Environment and Breast Cancer

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A diet high in fat is also a risk factor for some other types of cancer.

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And intake of certain types of fat is clearly related to higher risk of heart disease. Studies looking at vitamin levels have had inconsistent results.


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So far, no study has shown that taking vitamins reduces the risk of breast cancer or any other cancer. A diet low in fat, low in red meat and processed meat, and high in fruits and vegetables can clearly have other health benefits, including lowering the risk of some other cancers. A great deal of research has been reported and more is being done to understand possible environmental influences on breast cancer risk.

Breast Cancer

Compounds in the environment that have estrogen-like properties are of special interest. For example, substances found in some plastics, certain cosmetics and personal care products, pesticides, and PCBs polychlorinated biphenyls seem to have such properties. In theory, these could affect breast cancer risk. This issue causes a great deal of public concern, but at this time research does not show a clear link between breast cancer risk and exposure to these substances.

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Studying such effects in humans is hard to do. More research is needed to better define the possible health effects of these substances and others like them.


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  8. For a long time, studies showed no link between cigarette smoking and breast cancer. But in recent years, more studies have shown that heavy smoking over a long time might be linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. In some studies, the risk has been highest in certain groups, such as women who started smoking before they had their first child.

    Breast Cancer and the Environment

    Researchers are also looking at whether secondhand smoke increases the risk of breast cancer. Research continues into the link between these chemicals and breast cancer. The exact causes of breast cancer are unknown; however, women in certain categories are at increased risk for breast cancer. Known risk factors include:.

    Assessment of Basic Knowledge Regarding Impact of the Environment on Cancer Risk Through Epigenetics

    Among women whose risk is higher than average, certain drugs may help prevent breast cancer. All women should discuss their risk and screening or prevention options with their doctor.

    Genetic and environmental factors linked with breast cancer | PHG Foundation

    Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content. E-Mail Updates. Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir. On this Page Exposure and Risk Prevention. Female Breast Cancer and the Environment Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the United States.