https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_vitro

Everyday Chemicals And Breast Cancer – What Is The Link?

Recent cell-culture studies show that there is a link between chemicals and breast cancer. Although the results are not conclusive in totality, they can be taken into consideration for further studies. Each individual is exposed to a variety of chemicals on a daily basis.

The air people breathe may also contain chemicals. The gases that are found in the air are nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide, amongst others. Moreover, the water we drink also has some chemicals in it. Chemicals such as aspirin are used as pain relief drugs today. 

The FDA and other environmental organizations are rigorously conducting tests today. The law governing the same is the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Everyday Chemicals And Breast Cancer – What Is The Link?

These organizations test the products before they reach the population for consumption. However, these chemicals could have unexplored effects. Researchers from various quarters have sought to identify the disease-causing gases. 

Main Findings Of The Study

The researchers found nearly 300 chemicals, that can increase the level of estradiol which is a form of estrogen. It also increases the level of progesterone. The studies were conducted on adrenal cell culture. Of the 296 chemicals that were studied, 71 chemicals caused an increase in hormones. The ingredients mentioned here, are flame retardants, dyes, and fungicides. 

The studies revealed the names of various chemicals as 1,2-Diphenylhydrazine, Malathion, Phosmet, and Oxyfluorfen. The first one on the list is generally found in dyes and pharma products. The second one is found in insecticides. The third one is in insecticides as well. And, the last one in weed control herbicides. 

Everyday Chemicals And Breast Cancer - What Is The Link?

These commonly used chemicals are ingested into the body through the skin or air. It has a substantial effect on the hormones in females, like estrogen and progesterone. The findings of the studies suggest that some or all of these chemicals increase the risk of breast cancer. The same happens through the stimulation of the hormones linked to breast cancer, i.e., estrogen and progesterone. The studies also revealed that regular exposure is the cause. Most scientists are trying to establish a relation between the two. 

How Do The Hormones Cause Breast Cancer?

When tested, two out of three samples have tested positive for HR. Being HR-positive means that the cells may have received some chemicals from the sex hormones. Estrogen can cause cancer in two ways. It stimulates the breast tissues to make the cells divide at a faster rate than expected. Thus, giving rise to mutations. The metabolites of estrogen can also have a carcinogenic effect on the body through DNA damage. 

Progesterone receptive- positive breast cancer responds to progesterone in the same manner. The cells allow the hormone to grow inside them. Hormone therapy can be used to stop the usage of excess quantities of estrogen and progesterone. Thereby, it stops the growing tumor. 

Limitations And Risks

The study aims to identify risk factors, that scientists have not identified yet. The role of the environment is very poorly understood. There are various environmental pollutants that are harming the body. Thus, the study proves inconclusive in several ways. The chemicals have a shorter life span, so the efficacy of the contribution of the illness needs to be studied in depth. The research conducted was ‘in Vitro‘. Thus, the results may not come out to be that satisfying. Moreover, it did not apply to human cells. The results of the study cannot be fully substantiated. 

The scientists are themselves learning about the complex ways in which the environment can affect the body. The study gives a fair idea, of the possible implications. However, the route to infection still needs a lot of research. Moreover, the same studies need to be extensively conducted on larger mammals and humans. 

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