Sunday, December 2, 2007

Beauty : City Woman & Breasts Cancer

City Women More Likely to Develop Breast Cancer

by Anna Boyd

Women living or working in urban areas are more predisposed to developing breast cancer than women who live in the suburbs, a recent study suggested.
Previous studies have indicated that women with dense breast tissue are four times more likely to develop cancer than those with mostly fatty breasts.

The researchers at the London Breast Institute at the private Princess Grace Hospital studied digital mammograms from 972 women with ages between 29 and 87, living or working in rural, suburban and urban areas. About 225 women were from rural area, 135 lived in suburbs and 257 women either lived or worked in an urban area.

The study compared women from Greece with suburban and urban women in the United Kingdom . The result was that women living or working in the city were 54 percent more likely to have dense breasts than their rural peers were.

"Our study suggests that the closer to urban and high population densities that a woman resides, and in particular works, the greater likelihood there is that she will have denser breasts. For every 1 percent increase in breast density, there is said to be a 2 percent increase in the relative risk of developing breast cancer," said study author Dr. Nicholas Perry, director of the London Breast Institute at the Princess Grace Hospital .

Researchers suggested that exposure to pollution could be an important factor leading to cancer breast:

"We have significant evidence that traffic emissions can cause estrogen-like activity on the breast, particularly a city like London with a lot of fog all year. These particles don't rise high among the atmosphere. We inhale these particles and when we inhale they enter the lungs and the bloodstream,” Professor Kefah. Mokbel, a consultant breast surgeon in London and member of the team told CTV News.

Other health experts said pollution is not the main factor in developing breast cancer. They suggested that urban women are slimmer and so they have less fatty tissue and this is a cause for developing the disease.

Specialists say that dense breast tissue makes it more difficult to detect a tumor and women who live in the cities are already known to be less likely to attend regular screening.

Dr. Nicholas M. Perry advised urban women to be more vigilant about their breast cancer screening:

"Women living in cities need to pay more attention to having regular breast screening. Currently, women who live in urban areas are known to have lower attendance for breast screening programs than women in outlying areas,” he said.

Family history, getting your first period before the age of 12, beginning menopause after age 55, not having children or having your first child after 30, being overweight, drinking more than one alcoholic drink a day, and living a sedentary lifestyle are known to be risk factors in developing breast cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, 180,000 American women are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and about 40,500 die from this disease each year. About one in eight women are likely to develop breast cancer over a lifetime.

The findings were presented on Monday at the Radiological Society of North America’s annual meeting in Chicago .

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