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Pink news: Plastic chemical may promote breast cancer development

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Editor's note: In the pink month or the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we publish the following for those who might be interested.  Some news outlets have suggested simply thinking pink or wearing pink isn't enough to fight breast cancer. We hope this report may give readers a hint that a little something may be done to lower the risk of the malignancy that strikes one in eight women in their lifetime.

Plastic chemical may boost breast cancer risk

A new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives suggests that a toxic chemical known as bisphenol A or BPA, which is commonly found in plastics, may promote development of breast cancer.

The study led by Lapensee E.W. at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio and colleagues found low nanomolar concentrations of bisphenol A in two breast cancer cultures reduced the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents.

It has been long suspected that BPA promotes carcinogenesis even though studies on high doses of bisphenol A were not consistent, according to the background information in the study report.

The current study was meant to examine the estrogenic effect of bisphenol A, which mimics estrogen in chemistry, on in-vitro  breast cancer cells as female reproductive hormone estrogen has been found to promote growth of breast cancer cells.

For the study, the researchers tested the efficacy of anticancer drugs doxorubicin, cisplatin and vinblastine in the estrogen receptor-alpha-positive T47D and the estrogen receptor-alpha-negative MDA-MB-468 breast cancer cells in the presence of nanomolar concentrations of BPA.

Lapensee et al found BPA antagonizes the cytotoxicity of multiple chemotherapeutic agents in both breast cancer cells independent of the classical estrogen receptors. 

Additionally, the researchers identified both types of breast cancer cells expressed alternative estrogen receptors such as G-protein-coupled receptor 30 (GPR30) and members of the estrogen-related receptor family and when exposed to BPA, cells over-expressed antiapoptotic proteins, suggesting BPA has anticytotoxic effects and sabotages the work of chemotherapy.

"BPA at environmentally relevant doses reduces the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents. These data provide considerable support to the accumulating evidence that BPA is hazardous to human health," the researchers concluded.

Bisphenol A, an endocrine disruptor, is commonly used in polycarbonated plastics,food and beverage containers, epoxy resins for food cans and dental composites among other things. It has been found also to harm the brain, reproductive system and immune system.  

One early study published in Reproductive Toxicology suggested prenatal exposure to bisphenol may increase risk of breast cancer after children enter their adulthood.

Ana M. Soto at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and colleagues found female rats whose mothers were exposed to bisphenol A during pregnancy were more likely to develop breast cancer than those without being exposed to the chemical in mothers' womb.

More reports will be published in the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to show readers that something can be done to reduce the risk of the disease that is diagnosed in more than 175,000 women and kills about 50,000 each year in the United States.

Stay tuned!

David Liu

(Send your news to foodconsumer.org@gmail.com, Foodconsumer.org is part of the Infoplus.com ™ news and information network)

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (10 posted):

christine alexander on 10/07/2010 11:31:05
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it makes you wonder if plastics are also responsible for the leaps in numbers of autistic children.
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Laurie J on 10/07/2010 11:52:11
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Before looking at plastic as a cause, the more common sense thing to do would be to consider unopposed estrogen as being the cause. God opposed estrogen with progesterone as well as a few other kinds of estrogen the medical community hasn't even considered replacing. They say progesterone causes heart trouble. Well just estrogen promotes the growth of cancer cells. Which is worse? Also, why only test Premarin (the urine of a pregnant mare)? Is the medical community afraid they'll find out women aren't horses? Before blaming a plastic, look at the most common sense things first.
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John Q. Public on 10/07/2010 12:15:43
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No Christine, Vaccines are responsible for the leaps in numbers of autistic children.
Do your homework.
The Amish do NOT Vaccinate their children. Ans they have a385NO Autistic Children.
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ford on 10/07/2010 12:21:29
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The touch... the feel... of plastics... the containers of our lives!! You will never get away from it, people. You say it now, but go home and look, really look at what you have. ITS EVERYWHERE!!! And Laurie, your an idiot.
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Loura p on 10/07/2010 12:23:28
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Almost anything that we eat and we use are all dangerous to our health.In that sense,what would be the safest thing to use?I'm afraid that someday even dringking water would be harmful.What do you think?
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Stranger on 10/07/2010 12:46:02
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FORD - You should probably learn how to use the word YOU'RE in the right form. YOUR is wrong. Funny how you call her an idiot yet you used YOUR for YOU'RE. Way to go!

p.s. She is an idiot though.
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Read David Icke on 10/07/2010 13:05:39
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Loura P: in fact, drinking water is already harmful. Read "The Flouride Deception." sodium flouride increases the risk of bone cancer in males and damages the thyroid (among other things). numerous pharmaceuticals have been found in drinking water in amounts higher than that caused by simply accounting for wastewater runoff... filter your water and drink out of glass bottles.
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StrangerStill on 10/07/2010 13:22:30
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Yikes! Y'all must all know each other otherwise you wouldn't publicly criticize one another in a public forum right?
So, vaccines are to blame for autism even though FDA says no? This is the same FDA that is run by former Monsanto people.

So no one thinks our processed/GMO food supply is to blame for any of our lifestyle issues? Dia-besity? Autism? Random cancers? ADHD? Breast cancer?

Other than the US keeping fantastic records for the imbalanced stats for cancer versus other nations, why are other nations lower on the aforementioned list for almost everything(sans pollution induced cancers)?
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Laurie J on 10/09/2010 12:52:34
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Ford, you're the idiot. If you're comfortable with what a food article tells you about plastics being the cause of breast cancer, you're got a whole lot left to learn, but unfortunately you won't learn it unless it's the hard way. So, For - yea, plastic is the cause. Good luck with that.
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Chemicals Companies In Pakistan on 10/21/2010 06:33:51
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Wonderful post... Very informational and educational as usual!
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