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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 212-214

Organochlorine pesticide exposure as a risk factor for breast cancer in young Indian women: A case–control study

1 Department of Surgery, UCMS and GTB Hospital, Delhi, India
2 Department of Biochemistry, UCMS and GTB Hospital, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Navneet Kaur
Department of Surgery, UCMS and GTB Hospital, Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sajc.sajc_427_18

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Background: Incidence rates of breast cancer are showing an increasing trend in young women (≤40 years) in India. Risk for breast cancer in this age group can be attributed only partially to various known risk factors. Environmental exposure to organochlorine (OC) compounds has been identified as a potential risk factor. However, the possible role of OC compounds in increasing breast cancer risk in young women has not been explored. This case–control study was planned with the objectives to assess the serum levels of OC compound in a North Indian population of young women. Materials and Methods: Forty-two patients of breast cancer ≤ 40 years age and 42 age-matched controls were evaluated for exposure to OC compounds by performing assays in blood samples for pesticides such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its metabolites DDD and DDE; dieldrin; aldrin; methoxychlor, heptachlor; α-endosulfan; β-endosulfan; and hexachlorocyclohexane and its isomers (α, β, and γ). Results: Young women with breast cancer were found to have significantly higher serum levels of all the OC compounds except aldrin, p, p' DDT, and methoxychlor. Conclusions: Exposure to OC pesticides could be an important modifiable risk factor for breast cancer, especially in younger women.

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