BPA In Plastics Linked To Breast Cancer Tumour Growth

We live in a sea of plastics from cooking to drinking and many household objects. But this very handy material carries some real health dangers for women.


I have spoken before about the dangers of BPA (bishphenol-A) and for women at risk of breast cancer the need for the protective influence of bioidentical natural progesterone would seem to be more important than ever.

New research reported from biochemists at the University of Texas at Arlington has attempted to trace how bisphenol-A may promote breast cancer tumour growth with help from a molecule called RNA HOTAIR. This is an abbreviation for long, non-coding RNA, a part of DNA in humans and other vertebrates. HOTAIR does not produce a protein on its own but, when it is being expressed or functioning, it can suppress genes that would normally slow tumour growth or cause cancer cell death.

The researchers found that when breast cancer and mammary gland cells were exposed to BPA in lab tests, the BPA worked together with naturally present molecules, including oestrogen, to create abnormal amounts of HOTAIR expression. Subhrangsu Mandal, associate professor of chemistry/biochemistry, and Arunoday Bhan, a PhD student in Mandal’s lab, believe that their newly published study brings researchers a step closer to understanding how the commonly used synthetic compound bisphenol-A, or BPA, may promote breast cancer growth. Although not definitive proof, that BPA causes cancer growth, but it could well contribute because it is disrupting the genes that defend against that growth. The researchers were surprised to find that BPA not only increased HOTAIR in tumour cells but also in normal breast tissue.

Previous studies have linked BPA to problems with reproductive development, early puberty, obesity and cancers as well as developmental problems in children. It belongs to a class of endocrine disrupting chemicals which have been shown to mimic natural hormones. These endocrine disruptors interfere with hormone regulation and proper function of human cells, glands and tissue.

How to avoid BPA risk

If you are at a familial risk for breast cancer then clearly you do all you can to minimise that risk. BPA is found pretty much in all plastics, such as food storage containers, the lining of canned goods and, until recently, baby bottles from which it has now been banned. Switching to glass or china containers wherever possible is the first place to start and secondly is to ensure you have no symptoms of oestrogen dominance and good levels of progesterone.

Natural progesterone is known to have the effect of dampening down the stimulating effect of oestrogen breast tissues –and this is exactly what you wish to achieve to give yourself maximum protection against breast cancer. One of the main functions of progesterone is its ability to oppose excess oestrogen, which is at the root of breast cancer.

Synthetic progesterone (known as progestins or progestogens) as found in the Pill/Coil/HRT are linked to breast cancer and again bioidentical natural progesterone helps counter the side effects and restore the body to its natural hormone balance.