Androgens and the breast

Maturitas. 2007 May 20;57(1):47-9. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2007.02.012. Epub 2007 Mar 26.


There is increasing interest in the role of androgens in the treatment of women but little is known about their long-term safety. There are also very few studies on testosterone therapy and breast cancer risk. However, some observations support the concept that androgens may counteract the stimulatory effects of estrogen and progestogen in the mammary gland. Mammographic breast density and breast cell proliferation could be regarded as surrogate markers for the risk of breast cancer. Recently the addition of testosterone to a common estrogen/progestogen regimen was found to inhibit the stimulatory effects of hormones on breast cell proliferation. The effects of testosterone alone on the postmenopausal breast remain to be investigated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Androgens / adverse effects
  • Androgens / therapeutic use*
  • Breast / drug effects*
  • Breast / physiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1 / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Receptors, Androgen / physiology
  • Testosterone / pharmacology
  • Testosterone / therapeutic use


  • Androgens
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Testosterone