Breast Cancer and the Environment

In 2003, a consortium of Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers (BCERC) were developed through a partnership between the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and National Cancer Institute (NCI). These centers – including one at Mount Sinai – were established to promote research that examines how environmental exposures could alter the risk of breast cancer development.

In 2010, the BCERP was established as a continuation of the early centers. This program sponsors a network of scientists, clinicians, and breast cancer advocates who determine how chemical, physical, biological, and social factors in the environment interact with genetic factors to cause breast cancer. A major part of this program focuses on the impact of prepubertal exposures that may affect pubertal development and predispose a woman to breast cancer. Pubertal development is one period of the lifespan considered to be a “window of susceptibility,” where individuals may be more susceptible to environment exposures.

At the Children’s Environmental Health Center (CEHC), our scientists are engaged in epidemiologic research that examines the role of the environment on early childhood risk factors for breast cancer – addressing windows of environmental influences throughout the lifespan.

To learn more about CEHC’s work on breast cancer, please visit our page on breast cancer, endocrine disruptors, and early puberty.