Today, it is breast and prostate cancer – two cancers which are “hormone dependent” and linked to our sex organs – that dominate the cancer epidemic. During the past 30 years – a period in which our exposure to chemicals has grown rapidly – the toll of breast cancer cases in women has increased 97%.
As well as the traditional risk factors, it is widely understood that levels of natural and synthetic chemicals in a woman’s body play a role.
Trends in incidence also suggest that hormone disruption from synthetic chemicals may also be playing a role in breast cancer. Professor Vyvyan Howard, University of Ulster, says: “Certain cancers, particularly hormonal dependent cancers, are increasing in incidence. In the 1960s, a woman had about a chance of 1 in 20 of developing breast cancer. It is now one in eight in the UK, it has changed enormously and during a period in which we saw an increase in environmental chemical loads, particularly with chemicals that are known to be able to mimic our own hormones.”