City life causes higher risk of breast cancer
NEW RESEARCH HAS revealed that city life could lead to an increased risk of developing breast cancer. The study concluded that factors including stress contribute to making women in urban areas ‘significantly’ more likely to contract the disease than those living in the countryside.
The research studied the breast composition of 972 women, comparing mammograms and postal codes. Scientists took the mammograms and looked at breast density, which is caused by the amount of glandular tissue in the physical make up of the breast. The denser the breast then the more likely that cancer will develop.
Women in London were found to have the densest breasts, with those between 45 and 54 being twice as dense as those of women for other parts of the country. Density decreased the further away the women lived from urban centres.
Co-author of the study, Stephen Duffy, Cancer Research UK’s professor of screening, commented that the findings could be entirely related to weight. ‘We do not yet know why this is, but it may simply be related to weight. The Health Survey for England found that women living in London were the thinnest in the country, and breast density is known to be inversely related to body weight.’
Other factors cited as reasons behind the increased rates of the disease in cities include alcohol and number of children. The researchers added that women in cities also are exposed to far more pollution, which can mimic the effects of sex hormones and stimulate breast tissue.