The Hygiene Hypothesis and Breast Cancer: A Novel Application of an Etiologic Theory for Allergies, Asthma, and Other Immune Disorders
Final rept. 1 May 2005-30 Apr 2009
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CANCER CENTER FREMONT CA
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The hygiene hypothesis, the idea that reduced exposure to important microbes, especially in childhood, impacts development of asthma and allergies, may have application to breast cancer. This research project aims to explore the hygiene hypothesis as it might relate to breast cancer development, thereby assessing its utility for more comprehensive future research. This research project aimed to interview a population-based series of Californian women recently diagnosed with breast cancer and a matched set of healthy control women as regards age-specific experiences relevant to microbial exposures. We interviewed by telephone 379 women aged 50-79 recently diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during the period 112004 and 9312005 and 310 community women without breast cancer, matched on age and race and identified through mailing lists. After consideration of established risk factors for breast cancer, we found significantly protective associations worthy of further analysis for several categories of exposures including 1 school exposures, including attendance at preschool and kindergarten, and ever living at a boarding school where one lived in a dorm. 2 living within mile of barns or stables and 3 current consumption of lactobacilli-containing supplements. These findings are now being followed up in a separate application to the National Cancer Institute.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medicine and Medical Research