A new report released this week concludes that there are lifestyle changes women can take to reduce breast cancer risk. As readers of Positive Results know, we devoted an entire chapter to this important topic and we welcome further research in this area, which is as of yet far from clear.
Here is a short summary of the conclusions reached in the Institute of Medicine Report released this week:
"—Yes: Hormone therapy combining estrogen and progestin, excess weight after menopause, alcohol consumption and radiation from too many medical tests, especially during childhood. The panel doesn't say how much radiation is too much, but says two or three abdominal CT scans give as much as atomic bomb survivors received. Mammograms use minuscule amounts and should not be avoided. Oral contraceptives slightly raise breast cancer risk while taken, although cancer rates are very low in the age groups that use them.
—No: Hair dyes and the kind of radiation from cellphones, microwaves and electronic gadgets.
—Possible: Secondhand smoke, nighttime shift work and exposure to benzene and a couple other chemicals through jobs or from breathing car fumes or pumping gas. It is "biologically plausible" that BPA and certain other plastics ingredients might affect estrogen, which fuels most breast cancers, but evidence is mostly in animals and lab tests — not enough to judge whether they harm people, the panel concluded."
Dr. Ora Gordon commented on the study in a CBS interview this week: Studies Show Women Can Control Many Breast Cancer Risk Factors « CBS Philly.
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