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Anticancer Res. 2010 Mar;30(3):815-27.

Environmental oestrogens and breast cancer: evidence for combined involvement of dietary, household and cosmetic xenoestrogens.

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Biomedical Sciences Section, School of Biological Sciences, The Hopkins Building, The University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading RG6 6UB, UK.


Many environmental compounds with oestrogenic activity are measurable in the human breast and oestrogen is a known factor in breast cancer development. Exposure to environmental oestrogens occurs through diet, household products and cosmetics, but concentrations of single compounds in breast tissue are generally lower than needed for assayable oestrogenic responses. Results presented here and elsewhere demonstrate that in combination, chemicals can give oestrogenic responses at lower concentrations, which suggests that in the breast, low doses of many compounds could sum to give a significant oestrogenic stimulus. Updated incidence figures show a continued disproportionate incidence of breast cancer in Britain in the upper outer quadrant of the breast which is also the region to which multiple cosmetic chemicals are applied.


If exposure to complex mixtures of oestrogenic chemicals in consumer products is a factor in breast cancer development, then a strategy for breast cancer prevention could become possible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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