LOS ANGELES, April 16 (UPI) -- Environmental factors can increase the risk of breast cancer from cradle to menopause, according to researchers at Columbia University in New York.
Non-inherited, or epigenetic, changes in DNA can correlate with risk factors for breast cancer, according to findings being presented at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles.
Mary Beth B. Terry of the Columbia University School of Public Health collected information on childhood and adult exposures, along with blood samples and mammograms, from 263 women.
The researchers found differences in DNA depending on breast-cancer risk factors including racial group, smoking status, ethnic group and infant and childhood size.
Terry notes that although this pilot study used a very diverse sample, it was still relatively small, but a larger study is currently in progress.