Where Were You Then? New Insights into Breast Cancer and the Environment

Principal Investigator:
Peggy Reynolds, Ph.D., David O. Nelson, Ph.D.
Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D. (City of Hope National Medical Center), Dennis Deapen, Dr.P.H. (University of Southern California)
Funding Source:
National Cancer Institute
Funding Period:
Study Website:
Most studies of breast cancer risk focus on exposures close to the time of diagnosis, but there has been emerging evidence that early life exposures may play an important role in development of the disease.  This is especially important given the burgeoning recognition that there are likely critical windows during which the breast may be especially susceptible to environmental insults, particularly for the time prior to a first full-term pregnancy.  In response to a challenge question posed by the National Institutes of Health (“What environmental factors change the risk of various cancers when people move from one geographic region to another?”), this project is designed to use new data linkage strategies to capture the complex migration patterns among participants in an established breast cancer cohort study (the California Teachers Study) to evaluate breast cancer risks related to air pollution exposures associated with changing residential and workplace locations over the course of a 30-year time span, with a particular emphasis on identifying air quality for residences around the time of a first full term pregnancy.

© Cancer Prevention Institute of California