Chemicals suspected in breast cancer, US experts want tests

Feb 20, 2010

US experts called Friday for toxicity tests on chemicals they suspect play a role in the development of breast cancer, a leading cause of death in American women.

"We're currently not identifying chemicals that could be contributing to the risk of breast cancer," said Megan Schwarzman, a physician and environmental health researcher at the University of California, Berkeley.

According to Schwarzman, only a handful of the more than 200 chemicals in the environment linked to mammary tumors in lab animals have been regulated by the US authorities "on the basis of their ability to cause breast cancer."

She was speaking at a major science gathering, the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego.

Schwarzman is part of a panel of experts set up last year to identify which chemicals cause breast cancer and to develop tests to identify them.

The Breast Cancer Policy Project is expected to submit a report to health authorities in April.

As the incidence of the most common in women has skyrocketed in a generation, a flurry of studies have looked into the role of chemicals in breast cancer.

Treatment and survival rates have improved, but scientists have been running to stand still when it comes to pinpointing what causes breast cancer, said panel member Sarah Janssen, a physician and scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"Although we've made great strides in improving treatment and breast cancer survival rates, really we don't know much about preventing breast cancer... and most of the causes are not well understood," she said, noting hypotheses that environmental exposure affects breast development and the risk of disease.

"People are exposed to dozens of chemicals in their daily activities and biomonitoring has detected hundreds of chemicals in the fetal cord blood, in breast milk, adult blood and urine."

Only around a quarter of more than 186,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 were genetically predisposed to the disease, and other risk factors, including the early onset puberty in girls, have been linked to chemicals.

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User comments : 5

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phlipper
not rated yet Feb 20, 2010
I'm very suspicious of people looking to find a chemical to ban, just because it may or may not give a rat cancer when injected with mega doses. After the swine flu fiasco, I don't trust anything the current U.S. government officials would say about any health issue.
mrlewish
not rated yet Feb 21, 2010
I would go the opposite way and say I wouldn't trust the government to say any particular chemical is safe. Many thousands of chemicals are legacy chemicals that were grandfathered in before the environmental laws were put into effect. I would rather we test them
DrBettyMartini
not rated yet Feb 22, 2010
Aspartame http://world-wire...51,etc.) caused more mammary tumors in original studies than it did brain tumors. Aspartame breaks down to diketopiperazine, a brain tumor agent. In 2005 Dr. Soffritti (Ramazzini Studies, Italy) did a study on aspartame and proved that it is a multipotential carcinogen. A couple of years later he published another study showing aspartame causes mammary tumors, breast cancer, and it not only takes but a small amount of aspartame to do it, but also can be passed on to the woman's offspring if she uses it during pregnancy and the baby survives. Aspartame also is an abortifacient and teratogen causing birth defects and mental retardation. Dr. Adrian Gross, FDA toxicologist, told Congress in 1985 that aspartame violates the Delaney Amendment which forbids putting anything in food that causes cancer. Aspartame is a cumulative poison. Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum, www.mpwhi.com, www.dorway.com,
Ricochet
not rated yet Feb 23, 2010
And that would be why I don't drink diet drinks... and don't use Sweet-n-Deadly in my coffee...
Ricochet
not rated yet Feb 23, 2010
Incidentally, have there been studies on other sweeteners, like sucralose and sacharrin?