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Saturday 26th May 2018

Biology of breast cancer 'changing'

23rd February 2009

Scottish research has suggested that screening developments and a change of lifestyle over the last twenty years have impacted the sort of breast cancer a woman may develop.


Breast cancer affects over 40,000 women every year in the UK.

The research, according to a report in the British Journal of Cancer, found increased numbers of tumours which were dependent on hormones and grew more slowly.

The team compared tissue samples - 420 from 1984-1986 and 653 from 1996-1997 - which were stored by hospitals in Glasgow. They found that as time went on there were better survival rates.

Other studies have said that breast cancers might have more dependence on hormones and the number of oestrogen-receptor positive tumours could be increasing.

The study found that the number of cancers which were hormone-dependent increased from 64.2% to 71.5% over the decade.

Changes to screening might mean that higher numbers of hormone-dependent cancers are being spotted.

An alternative reason could be that "lifestyle factors" have caused the increase, such as women giving birth when they are older, prescription of HRT and obesity.

The researchers, led by Dr Sylvia Brown at Crosshouse Hospital in Ayrshire wrote: "There is evidence that the percentage of all children being born to mothers aged 35 years and over is increasing in Scotland and that means BMI and prevalence of obesity are increasing."

Dr Alison Ross, Cancer Research UK's senior science information officer, said: "It's plausible that lifestyle changes could be influencing the types of breast cancers that women are developing but we will need much larger studies to find out whether this trend is real."


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Jane Lorimer

Wednesday 25th February 2009 @ 16:33

Dr Paula Baillie-Hamilton who has done extensive work on links between disease and ubiquitous synthetic chemicals would include xenoestrogens such as chlorine, Bisphenol A (in plastics), organochlorines and chlorinated solvents. Also pseudo-estrogenic foods such as unfermented soy products (in most processed foods these days).

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Article Information

Title: Biology of breast cancer 'changing'
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 10306
Date Added: 23rd Feb 2009


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