More than 14,000 Marin women are taking part in a groundbreaking study on breast cancer, evaluating everything from diet, to age at which they have children to use of hormone replacement therapy, the Marin Independent Journal is reporting.
Breast cancer rates in Marin County are at least 15 percent higher than in all other counties in California, according to research. Now the Marin Women's Study is collecting life histories and saliva samples in an attempt to crack the puzzle of what’s behind the spike.
"The study is already yielding vital results for the women of this community and beyond," Rochelle Ereman, head of the county’s epidemiology program, told the IJ. "It's full value will continue to be demonstrated over the next decade. It is designed to, over time, be able to assess and describe breast cancer risk in Marin, years from now, with findings applicable to women across the nation."
Research is already showing the use of hormone replacement therapy, having children later in life and having Ashkenazi Jewish heritage are all risk factors, according to the story. Another is exposure to carcinogens such as cadmium and bisphenol found in plastic water bottles.
Scientists hope the findings lead to better assessment and identification of women who have a higher risk of breast cancer.
The research is being conducted in conjunction with the Buck Institute for Age Research, the Cancer Prevention Institute, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Kaiser Permanente, Marin Cancer Institute, the University of California and Zero Breast Cancer.
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