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Researchers: There may be a link between moles and breast cancer

Two new studies — one in the United States and one in France — suggest that women with more moles could have a higher risk of breast cancer.

Researchers in the U.S. tracked 74,523 female nurses for 24 years, and found that women with more than 15 moles were 35 percent more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than women without moles, NBC News reports. In France, 89,000 women have been studied since 1990, and those who said they had "very many" moles at the start were 13 percent more likely to get breast cancer.

Scientists already know that moles are linked to a higher risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Although the two studies are unable to determine how moles and breast cancer could be related, research does show that both moles and breast cancer can be influenced by hormones.

Doctors stress that women and men should pay attention to any changes in their moles, and tell their doctor if they bleed, itch, or experience sudden growth.