Being diagnosed with breast cancer can feel absolutely horrific. But if there’s one thing that’s even more frightening than a breast cancer diagnosis, it’s knowing that there’s no hope for remission or maintenance through medical treatments. Research has recently found a possible way to know which cancer patients are at greater risk for conjuring treatment resistance, and that includes contact with BPA.
Human cancer cells are more potent and less responsive to clincially-approved cancer-battling drugs when they’ve come into contact with heightened amounts of BPA, indicates findings offered at the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society 2014 meeting.
“Routine exposures to common environmental chemicals like BPA appear to contribute to breast cancer cell progression and to diminish drug treatment efficacy,” offered Gayathri Devi, PhD, of Duke University during a press release.
Devi says that treatment failure is more common for individuals with inflammatory breast cancer. This is an uncommon, but more potent, form of the cancer that provides some of the worst survival rates. “Cancer patients must understand there’s a component in their daily lives that could influence their treatment outcome,” Devi continues.
Though it’s at least a bit chilling to think that BPA both can cause cancer and could also be hindering treatment methods for it, such research is a big step towards better understanding the environmental factors that impact breast cancer rates. With studies like these, researchers are establishing a pattern for additional investigation into tools that can identify patients with greater risk factors of treatment resistance.
Fortunately, coming into contact with these environmental risk factors aren’t totally inevitable. “Researchers estimate that 50 to 75 percent of cancers are the result of modifiable risk factors,” says Mary Gemignani, MD, MPH, author of The Ultimate Guide to Breast Cancer.
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