Pollutants and breast cancer

I had a doubt wheather living near or in the polluted city like my one (Navi Mumbai )leads to breast cancer early on ?

Is there any role of heavy metals like Arsenic,lead ,mercury in causation of breast cancer?

How do BRCA germline mutations occur suddenly to a lady in pink of health ,without having any previous hereditary history ?

Experts please opine.

7 Replies

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  • Unfortunately, your questions do not have an answer and to be honest, we will never have an answer. There are many factors all around us, responsible for causation of cancer and we do not know which and how. And we will never know. Even if pollutants, for example, were one of the cause, is there anything one can do about it? Whole India is dirty and in same situation and there is just no indication of people even bothered even at individual level.

    The only thing one can do about cancer, is to catch it early. Early detection definitely gives a good chance to cure. See the SEER statistics of US. They ran early detection campaigns since 1980. In US, 99percent people go for scientifically proven treatments and not alternate therapy. It took them till 2002 to achieve some reversal in death rate and finally, now, after 2012, the deaths from BC in US has gone down. It took them 30 years to achieve this! 30 years of dedicated screening, education, support, scientific approach, etc. so now you can imagine what India is staring at. For India, the death rate will only rise for next 30 to 50 years, till we aggressively educate at least 50 percent of population in the country. Do you think it is possible?

    Anyways, BRCA mutations can happen spontaneously also; and then can be passed on.

  • Thanks a lot Dr Sumeet for thoughtful reply involving all the aspects of disease especially Indian context.

    My worry is abt particular patient ,if she is getting long term exposure to lead or Arsenic all unknowingly through air she breathes ,water she drinks everyday ;then treating that itself will be helpful in terms of reducing further recurrences ?Or is it "once a cancer ,always a cancer "situation for her !

  • We dont know whether there is exposure to lead or arsenic or not, either through air or water. I would suggest you to not worry about that. Just ensure she eats wholesome, balanced food; eats at least a fruit a day and does some form of exercise daily.

  • Ok.Sorry for thinking like weirdo.

  • Not at all! I would think that too, if I were in your place. I know how it feels. To try to go to the last mile and do the maximum. What you are thinking clearly shows your love for your loved one. I am with you.

  • Let me surprise both of you....

    Arsenic in drinking water linked to 50 percent drop in breast cancer deaths.

    news.berkeley.edu/2014/10/2...

  • Ohh, that's surprising .But at the same time it is in a way good news to know.Thanks doctor.

    Anyways I am just happy to follow what Dr Sumeet Shah advised me.

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