Rachel Shaffer is a research assistant.
Our mothers are no doubt on our minds right now, after Mother’s Day weekend. And I am no exception, especially since, as I blogged about last year, this month is the anniversary of my own mother’s breast cancer diagnosis.
This year though, in addition to celebrating my mother’s recovery, I can find hope in a new report from researchers at the Silent Spring Institute that provides guidance to improve our ability to screen for and study potential breast carcinogens — thereby enhancing efforts to prevent this widespread disease. Good news, certainly… and a timely gift for all of the women in our lives.
This new report describes biomonitoring methods for 102 breast carcinogens with high exposure potential and identifies existing cohort studies into which these methods could be integrated immediately. These chemicals are among the 216 previously identified by the authors as chemicals linked to mammary gland tumors in rodents. By testing for exposure markers of these priority breast carcinogens in the population, researchers should be able to better identify and study high-risk groups, and regulators will be better able both to limit dangerous exposures and to demonstrate the public health benefits of these exposure reductions.
The full report is available online, but I want to highlight a few key themes that are particularly relevant to current scientific and political debates. Read More