According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American women today.
- 1 out of every 8 women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime.
- About 40,000 women annually will die of breast cancer.
- Risk factors for breast cancer include personal and family health history, genetics, menstrual and reproductive history, race, and lifestyle choices.
Certain things in the environment may change the way a girl’s body develops as she grows, making her more vulnerable to developing breast cancer as an adult. In this context, the environmental includes the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, and things we touch and put on our skin.
Scientists in the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), are exploring whether exposure to certain chemicals and foods may change how girls’ bodies mature.