Bay Area Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers Program FAQ Sheet

1. What is the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers Program?

A network of four research centers across the country in which teams of scientists, clinicians, and breast cancer advocates work together on a specific set of scientific questions that will focus on how chemical, physical, biological, and social factors in the environment work together with hereditary factors to cause breast cancer.

 

2. What are the goals of the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers Program?

One project will conduct studies on normal mammary gland at the molecular, cellular and organ level that parallel the steps in the development of cancer. Models for breast cancer development will be used to understand how environmental factors regulate cell behavior during development and conversion to cancer.

A second project will conduct a focused and coordinated study of the determinants of pubertal maturation in girls with attention paid to understanding the trend towards earlier puberty among adolescent girls, the identification of environmental exposures in young girls, and the relationship between genetic factors and environmental exposures that may put them at risk in the future for developing breast cancer.

 

3. What is the overall result expected of this program?

The overall outcomes of the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers will be a better understanding of environmental factors that may lead to breast cancer and to use this information to educate young girls and women at risk of developing breast cancer about the role(s) of specific environmental risks in breast cancer and how to reduce their exposure to those agents. This information will help develop public health programs for breast cancer prevention.

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