Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. It is one of the leading causes of deaths related to cancer. It is also estimated that 1 in 8 women is diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of her life. Cancer is a broad group of diseases, and each type is caused due to different reasons. Just as each type of cancer is different, so are its symptoms and prevention methods. However, there are no particular causes for breast cancer apart from the main risk factors. Among the most common risk factors is heredity.
However, there are a few other dangerous substances that are closely linked to breast cancer. Due to the increased percentage of synthetic chemicals in the environment, it has been noted that there are increased breast cancer rates. Therefore, understanding the links between these environmental pollutants and breast cancer can help people protect themselves from this disease. So, read on to know more.
6 Toxic Substances That Are Linked To Breast Cancer
Phthalates are plasticizers, meaning they are used to soften and increase the flexibility and durability of plastics. These industrial chemicals are found everywhere, especially in toys, car interiors, vinyl substances, etc. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors and exposure to these dangerous chemicals has been linked to conditions such as decreased fertility, asthma, obesity, and most of all, breast cancer.
They disrupt several hormonal systems in the body, including estrogen-regulated systems. Hence, it is advised that everyone be aware of their presence and avoid exposure to phthalates as some may be more vulnerable to health problems when compared to others.
Another toxic substance to look out for is Triclosan. It is an antimicrobial agent that is often added to a range of household products to prevent the growth of bacteria. It can be found in many common products such as cosmetics, deodorants, dental products, antibacterial soaps, etc. It claims to give antimicrobial protection, but the chemical is a potential endocrine disruptor in humans. And it can be found in human blood, urine, and breast milk if ingested. It can have adverse effects on the body and even lead to breast cancer.
Octinoxate is another chemical substance that is present in many common skin care and cosmetic products. It can be found in sunscreens, anti-marks creams, lipsticks, hair color, etc. Even though it is valued for its ability to protect the skin from certain factors, like UV rays, it can cause more harm than good. Despite the fact that octinoxate has been approved for use by the FDA, it can be fatal if the concentration exceeds the given limit of 7.5%. Like the rest, octanoate can have a negative impact on the endocrine system, and disrupt the hormonal balance. Hence, it has the potential to rapidly increase the development of estrogen in the body, which is linked to breast cancer.
Commonly used as preservatives in products, parabens are toxic chemicals that can be found in everyday items. They are a group of chemicals that are used to prevent the growth of bacteria. Parabens are commonly found in personal care products, food products, and even pharmaceuticals. They may increase shelf life and stability of the product, but they pose a great threat to women. They can enter the body through dermal absorption or ingestion, and enhance the growth of estrogen in the body. The tissue samples of many women suffering from breast cancer have shown traces of parabens.
Aluminum salts are present as one of the active agents in antiperspirants. Aluminum-based compounds are used as the key ingredients in deodorants, roll ons, and other underarm cosmetics. These compounds are capable of stopping the flow of sweat from the sweat duct onto the skin’s surface. However, recent studies have shown that the skin near the application of the product may absorb the aluminum compounds, and this may lead to boosted estrogen hormones. It is not backed by scientific evidence, but the excessive usage of these products may lead to the development of breast cancer.
People are exposed to the toxic element lead by simply breathing it. Lead and its compounds have many useful properties. Hence, we humans have been using it since early history. It can be found in tableware, pipes, paints, batteries, etc. Its presence is quite common in household/furniture products. It can also be found in food and alcoholic beverages. Many studies in recent times have shown that women suffering from breast cancer are those who are more likely to be exposed to lead. Hence, it is another major risk factor that may increase the chance of developing cancer in the body.
These are a few toxic chemicals that have the potential to disrupt the normal functioning of hormones in the body and lead to breast cancer. With more research, scientists are beginning to learn and understand more about harmful environmental chemicals that can cause breast cancer. Most women are suffering from breast cancer have constantly been in contact with one or a combination of these harmful chemicals. Therefore, stay aware of the presence of these toxic chemicals in everyday life to fight any chances of the disease. Spread awareness, and stay healthy.