Hazardous Air Pollutants and Breast Cancer Risk

Principal Investigator:
Peggy Reynolds, Ph.D., David O. Nelson, Ph.D.
Funding Source:
Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, California Breast Cancer Research Program
Funding Period:
Study Website:
It has long been noted that breast cancer is more common among women who live in urban compared to rural areas.  While it is thought that some of the excess breast cancer in urban areas is due to lifestyle factors associated with urban living, a number of studies have suggested that this excess remains after these factors are taken into account.  This has led to the hypothesis that urban-related environmental pollution my play a role in the development of breast cancer. California is home to some of the highest breast cancer rates in the world with notably high rates seen in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas of the State.   These areas also have high concentrations of some hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), including a number that have been shown to cause breast cancer in laboratory animals.  The purpose of this project is to evaluate the risk of breast cancer associated with exposures to hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) among members of the California Teachers Study (CTS) cohort.  The CTS, initiated in 1995, includes nearly 125,000 women residing throughout the state of California who have been followed prospectively for breast cancer incidence for nearly two decades.  This study will evaluate both individual compounds and selected groups of HAPs that share similar toxicological or physical properties, as well as employ advanced tree-based statistical methods to address some of the special challenges presented by exposure to complex mixtures.

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