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Thursday 20th October 2016

Breast cancer 'risk' from city living

27th November 2007

A study by the Princess Grace Hospital in London has found that women who live and work in the city have an increased danger of breast cancer.

teenagewoman1972 women were involved in the research and it showed that women living in the city had "much denser breasts".

Previous studies have revealed that women with dense breast tissue had four times the risk of developing cancer. Dense breast tissue is more difficult to X-ray and tumours are less likely to be detected.

The team studied mammograms of women who had attended breast screening. Women living in the city aged 45-54 had double the likelihood of having 25% of their breasts made of dense tissue as women living in the countryside.

The team stated that particles contained in air pollution could be the reason that city women had more dense breasts. Scientist believe that the particles act like women's sex hormones and cause disruptions within breasts.

Professor Kefah Mokbel, part of the research team, said: "Women who live or work in cities should pay greater attention to breast screening. Ironically, uptake of breast screening is lower in cities like London than in the countryside".

Professor Mokbel said that awareness needed to be raised about the issue and the government should think seriously consider the findings.

Professor Stephen Duffy, Cancer Research UK's professor of screening, said the increased density could be linked to weight.

"The Health Survey for England found that women living in London were the thinnest in the country, and breast density is known to be inversely related to body weight."

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