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Investigator Names and Contact Information
Polly Newcomb, Ph.D. [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Most of the established risk factors for breast cancer are believed to act through changes in endogenous or exogenous hormone levels. Cadmium is a widespread heavy metal environmental pollutant resulting from industrial and agricultural practices, which accumulates in the body over a lifetime. In vitro experiments show that cadmium may have estrogenic properties. Therefore, we hypothesize that cadmium body burden is a risk factor for breast cancer. We have previously found an association between high cadmium body burden, assessed by measurement of urinary cadmium, and risk of breast cancer in a pilot, cross-sectional case-control study. We now plan to test further test our hypothesis within the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study. The ~11,000 participants in the WHI Bone Density sub-study donated urine prospectively at enrollment in the study. We plan to conduct a case-cohort study to assay these urine samples for cadmium burden, and combined with questionnaire data, examine the association between urinary cadmium level and incidence of breast cancer.