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Cancer risk on the rise as average woman’s breasts are larger than ever before

08/06/2012

According to a new book, an author said the trend is damaging women’s health.

Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence William, found breasts are developing in girls earlier than at any time in recorded history, revealing that the biology of breasts is changing – and not for the better.

The author details a number of alarming trends that may be contributing to the high rate of breast cancer in the U.S. – today and in years to come.

Women’s breasts are expanding with their waistlines, Ms William told USA Today.

Weight gain has been associated with an increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.

Girls also are hitting puberty earlier than ever before – another trend that increases their long-term breast cancer risk.

Breasts today are also under assault from pollutants, Ms William says.

Because chemicals such as PCBs and mercury are stored in fatty tissue, they tend to end up in breasts – and breast milk.

‘Breast-feeding, it turns out, is a very efficient way to transfer our society’s industrial flotsam to the next generation,’ she writes.

‘Our breasts soak up pollution… Breasts carry the burden of the mistakes we have made.’

While nursing her second child, Ms Williams had a sample of her own milk analysed.

It contained perchlorate, an ingredient in jet fuel, as well as chemical flame retardants, at levels 10 to 100 times higher than in European women.

Ms William says she believes in breast-feeding, and spends considerable time in her book noting its benefits for a baby’s brain, body and immune system.

But she notes that many industrial toxins will persist in our bodies – and our children’s bodies – for years, long enough for today’s baby girls to pass them on to their own children.

‘Our bodies are intimately connected to the world around us,’ she writes. ‘If we live in an environment filled with pollution, these things will and do affect our health.’
By Chris Murphy

From → The blog

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