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Women who lived in areas with high levels of air pollution early in their lives or at the time of giving birth to their first child may be more likely to receive a positive breast cancer test later in life, according to a new investigation from University of Buffalo researchers.
Their findings showed that women who lived in highly polluted areas early in their lives had alterations of genes that are essential to a molecular process that keeps cells functioning normally. A decrease in this function is known to increase breast cancer risk.
Furthermore, those who lived in areas with high levels of air pollution during the time of giving birth to their first child had mutations of another gene associated with tumor suppression.
The researchers gained their results after studying the medical and residential histories of 1,170 women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1996 and 2001. They said that the results are important because they give the first indication that air pollution may be connected to an increased breast cancer risk.
Given the fact that this issue could touch many women throughout the course of their lives, they added that more research into the subject is needed.
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