Endocrine disruptors from the environment affecting breast cancer (Review)
- Gloria M. Calaf
- Richard Ponce‑Cusi
- Francisco Aguayo
- Juan P. Muñoz
- Tammy C. Bleak
Affiliations: Instituto de Alta Investigación, Universidad de Tarapacá, Arica 1000000, Chile, Programa de Virología, Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago 8380000, Chile
- Published online on: April 22, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2020.11566
Copyright: © Calaf
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Commons Attribution License.
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Evaluation of carcinogenic substances from the environment is a challenge for scientists. Recently, a novel approach based on 10 key characteristics of human carcinogens classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has emerged. Carcinogenesis depends on different mechanisms and factors, including genetic, infectious (bacteria, viruses) and environmental (chemicals) factors. Endocrine disruptors are exogenous chemicals that can interfere and impair the function of the endocrine system due to their interaction with estrogen receptors or their estrogen signaling pathways inducing adverse effects in the normal mammary development, originating cancer. They are heterogeneous chemicals and include numerous synthetic substances used worldwide in agriculture, industry and consumer products. The most common are plasticizers, such as bisphenol A (BPA), pesticides, such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Xenoestrogens appear to serve an important role in the increased incidence of breast cancer in the United States and numerous other countries. Several studies have demonstrated the role of organochlorine xenoestrogens in breast cancer. Therefore, the overall cumulative exposure of women to estrogens results in an increased risk for this type of cancer. Factors like lifestyle and diet also serve a role in the increased incidence of this disease. The aim of the present study was to analyze these chemical compounds based on the key characteristics given by the IARC, with a special focus on breast cancer, to establish whether these compounds are carcinogens, and to create a model for future analysis of other endocrine disruptors.