Breast Cancer and Gilbert’s Syndrome?

So little is known, and much is speculated about Gilbert’s Syndrome!  Please beware before reading this that this cited article notes that the information they discuss results in their speculation that people with Gilbert’s Syndrome may be more likely to get breast cancer. This is not proven, and is an association only.  However, in the interests of offering new information to people with Gilbert’s Syndrome I am sharing this article.

Med Hypotheses. 2011 Aug;77(2):162-4. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2011.03.047. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Is Gilbert syndrome a new risk factor for breast cancer?


Medical School, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.


Patients with Gilbert syndrome have an impaired function of the enzyme UGT1A1, responsible for the degradation of 4-OH-estrogens. These elements are produced by the degradation of estrogens and are well-known carcinogens. In theory, patients with Gilbert syndrome accumulate 4-OH-estrogens and, therefore, might have a higher risk for breast cancer, especially when exposed to higher levels of estrogens. If this theory is true, a new risk group for breast cancer would be described, producing new insights in breast carcinogenesis.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

3 Replies to “Breast Cancer and Gilbert’s Syndrome?”

  1. I discovered my re-take of a blood test was marked “gilbert’s syndrome?”, doctors queried how much I had drunk before the test as my bilirubin count was through he roof. The blood test mentioned was before commencement of chemo, following breast cancer diagnosis

  2. Is this why I am super sensitive to hormones in dairy and plant oestrogens in soya? I end up with PMT and weight gain around my hips and breasts if I eat just one soya yoghurt a day and if I have much dairy. It’s like I get oestrogen dominance symptoms- is that due to this abnormal degradation of oestrogen?

  3. This is interesting as I was just thinking this. I have Gilbert’s Syndrome and just learned last week my mother has Gilbert’s Syndrome. Her mother (my maternal grandmother) and at least two of her mother’s sisters died of breast cancer, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a link.

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