The Checkup: Is Breast Size Linked to Breast Cancer Risk?

A DNA testing service says it's uncovered genes that determine breast size—and those genes, they say, might be tied to a woman's risk for breast cancer, too.

• There are a lot of caveats with this research, so I’m going to go ahead and lead with them: 1) it was conducted by a commercial DNA testing service; 2) the researchers themselves say the results are preliminary at best; and 3) weight wasn’t considered in the study. Since weight can influence breast size and obesity can influence breast cancer risk, it’s a pretty glaring omission. But still. The study in question, conducted by a personal-genomics company called 23andMe, analyzed data from more than 16,000 female customers. Researchers looked at variations in the DNA and found seven to be “significantly associated” with breast size, three of which have been previously linked to breast cancer risk. Reports the Huffington Post,”The findings suggest that a woman’s cup size and her risk for developing breast cancer could be connected”—’could’ being the operative word here. Because of the caveats above, doctors likely won’t base risk assessments on the study’s results, but it certainly opens the door to further exploration.

• As a dog owner, I’m liking this Reuters headline: “Babies in dog-owning families may be healthier.” Three cheers for Fido! (Or, in my case, Scout.)

• Silk: not just lovely to wear—it’s good for vaccines, too? NPR has the scoop.