Air Pollution May Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer

Air pollution

Researchers have found a connection between breast cancer and air pollution.

A new study indicates that high air pollution may trigger an increase in the risk of developing breast cancer for women who live in polluted areas. Scientists at the University of Florida in the US surveyed about 280,000 women who undergone mammography. They have also gathered information regarding the air pollution in the areas where they lived.

Scientists claim that high air pollution may increase the risk of breast cancer

Specialists explained that women with dense breasts have an increased risk factor to develop breast cancer. The density of the breast is established through a mammography, and it indicates the relative quantity of various tissue types in the breast. Usually, dense breasts suggest a higher amount of fibro-glandular tissue which darkens the mammography, making it difficult for specialists to identify unusual masses like breast tumors.

Scientists have uncovered that for every increase of one unit in the concentration of fine particles (PM2.5), the chances of a female to have dense breasts raised to 4%. Women who had dense breasts indicated a 20% increase in the likelihood to having been exposed to high concentrations of PM2.5 women who had less dense breasts or with less fatty tissue proved to be 12% less likely to have been exposed to PM2.5 levels.

Women living in areas with polluted air indicated higher chances of developing the disease

Lusine Yaghjyan from the University of Florida stated that their new findings show that other reports regarding geographic variation in the density of the breasts could be illustrated by various patterns in air pollution from rural and urban areas. Yaghjyan argued that breast density represents a well-determined risk factor for the development of breast cancer.

Thus, future researches should try to establish whether the relation observed here are causal. Moreover, if they are confirmed, then they may trigger implications for risk prevention. On the other hand, scientists also examined the connection between breast density and ozone exposure among the participants of the survey. They unveiled that increase with just one unit in the concentration of ozone was related with a 3% decreased chance of having dense breasts.

Specialists pointed out that they have discovered a positive connection between breast density and fine particle concentration. Nevertheless, they revealed an inverse association between breast density and ozone exposure. Researchers indicate that chemical components of PM2.5 air pollution are known to contain pollutants which cause endocrine disruptions. The new research was published in the Breast Cancer Research magazine.

Image source: wikipedia

Authors
Top