MONDAY, Sept. 25, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), phenols, and parabens are associated with a previous cancer diagnosis, according to a study published online Sept. 18 in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology.
Amber L. Cathey, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to assess cross-sectional associations between biomarkers of PFAS, phenols, and parabens and self-reported previous cancer diagnoses among men and women aged 20 years and older. Concentrations of seven PFAS and 12 phenols/parabens were extracted, and the associated odds ratios for self-reported previous diagnoses of melanoma and cancers of the thyroid, breast, ovary, uterus, and prostate were assessed.
The researchers found that in women, greater perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDE), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUA) were associated with increased odds of previous melanoma (odds ratios [ORs], 2.07, 1.72, and 1.76, respectively). Among women, a previous melanoma diagnosis was also linked to elevated levels of benzophenone-3 (BP3), 2,5-dichlorophenol (DCP25), and 2,4-dichlorophenol (ORs, 1.81, 2.41, and 1.85, respectively). In addition, the odds of previous ovarian cancer were increased in association with elevated levels of DCP25, bisphenol-A, and BP3 (ORs, 2.80, 1.93, and 1.76, respectively). Odds of previous uterine cancer were increased in association with increased PFNA (OR, 1.55), while the highest versus lowest category of ethyl paraben resulted in lower odds of uterine cancer (OR, 0.31).
“These PFAS chemicals appear to disrupt hormone function in women, which is one potential mechanism that increases odds of hormone-related cancers in women,” Cathey said in a statement.
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