Friday, October 14, 2016

THE NEW BREAST CANCER PREVENTION ROUTINE: HOW CHEMICALS AND TIMING PLAY A ROLE AND HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR OWN CHILDREN DECREASE THEIR RISK: Benzene and Butadiene


This is part 5 of our 5 part series.  If you have already read the other entries feel free to scroll down to where we have the information on today's chemical :  Benzene & Butadiene

When we talk about breast cancer, prevention is key.  

Do as many things as you can do to decrease your risk of getting cancer will always be a better game plan than dealing with it once you already have it, obviously.   

Today, many well known organizations and breast cancer specialist agree that avoiding certain environmental chemicals should and need to be taken seriously as part of what any woman does to prevent breast cancer.   ( Four authoritative panels have already  pointed to further study of environmental chemicals as a promising direction for prevention: Cogliano et al. 2011; IBCERCC 2013; Institute of Medicine (IOM) 2011;  and the President’s Cancer Panel 2010).

The timing of the exposure to endocrine disputing chemicals also has a lot to do with how big an impact these chemicals can  have on a person.  There are periods of development called " windows of susceptibility"  where the breast is especially sensitive to environmental exposures.   These are:
  1. during fetal development (when the organ is formed)
  2. during puberty 
  3. during pregnancy ( both during pregnancy and after lactation, when the breast tissue remodels)

During these periods,  an environment is created in which the mammary gland is sensitive to environmental factors that can lead to cancer.  Sometimes the impact of a chemical is seen at birth,  but for chemicals linked to breast cancer, often times  it remains hidden until years even decades later (ie.  when breast cancer is diagnosed). 

Thus, a key way to protect yourself and daughters (and sons since breast cancer affects men too) comes down to decreasing their exposure to estrogen mimicking chemicals from the moment of conception and throughout puberty (early childhood - puberty is ideal) as well as during a woman's pregnancy. 


This week we are talking about the 4 common and potentially harmful estrogen mimicking chemicals that have links to breast cancer.  Yesterday we spoke about BPA, today we will focus on a common, although lesser known, chemical duo and its :  Benzene and Butadiene


Benzene and Butadiene


USES: These are chemicals formed by combustion


Of CONCERN: 
These were both among the main high priority chemicals linked to mammary tumors in animals found by a well respected investigation last year.  Both the EPA and the National Toxicology Program consider 1,3-butadiene to be a human carcinogen. An air pollutant, 1,3-butadiene causes mammary and ovary tumors in female mice and rats. 

WHERE:
Exposure in the general population is primarily via inhalation of automobile exhaust, and gasoline fumes as well as via emissions from industrial facilities. 

Cigarette smoke accounts for about half of the exposure to benzene in the United States. 

Lesser exposure can also occur  in environments where some consumer products that contain benzene are being used, such as glues, paints, furniture wax, and detergents, can also be a source of exposure.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
  • - Don’t smoke and avoid exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.  Needless to say avoid both when pregnant and for young children.
  • - Try to limit exposure to gasoline fumes
  • - If you live in an area with high air pollution levels, or highly industrial area, invest in an air filter with deep-bed activated carbon filter that is packed with many pounds of carbon.  (you can find more information on the benefits of air filters in our blog entry:   

WHY AN AIR PURIFIER MIGHT BE YOUR NEXT HOME PURCHASE AND HOW TO CHOOSE ONE (ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE ALLERGIES OR LIVE WITH BAD AIR QUALITY)



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