Researcher Awarded $462K NIH Grant to Study Effects of Endocrine Disruptors on Breast Cancer Risk in Young Women

Researcher Awarded $462K NIH Grant to Study Effects of Endocrine Disruptors on Breast Cancer Risk in Young Women
Research efforts to understand the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on breast cancer risk in young women have been given a boost with a $462,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant was given to Susan Sturgeon, DPH, a cancer epidemiologist at the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, at the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst, to expand her research on the impact of EDCs on breast tissue density — a breast cancer risk factor — in college-aged women.  Exposure to EDCs, including plasticizers (chemicals to make materials softer and more flexible) such as phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA), as well as related compounds, are thought to affect breast density by increasing levels of estrogen and inflammation. Research focusing on older women has shown how exposure to EDCs — many commonly found in household items and personal care products — can increase breast tissue density. Additionally, animal studies have suggested that mammary cells may be more susceptible to these types of environmental EDCs during breast development up to and through pregnancy.  This new grant will support a study to measure the effects of EDCs on the breasts of young women “during a window of potential increased susceptibility,” Sturgeon, professor of biostatistics and epidemiology, said in a press release.  “Breast density in young women may be as strongly associated with subsequent breast cancer risk as mammographic breast density in older women,” she added.  Sturgeon and colleagues plan to recruit 100 undergraduate female students at UMass Amherst who have never given birth. The participant's urine will be tested to measure levels of multiple EDCs, including BPA, bisphenol S, bisphenol F, seven metabolites o
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.