Our response to a new study suggesting a link between high air pollution and women's breast density.

Thursday 6 April 2017      Latest research

A study of nearly 280,000 women in the United States has found that living in areas with a high level of fine particles from air pollution may increase a woman’s chance of having dense breasts – a well-established risk factor for breast cancer – according to a new study published in the open access journal Breast Cancer Research.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“This is a thought-provoking finding, however the direct association between air pollutants and breast cancer risk remains unclear. The evidence in this study linking air pollution to the highest levels of breast density was inconclusive and so further research is now needed.

“What these findings clearly demonstrate is the need for us to continue investing in studies like these which aim to pinpoint the contributing causes of breast cancer.

“Breast density is an important risk factor in the development breast cancer. While research is yet to determine how women might reduce their breast density, we do know that there are simple steps all women can take to reduce their risk of breast cancer, such as being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing alcohol intake.”