Leslie Carol Botha: I find it very interesting that ‘pharmaceuticals are mentioned as a source of endocrine disruptors – but none of the drugs are included in the list of “everyday products we use.” Let’s look at the obvious omission. Synthetic hormone birth control. Millions of women use them everyday. I am now wondering if all of the attention brought to breast cancer and ‘environmental factors’ is not a diversion from the real issue. The number one threat to women’s breast cancer rates in synthetic hormones. Look at the lawsuits being filed as a result of HRT? Thousands of women now have breast cancer. In 1970, a ‘medical expert’ testified at the first Senate hearings on birth control safety – stating:
Estrogen is to cancer what fertilizer is to wheat.
And it is now 40 years later… there is no excuse in not acknowledging synthetic hormones as an endocrine disruptor and major cause of breast cancer. Studies have shown that synthetic hormone birth control use is linked to cancer and even death.
Environmental Factors and Breast Cancer
By Janet Gray, Ph.D., Director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, Vassar College and Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., Professor and Director, Integrative Medicine Program, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
In addition to the traditionally acknowledged risk factors for breast cancer (age, reproductive history, genetic profile, obesity, alcohol intake, smoking, etc.), scientists are increasingly coming to understand that many chemicals commonly found in products we use daily may also be contributing to the very high incidence of breast cancer. We need to better understand the health effects of these environmental chemicals, especially so-called endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs). A number of both natural and manmade substances are thought to cause endocrine disruption, including pharmaceuticals, dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls, pesticides, and substances in plastics such as bisphenol A (BPA). EDCs may be found in many everyday products that we use, including plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, additives or contaminates in food, toys, personal care products and cosmetics, and pesticides. More knowledge on the role of EDCs in the risk of breast cancer may lead us to undertake actions that aim to better prevent breast cancer.
In fact, a Congressionally-mandated report released in February 2013 by the Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee concluded that we need a national prevention strategy, based on a better understanding of the links between environmental factors and risk for breast cancer. Another recent report (also February 2013) released jointly by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme examined the science linking EDCs and developmental processes in a variety of physiological systems. The report concludes that there is substantial evidence to support EDC-induced impacts in wildlife and laboratory animals, but acknowledges the current weaker state of evidence for harm in humans, but this latter point may reflect the relative lack of sound epidemiological studies in this area. Together these major reports, along with others produced in the past two years by the President’s Cancer Panel and the Endocrine Society, raise concern for the possible health impacts of exposures to many environmental factors, especially when they occur in interaction with various genetic, reproductive, and other lifestyle risk factors.