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Known Causes of Breast Cancer for Women Rock! Crispin H Pierce, Ph.D. Environmental Public Health Program University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

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Presentation on theme: "Known Causes of Breast Cancer for Women Rock! Crispin H Pierce, Ph.D. Environmental Public Health Program University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire."— Presentation transcript:

1 Known Causes of Breast Cancer for Women Rock! Crispin H Pierce, Ph.D. Environmental Public Health Program University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

2 What is Cancer? An uncontrolled growth of mutated cells. Metastasis is the spread of cancer cells from the site of origin to different parts of the body.

3 How Does Cancer Develop? First there is damage to the DNA from a chemical (e.g., benzene) or a physical agent (e.g., radiation), or we are born with a defective gene (e.g., mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene).

4 Second, further exposure to damaging chemicals or physical agents allows the mutated DNA to be replicated in many cells.

5 Third, the mutated cells grow without control, forming a tumor.

6 Overall Causes of Cancer

7 What are the Known Risk Factors for Breast Cancer? Family history of breast cancer. Having a mother, sister, or daughter with breast cancer doubles a woman's risk. However, 70-80% of women who develop breast cancer have no family history of this disease.

8 Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. 5-10% of breast cancer cases are related to mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

9 Exposure to estrogenic compounds: early start to menarche ( 65).

10 What are the Known Causes of Breast Cancer? Early exposure to radiation. Exposure to radiation treatment in the chest area raises the risk. Regular X-rays do not raise risk of breast cancer.

11 Alcohol use. One drink per day raises risk slightly, 2-5 drinks per day raised the risk to 150% of non- drinkers.

12 Being overweight or obese. Weight gain during adulthood, waist fat, and being overweight after menopause are associated with greater breast cancer rates.

13 Exposure to estrogenic compounds: recent use of birth control pills, not having children or having children after 30, hormone replacement therapy, not breast feeding.

14 Lack of exercise. As little as 1.25 hours per week of brisk walking reduces risk.

15 Maternal use of diethylstilbestrol (DES). Pollution: exposure to some chlorinated organics, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and triazine herbicides. Night work? High fat diet? Infectious agents?

16 How Can We Reduce Risk? Maintain a diet focused on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

17 Minimize alcohol consumption. Get regular exercise and maintain a body mass index of < 25 kg/m2.

18 Perform regular self-exams and get regular mammograms. Consider testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes if there is a familial risk of breast cancer. Use Tamoxifen or Raloxifene if at high risk for breast cancer.

19 Contact Information Crispin H Pierce, PhD

20 This is Why I Care


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