Breast Cancer and the Environment
Whether or not there are environmental causes of breast cancer is a hot topic. On the one hand, it seems obvious that the world around us has changed through the years and, simultaneously, the incidence of breast (and other) cancers has risen. Women's bodies aren't different than they were hundreds of years ago, but what we eat, drink, wear, breath, is very different. On the other hand, breast (and other) cancer incidence rises with age, and people are living longer. Since we are less likely to die of an infection or in childbirth, it is more possible that we will live long enough to develop a cancer. Also, it is virtually impossible to isolate any environmental factors for a good study.`The bottom line is that there is a great deal of speculation and almost no absolute knowledge.
Living Beyond Breast Cancer (www.lbbc.org) has just published an interesting transcript of a conversation with Janet Gray, PhD on this topic. Here is a summary:
Gaining a Better Understanding: Breast Cancer and the Environment with Janet Gray, PhD. This beginner's guide to environmental issues and breast cancer reviews the research and how it is conducted, and helps you learn how to use what is known to lower your exposure to pollutants. This publication includes a link to "Critical Periods of Breast Development," a multimedia presentation developed at Vassar that explains the role of environmental pollutants in breast development and breast cancer.
To read the transcript: