Breast Cancer Risk and DDT: No Verdict Yet

By Fackelmann, Kathy A. | Science News, April 23, 1994 | Go to article overview

Breast Cancer Risk and DDT: No Verdict Yet


Fackelmann, Kathy A., Science News


Results of a new study challenge the theory that DDT increases the risk of breast cancer. However, many scientists, including the study's authors, warn that it's premature to discount the link between this pesticide and the malignancy.

In a related report, investigators at the New York State Department of Health discovered an association between industrial pollution and breast cancer.

The DDT-breast cancer hypothesis gained ground last year when Mary S. Wolff of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City published a study showing that women who suffer from the disease tend to exhibit more traces of DDT and its dangerous breakdown product, DDE, in their bloodstream (SN: 4/24/93, p.262). Some researchers believe that DDT and DDE mimic the action of the hormone estrogen and thus fuel the growth of certain breast tumors.

In the new study, epidemiologist Nancy Krieger of the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute in Oakland, Calif., and her colleagues homed in on 300 women who had taken a comprehensive physical examination during the late 1960s, when DDT was commonly used in the United States. The researchers studied 150 women who developed breast cancer an average of 14 years after that examination and 150 women who did not develop cancer and thus served as controls.

Krieger's group analyzed the concentrations of DDE in blood samples that had been obtained at the time of each exam and frozen for later use. In addition, they looked at concentrations of another chemical suspected of playing a rile in breast cancer: polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

In the April 20 JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE, the researchers describe their surprising results. Unlike the earlier study, this one found no overall association between such pesticide residues and breast cancer.

When the researchers sorted the data by race, however, a more complicated picture emerged. Black women with high concentrations of DDE showed an increased risk of breast cancer, a finding that did not quite reach statistical significance. White women showed a hint of heightened risk at high concentrations of this pesticide. Yet among the Asian women in the study, increased concentrations of DDE actually signaled a decreased risk of breast cancer, a finding that did not reach statistical significance. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Breast Cancer Risk and DDT: No Verdict Yet
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.