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Oncol Rep. 2015 Jul;34(1):3-11. doi: 10.3892/or.2015.3997. Epub 2015 May 20.

Endocrine disruptors and female cancer: Informing the patients (Review).

Author information

1
Division of Gynecological Oncology, CRO Aviano, National Cancer Institute, I-33081 Aviano, Italy.
2
National Institute of Health, I-00161 Rome, Italy.
3
Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and General Pathology, Second University of Naples, I-80138 Naples, Italy.
4
Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Uro-Gynaecological Oncology, Istituto Nazionale Tumori ̔Fondazione Giovanni Pascale', IRCCS, I-80131 Naples, Italy.
5
Hematology-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation Unit, Istituto Nazionale Tumori ̔Fondazione Giovanni Pascale', IRCCS, I-80131 Naples, Italy.
6
Department of Medical Oncology, CRO Aviano, National Cancer Institute, I-33081 Aviano, Italy.

Abstract

Pollutants altering the endocrine system, known as endocrine disruptors (ED), may modify the risk of female cancers. The carcinogenic effect of ED on humans has been confirmed by experimental studies for various substances including pesticides, DDT, dioxins, phthalates, bisphenol A, diethylstilbestrol, as well as heavy metals, but it is difficult to quantify precisely for several reasons hereby reviewed. Carcinogenesis is a complex and multifactorial mechanism that manifests itself over a long period of time, making difficult the detection of the specific contribution of the pollutants, whose absorbed dose is often unknown. The combined effect of various substances leads to complex interactions whose outcome is difficult to predict. These substances may accumulate and carry out their harmful effect on critical periods of life, probably also at doses considered harmless to an adult. ED can also have epigenetic adverse effects on the health of future generations. In conclusion, the carcinogenic effects of endocrine disruptors on female cancer types is plausible although additional studies are needed to clarify their mechanisms and entities. In the last part of the review we suggest ways to reduce ED exposure as it is mandatory to implement necessary measures to limit exposure, particularly during those periods of life most vulnerable to the impact of oncogenic environmental causes, such as the embryonic period and puberty.

PMID:
25998096
DOI:
10.3892/or.2015.3997
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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