Many chemicals unproven to raise breast cancer risk
Women who want to reduce their risk of breast cancer may have heard they should avoid exposure to industrial chemicals but scientific evidence has so far not proven a direct link, said a US group Wednesday.
The review of existing studies by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), part of the US National Academies of Science, sought to separate the myth from the reality when it comes to what has -- and has not -- been shown to increase risk.
For instance, doctors know that drinking alcohol, hormone therapy that combines estrogen and progestin, too much exposure to ionizing radiation from CT scans, and being overweight after menopause are all proven risk factors in breast cancer.
But they are less certain about things like secondhand smoke, breathing in auto exhaust or exposure to chemicals such as benzene, found in crude oil and pesticides, and bisphenol A (BPA) which is used in plastics and sealants.
"Multiple well-designed studies consistently have failed to show increased breast cancer risk for two environmental exposures -- personal use of hair dyes and non-ionizing radiation (emitted by microwave ovens and other electrical devices)," said the report.
"For several other factors, the evidence is less persuasive but suggests a possible association with increased risk," it added.
"These factors are exposure to secondhand smoke, nighttime shift work, and exposure to the chemicals benzene, ethylene oxide, or 1,3-butadiene, which can occur in some workplaces and from breathing auto exhaust, pumping gas, or inhaling tobacco smoke."
When it comes to BPA, which is present in the lining of canned foods and in some plastics, "scientists can see a clear mechanism in animals by which the agents might cause breast cancer, but studies to assess the risk in humans are lacking or inadequate," the report said.
Urging further research in order to fill knowledge gaps, the report added that there is plenty women can do to reduce their risk now.
"These actions include avoiding unnecessary medical radiation throughout life, avoiding use of postmenopausal hormone therapy that combines estrogen and progestin, avoiding smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, increasing physical activity, and, particularly for postmenopausal breast cancer, minimizing weight gain."
The United States' biggest funder of breast cancer research, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, said the findings should guide further studies and urged other funders to help create a new effort to explore environmental hazards.
"As the IOM makes clear, significantly more research is needed to gain a full understanding of what substances can be definitively linked to breast cancer," the group's president Elizabeth Thompson said in a statement.
"We intend to use these findings to guide our decisions about research to fund so that women and their families have the best science to guide them in making important lifestyle choices," she added.
"We believe our efforts going forward will be made even more effective through the guidance provided by this study."
(c) 2011 AFP
- Report: We control many breast cancer risk factors Dec 07, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Breast cancer linked to environmental smoke exposure among Mexican women Oct 02, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Combo hormone therapy has increased breast cancer risk over estrogen alone Nov 18, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Breast tenderness in women getting combo hormone therapy associated with increase in breast density Oct 14, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- BPA exposure in utero may increase predisposition to breast cancer Oct 03, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
14 hours ago Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
May 22, 2013 As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
Breast cancer characterized as "triple negative" carries a poor prognosis, with limited treatment options. In some cases, chemotherapy doesn't kill the cancer cells the way it's supposed to. New research from Western University ...
Cancer 1 hour ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0
Mayo Clinic researchers have used next generation genomic analysis to determine that some of the more aggressive prostate cancer tumors have similar genetic origins, which may help in predicting cancer progression. The findings ...
Cancer 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Even while being dragged to its destruction inside a cell, a cancer-promoting growth factor receptor fires away, sending signals that thwart the development of tumor-suppressing microRNAs (miRNAs) before it's dissolved, researchers ...
Cancer 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Treating pediatric leukemia patients with a liposomal formulation of anthracycline-based chemotherapy at a more intense-than-standard dose during initial treatment may result in high survival rates without causing any added ...
Cancer 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Scientists have uncovered a survival mechanism that occurs in breast cells that have just turned premalignant-cells on the cusp between normalcy and cancers-which may lead to new methods of stopping tumors.
Cancer 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
59 minutes ago | 4 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Treatment with high potency statins (especially atorvastatin and simvastatin) may increase the risk of developing diabetes, suggests a paper published today in BMJ.
4 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
People eating at fast food restaurants largely underestimate the calorie content of meals, especially large ones, according to a paper published today in BMJ.
4 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Two out of five medical students have an unconscious bias against obese people, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The study is published online ahead of print in the Journal of ...
33 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
International efforts to combat a new pneumonia-like virus that has now killed 22 people are being slowed by unclear rules and competition for the potentially profitable rights to disease samples, the head ...
34 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—In patients who have previously been considered difficult to image, dual-source cardiac (DSC) computed tomography (CT) can identify clinically significant coronary artery disease, according ...
14 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0