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Chronic Toxicity of Some Heavy Metals and Breast Cancer in Egyptian Females

Heavy metals as environmental pollutants have been recognized to have a role in induction of malignant human
growths. Recently, certain heavy metals showed a close association to breast cancer. This research was conducted
to find out the role of some toxic heavy metals (cadmium, iron, copper, lead and zinc) in induction of breast cancer
in-vivo. The study was carried out on 100 female patients: 75 with breast cancer (cancerous group) and 25 with
benign breast diseases (non-cancerous group). Patients were chosen from those attending to the Oncology Center,
Mansoura University. Heavy metals concentrations were measured in the urine and breast tissue samples using
inductive coupled plasma (ICP) – spectrometer. The present results showed a significant increase in urine and tissue
cadmium concentrations and urine copper concentration in cancerous patients compared to their corresponding
non-cancerous ones (p < 0.05). Also, there was a significant reduction in iron concentration in urine samples of
cancerous group compared to their corresponding non-cancerous one (p < 0.05). On the other hand, lead had no
significant difference between cancerous and non cancerous groups but it was generally high in the tissue samples
while zinc had no significant difference between studied groups. It could be concluded that the present study posits
a causal association between cadmium and copper increase with reduction of iron and breast cancer.

Published on 02-06-2013