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Plasma Prolactin and Total Lipid Levels and Subsequent Risk of Breast Cancer in Pre- and Postmenopausal Women: Experience from an Indian Rural Centre
Material and methods: The present study was performed in the Department of Surgery, MMIMSR, Mullana, Ambala, from 2013 to 2014, at a rural centre. The study group comprised 40 patients with carcinoma of the breast who underwent surgery and the control group included 10 patients who underwent surgery for reasons other than carcinoma of the breast. Apart from routine tests, special investigations like estimation of serum lipids and prolactin levels were carried out in each patient to assess the general health status and detect any potential evidence of distance metastasis.
Results: Most patients were in the fourth and fifth decade of life. The mean value of serum total cholesterol in the study group (190.77 mg/dL) was higher than that of the control group (166.22 mg/dL), which was statistically significant. The mean value of LDL in the study group was 153.8 mg/dL, as compared to 118.4 mg/dL in the control group; therefore, the difference in LDL cholesterol levels between the two groups was statistically significant. The VLDL level was also higher in breast cancer patients, with a mean value of 35.25 mg/dL, as compared to 22.6 mg/dL in the control group. Serum triglycerides showed higher trends in the study group than in controls. The correlation coefficient of total lipids and prolactin was 0.428, which was significant (p value 0.002), and pointed to a positive relation between prolactin and total lipids, meaning that an elevation in total lipids would lead to an increase in prolactin levels.
Conclusion: It was observed that significantly increased prolactin levels were found among patients with breast cancer. Serum lipids in carcinoma of the breast had higher levels of VLDL and LDL cholesterol and elevated triglyceride concentrations. Serum prolactin showed a statistically significant elevation in premenopausal patients as compared to postmenopausal subjects with breast cancer. Prolactin level may be also one of the risk factors for breast cancer, which points to its diagnostic significance.