Here is a health alert out of California, where researchers have tied a very common metal to breast cancer. They found that cadmium, a heavy metal found in cosmetics, food, water and air, makes breast cancer cells more aggressive.
This would seem to have a big impact on cancer treatment for all patients. The research shows that exposure to cadmium for prolonged periods of time can cause the progression of breast cancer to become more aggressive. This health breakthrough was presented in late April at a major medical meeting in San Diego.
Breast cancer is caused by abnormal growth of cells in the mammary gland. The normal growth of that gland and its cells is governed by estrogen levels. Here’s the issue: heavy metals such as cadmium can mimic estrogen, thereby disrupting the pathways where estrogen is released.
While you’d have to work in a manufacturing facility to have chronic cadmium exposure, it remains quite common in our environment. Cadmium is all around us — it is in our food, our water, our cosmetics and our air. Understanding the role that cadmium plays in the progression of breast cancer is extremely important in order to find better ways to prevent the disease from advancing.
A full 90% of all cancer deaths are due to cancer spreading to other parts of the body. Prevent that tumor from spreading and you could treat cancer effectively.
In recent years, studies have shown that cadmium plays a significant role in the development of breast cancer. This new one shows that being exposed too often can cause the development of more malignant characteristics in breast cancer cells. At the same time, even small concentrations of this metal at prolonged exposures can cause breast cancer cell growth.
Cadmium is produced mainly as a byproduct from mining, smelting and refining zinc, lead and copper. Rocks mined to produce phosphate fertilizers also contain varying amounts of cadmium. Cadmium also is found in rechargeable batteries and cigarette smoke. Cadmium enters the body through consumption of contaminated food or water or inhalation of cigarette smoke.
What seems to happen is that the breast cancer cells invade through a cellular matrix if they are exposed to cadmium often. That matrix is the outer barrier of an organ or tissue. Being invasive is a characteristic of spreading cancer. Researchers found that certain cells chronically exposed to cadmium express higher levels of “SDF-1.” This is a protein associated with tumor invasion and metastasis.
Search cadmium on the Internet for more information on how best to limit your exposure.
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