So little is known about the environmental risks for breast cancer that the Institute of Medicine has urged scientists to examine how a variety of environmental factors influence development of the disease, beginning in utero.
“We really need to learn more about the biological significance of various life stages at which environmental factors are encountered,” said Irva Hertz-Picciotto, PhD, MPH, chair of the committee that produced the institute's report, during a press briefing. “The breast tissue goes through its own life course with changing susceptibility over different stages of development,” added Hertz-Picciotto, of the University of California, Davis.
Voelker R. IOM Panel Urges Lifespan Study of Breast Cancer Risk. JAMA. 2012;307(1):23. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1913