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Granada-born researcher warns that female university students have the profile of women prone to develop breast cancer


The risks of suffering from breast cancer are mostly linked to reproductive habits. This is not goods news for female university students today, as they have the profile of potential ill breast cancer patients. The research coordinator of the Hospital Clinico of Granada, Dr. Nicolás Olea, reasserts this idea with a study he carried out with over 500 women who were admitted to that hospital between 1996 and 1998 to have a breast cancer-related operation. Approximately half of them had a breast tumour removed, whereas the rest was due to other medical reasons.

The result was that young female university students accumulate all the risk factors that researchers led by Dr. Olea describe as ‘instigating factors’ of this disease. ‘The abuse of cosmetics, alcohol and tobacco are some of them’, he stressed. In addition to this, their lifestyles do not meet the preventive standards described by this Granada Dr.- to have the first child before they are 19, to have more than 4 children, and to accumulate 36 months of breast feeding. In his project, these guidelines are considered by Dr. Olea as ‘significant in breast cancer prevention’. He assures that if they are not followed, ‘the risk of having a tumour is four times higher’. This is why Dr. Olea looks back to the past to give examples of a healthy lifestyle.

The reason is that maternity decreases the levels of estrogens in the body, a sexual female hormone that in normal amounts is essential for conditioning women’s normal reproductive development. This is why breast cancer is associated to reproductive habits. However, the problem lies in an excessive concentration of this hormone, also present in the environment. According to him, cosmetics include it under the chemical name of parabens, ftalos and some ultra-violet filters such as benzonphenon All these are substances that act and take the place of estrogens’ body functions. ‘To put it simple, they do act as hormones and strengthen their effects’, he explains.

In addition to this, the frames of television sets, house appliances and plastics or fabrics with flame-retarding properties have similar components and effects. In fact some persistent pesticides were forbidden years ago by the authorities due to these reasons. Even so, Dr. Olea has some doubts about some of their components, such as endosulphan and dicophol. ‘They put women who work in the fields at risk, as they are still used in large amounts today’.

Ismael Gaona | alfa
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