Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Hampton Professor Conducts Study Linking Cigarette Smoke to Breast Cancer

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Hampton Professor Conducts Study Linking Cigarette Smoke to Breast Cancer

Article excerpt

HAMPTON, VA.

A new study links cadmium, a metal found in cigarette smoke and shellfish, to breast cancer.

Findings from the study, conducted by Hampton University biology professor Dr. Nicholas Kenney and several researchers at the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University, were published in the July issue of Nature Medicine. According to the study, cadmium mimics the effects of estrogen in the uterus and the mammary gland.

"Here we find for the first time that a heavy metal can mimic the effects of estrogen in stimulating abnormal growth in the breast," says Kenney, who also holds a joint appointment at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Kenney said secondhand smoke and other environmental factors may be acting as pseudo estrogen. According to the NCI, evidence suggests that the longer a woman is exposed to estrogen--either made by the body, taken as a drug or delivered by a patch--the more likely she is to develop breast cancer.

The team of researchers used very low levels of cadmium to conduct their experiments end found that cadmium can modulate the estrogen receptor. …

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