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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15683-15691; doi:10.3390/ijerph121215013

Assessing Heavy Metal and PCB Exposure from Tap Water by Measuring Levels in Plasma from Sporadic Breast Cancer Patients, a Pilot Study

1
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
2
Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
3
Laboratory for Environmental Analysis, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
4
Department of Genetics, Medical Partnership, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA; Davidson Life Sciences Building, 120 East Green St., Athens, GA 30602, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 18 August 2015 / Revised: 19 November 2015 / Accepted: 3 December 2015 / Published: 9 December 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [404 KB, uploaded 9 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

Breast cancer (BrCA) is the most common cancer affecting women around the world. However, it does not arise from the same causative agent among all women. Genetic markers have been associated with heritable or familial breast cancers, which may or may not be confounded by environmental factors, whereas sporadic breast cancer cases are more likely attributable to environmental exposures. Approximately 85% of women diagnosed with BrCA have no family history of the disease. Given this overwhelming bias, more plausible etiologic mechanisms should be investigated to accurately assess a woman’s risk of acquiring breast cancer. It is known that breast cancer risk is highly influenced by exogenous environmental cues altering cancer genes either by genotoxic mechanisms (DNA mutations) or otherwise. Risk assessment should comprehensively incorporate exposures to exogenous factors that are linked to a woman’s individual susceptibility. However, the exact role that some environmental agents (EA) play in tumor formation and/or cancer gene regulation is unclear. In this pilot project, we begin a multi-disciplinary approach to investigate the intersection of environmental exposures, cancer gene response, and BrCA risk. Here, we present data that show environmental exposure to heavy metals and PCBs in drinking water, heavy metal presence in plasma of nine patients with sporadic BrCA, and Toxic Release Inventory and geological data for a metal of concern, uranium, in Northeast Georgia. View Full-Text
Keywords: sporadic breast cancer; PCBs; heavy metals; uranium sporadic breast cancer; PCBs; heavy metals; uranium
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zimeri, A.M.; Robb, S.W.; Hassan, S.M.; Hire, R.R.; Davis, M.B. Assessing Heavy Metal and PCB Exposure from Tap Water by Measuring Levels in Plasma from Sporadic Breast Cancer Patients, a Pilot Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 15683-15691.

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