Does Exposure to Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer? Focus on the Arctic Women

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

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Eva Cecilie Bonefeld-Jørgensen - Lecturer

  • Institute of Environmental and Occupational Medicine

Background. Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer for women in the western world that have been increasing since 1940. The established BC risk factors can only explain less than one third of all cases. The risk of BC is thought to be modified by lifestyle and environment. In Denmark approximately each 10th of women develop breast cancer, and the incidence has doubled the last 30 years - also in Greenland a clear increasing incidence was observed. Before 1966 BC was reported absent from the western and central Canadian Arctic, whereas studies over a 20-year period (1969-88) in Inuit the circumpolar region showed an increase of approximately 10%. Our hypothesis is that BC risk in Inuit is interplay among changes in diet, increase and changes in profile of persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and decreases in certain trace elements and marine fatty acids, and genetic polymorphisms.

The aim of the project is to undertake an epidemiological case-control investigation of the risk of BC in relation to exposure to POPs carried out on samples from BC cases taken from Greenlandic women. Data of cases will be compared to matched controls with respect to e.g. age and lifestyle, and evaluated for correlations to blood level and hormone disrupting bioactivity of POPs including new biomarkers such as PFCs (perfluorinated compounds), serum trace elements, fatty acids and hormone metabolites in urine. Genetic susceptibility will be analysed by gene polymorphism relevant for POP excretion and BC risk.

Perspectives. To our knowledge this is the first study to include multiple exposure assessment tools and hypothesis-generating toxicological studies and believe that the study can contribute to prophylactic and preventive actions.

12 May 2008

Event (Conference)

TitleThe annual workshop of Circumpolar Health, Trosø, 12-16th May, 2008

ID: 12103431