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Breast Cancer, Genes, and the Environment UNC-Chapel Hill Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility Funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), P30ES10126 10/2006 Goals To learn about breast cancer risks

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breast cancer genes and the environment

Breast Cancer, Genes, and the Environment

UNC-Chapel Hill

Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility

Funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), P30ES10126

10/2006

goals
Goals
  • To learn about breast cancer risks
  • To learn how personal and environmental factors may contribute to increased health risk
  • To identify risk reduction activities
breast cancer statistics
Breast Cancer Statistics
  • Most common cancer in women
  • 2nd leading cause of cancer death
what is breast cancer
What Is Breast Cancer?
  • Cells in the breast grow abnormally and form a lump
  • Malignant growths are called breast cancer
  • Breast cancer commonly starts in the ducts

Graphic courtesy of www.umm.edu/breast/anatomy.htm

slide5

Genes and Cancer

Acquired Damage – Wear and Environment

Diet

Chemicals

Radiation

Genes are sections of DNA

Heredity

Inherited Damage

estrogen related risk factors
Estrogen-Related Risk Factors
  • Early menstruation

Before 12 yrs old increased risk

  • Late menopause

After 55 yrs old increased risk

  • Child bearing

No children increased risk

First child born after age 30 increased risk

estrogen related risk factors8
Estrogen-Related Risk Factors
  • Breastfeeding

12+ months decreased risk

  • Oral contraceptives

Increased risk dissipates since time of last use

  • Long-term hormone replacement therapy

More than 5yrs increased risk

other personal risk factors
Risk increases with age Being age 55 or older

Having breast cancer previously

Family history of breast cancer

Dense breast tissue

Some types of breast disease

Other Personal Risk Factors
family history
Family History
  • Immediate family member…
    • more than one with breast cancer at any age
    • one with breast or ovarian cancer before 50 or
    • one with cancer in both breasts
  • Shared genetic makeup
  • Similar lifestyle choices and environmental exposures
environmental risk factors lifestyle choices
Environmental Risk Factors: Lifestyle Choices
  • Alcohol

One or more drinks/day increased risk

  • Diet

High in fruits and vegetables decreased risk

environmental risk factors lifestyle choices12
Environmental Risk Factors: Lifestyle Choices
  • Exercise

Regular exercise  decreased risk

  • Weight

Maintaining healthy weight decreased risk

environmental risk factors
Environmental Risk Factors
  • Toxicants can damage breast DNA, which can lead to cancer over time.
  • Exposure to high doses of radiation, treating Hodgkin’s disease

Increased risk in women under 30

environmental risk factors14
Environmental Risk Factors
  • Pesticides (DDT) and industrial chemicals (PCBs)
    • No association with increased breast

cancer risk

    • Certain women may be more susceptible
  • Electromagnetic fields
    • No association with increased breast

cancer risk

Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project, 2002

Carolina Breast Cancer Study, 2001

environmental risk factors15
Environmental Risk Factors
  • By-products of burning (PAHs)
    • Created when coal, oil, gas, garbage, or

other organic substances are burned

    • DNA damage  increased risk
  • Smoking
    • Active smoking as teenager  increased risk
    • Passive smoking – long-term smoking spouse  increased risk

Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project, 2002

screening for breast cancer

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Screening for Breast Cancer
  • Early diagnosis increases chance of survival
    • Breast self-exam
    • Clinical breast exam
    • Annual mammogram after age 40
questions
Questions?

UNC Center for Environmental Health

and Susceptibility

Diana Tarrant

(919) 966-2463

Diana_Tarrant@unc.edu

questions18
Questions?

UNC Center for Environmental Health

and Susceptibility

Kathleen Gray, Director

Community Outreach and Education Core

(919) 966-9799

kgray@unc.edu