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Being exposed to higher levels of the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, may increase a woman's risk receiving a positive breast cancer test later in life, according to a new study published in the journal Molecular Endocrinology.
The researchers said their findings confirm concerns that were raised years ago when BPA was first starting to be developed. Given the fact that the chemical was originally synthesized as an estrogen compound, it was speculated that it may disrupt processes in the body that involve this hormone.
For the study, the researchers from the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research who conducted the study exposed female mice to levels of BPA that were similar to what would be found in the average human. After these mice gave birth, they then transferred the offspring to a BPA-free environment.
The results showed that those mice that were exposed to the chemical in the womb tended to experience abnormal breast development and were more likely to develop breast cancer.
"While we cannot extrapolate these results directly from mice to humans, the possibility that some of the increase in breast cancer incidence observed over the past decades may be attributed to exposure to BPA cannot be dismissed," said lead researcher Cathrin Brisken.
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