REVIEW PAPER - Environmental chemical risk factors of breast cancer in Nigeria I: Broad overview

Yetunde M. Olumide, Olusola O. Ayanlowo, Ayesha O. Akinkugbe, Erereoghor Otrofanowei

Abstract

Nigeria is currently experiencing a most disturbing level of incidence rate, morbidity and mortality from the ravages of female breast cancer, with its attendant burden of emotional, social and financial consequences. Tens of thousands of chemicals make their way into our everyday products and environment, with little regard for safety. The need to explore the impact of adverse environmental chemical exposures to breast health in Nigeria informed this study as there is need for public health approach to long term prevention.

After exploring the robust scientific database on environmental chemical risk factors for female breast cancer, we found that many mammary toxicants are ubiquitous in our environment in Nigeria but have been taken for granted as inevitable in normal life exposures. This study identifies some of the potential environmental chemical risk factors of breast cancer in Nigeria. We describe the special exposure scenarios in Nigeria and prescribe some modest but practical ways to mitigate exposures. The factors that constitute risk to breast cancer could potentially be modified either through community education or government action and regulation. The subject is discussed in multiple Parts before releasing the manuscripts for publication to prevent criminalizing only a few chemicals if discussed and published to the exclusion of others.

To our knowledge, this is the first ever comprehensive work on the subject in the African continent and is useful to typical developing countries as are found in sub-Saharan countries and elsewhere since findings and recommendations are usually generic in nature and mutually beneficial.

Keywords

Breast cancer, environmental chemical(s), risk factors (Nigeria)

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