it is important to talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your androgen levels.
The Bottom Line
Androgens are hormones naturally produced in both men and women that can affect several aspects of health, from sexual characteristics to cancer development. While the exact relationship between androgens and cancer is not yet fully understood, there is evidence to suggest that high levels of androgens may increase the risk of certain cancers, such as prostate cancer and ovarian cancer.
Androgens can also be linked to other health issues such as hirsutism and acne. Managing and treating these and other androgen-related health issues is important, so be sure to talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your androgen levels.
Androgens, Cancer, Health, Prostate Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Hirsutism, Acne, Medication.