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"Environmental health must shift from marginality to central position"



Faced with a sharp rise in breast and prostate cancer, politicians and scientists are calling for a forum in the "World" to look at endocrine disruptions in diagnostics.

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Pink October protest, the international breast cancer movement in Guadalajara, Mexico, on October 19th.
Pink October protest, the international breast cancer movement in Guadalajara, Mexico, on October 19th. Submitted Ruiz / AFP

A tribune. Pink October, against Breast Cancer and Momburn, a prostate awareness movement that invites men to grow their mustaches every November, are months dedicated to raising awareness of breast cancer screening and collection. research funds. But what kind of research are we talking about? Link to the presence of endocrine disrupters? So little. We are talking about prevention, but in terms of individual behavior. In both cases, great leave is good environmental health. And yet …

In France, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and the deadliest: in 2018, nearly 59,000 cases and 12,000 deaths. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in humans: 50,000 cases and 8,000 deaths. One in eight women and men will be affected in life. In both cases, aging accounts for only part of the evolution, especially as these cancers affect the growing number of young women and men. France ranks 4th in frequency according to International Cancer Research Agencye global breast site and 6e for the prostate.

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Faced with this epidemic, the current breast-based strategy for screening, primarily screening, proves insufficient. If screening reveals an existing disease, in principle, it does not address causes that are multifactorial. There is consensus that genetic causes of breast cancer account for only 5% to 10% of cases. The wider environment is the decisive reason. Evidence of this is that migrants adopt host-country rates. For the breast, we usually talk about alcohol, tobacco, lack of physical activity, unbalanced nutrition … all cause very real, but curiously, endocrine disruptions remain absent from the diagnosis.

The cancer plan in France refers to this only once, while scientific data is being accumulated to show that they are the main cause of hormone-dependent cancers. For bisphenol A (BPA) alone, there are 22 studies of carcinogenesis (breast and prostate) performed in mice and rats. Exposure to adulthood is included, but also before puberty and during pregnancy.

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