Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D.: Environmental Factors and Breast Cancer.

In addition to the traditionally acknowledged risk factors for breast cancer (age, reproductive history, genetic profile, obesity, alcohol intake, smoking, etc.), scientists are increasingly coming to understand that many chemicals commonly found in products we use daily may also be contributing to the very high incidence of breast cancer.

We need to better understand the health effects of these environmental chemicals, especially so-called endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs). A number of both natural and manmade substances are thought to cause endocrine disruption, including pharmaceuticals, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides, and substances in plastics such as bisphenol A (BPA). EDCs may be found in many everyday products that we use, including plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, additives or contaminates in food, toys, personal care products and cosmetics, and pesticides.

More knowledge on the role of EDCs in the risk of breast cancer may lead us to undertake actions that aim to better prevent breast cancer