Hormone-related cancers, namely breast, endometrium, ovary, prostate, testis, thyroid and osteosarcoma, share a unique mechanism of carcinogenesis. Endogenous and exogenous hormones drive cell proliferation, and thus the opportunity for the accumulation of random genetic errors. The emergence of a malignant phenotype depends on a series of somatic mutations that occur during cell division, but the specific genes involved in progression of hormone-related cancers are currently unknown. In this review, the epidemiology of endometrial cancer and breast cancer are used to illustrate the paradigms of hormonal carcinogenesis.
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