Perspectives of breast cancer etiology: Synergistic interaction between smoking and exogenous hormone use

Hong Hong Zhu, Cao Hui Hu, Paul Strickland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To explore breast cancer etiology, literature was searched using Medline. We explored the (1) plausibility of smoking in breast carcinogenesis; (2) physiological properties, susceptibility windows, and exposure timing of breast cells; (3) role of exogenous hormones in breast carcinogenesis; (4) biological mechanism of synergistic interactions between smoking and exogenous hormones in breast carcinogenesis; and (5) evidence from epidemiologic studies and the fitted secular trend between smoking rate, exogenous hormone use, and breast cancer incidence in past decades. We deduced that exogenous hormone use per se is not a significant cause and its association with breast cancer is distorted by chronic exposure to environmental carcinogens, especially smoking. We hypothesize that smoking is one of the causes of breast cancer and that this causality is strengthened by synergistic interaction between smoking and exogenous hormone use. Physicians should be cautious of prescribing exogenous hormones for those with chronic exposure to environmental carcinogens to prevent breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-441
Number of pages9
JournalChinese Journal of Cancer
Volume30
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

Keywords

  • Breast cancer etiology
  • Exogenous hormone use
  • Mechanism
  • Smoking
  • Synergistic interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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