According to The Los Angeles Times there is a new enemy to watch out for in the fight against breast cancer. New research provides some facts that environmental chemicals that are similar to estrogen’s effects may add to women’s risk of certain cancers. In a conclusion that strengthens the association between environmental pollutants and rising rates of breast cancer, new research finds that women who have diets that contain elevated levels of cadmium are at higher risk of having a breast cancer diagnosis than those who consume less of the industrial chemical in their food. Cadmium, a heavy metal which has been identified as a carcinogen for some time now, seeps into crops from fertilizers and when precipitation or sewage sludge drop it onto farmland. Whole grains, potatoes, other vegetables and shellfish are the main dietary sources of cadmium, which can also become airborne as a pollutant if fossil fuels are burned, and is commonly inhaled as well as ingested. The new study published by the American Assn. for Cancer Research and released Thursday, discovered that among 55,987 women who have been through menopause, the one-third with the highest cadmium intakes were 21% more likely to get breast cancer than the one-third with the lowest intakes. Among obese women, the study discovered no increase in breast cancer rates with higher cadmium exposures. It can be very confusing and discouraging trying to keep up with new information concerning the best ways to avoid breast cancer. Dr. Kim informs his breast surgery patients including those who have had breast augmentation, breast reduction, or breast lift that early detection for breast cancer still remains one of the best ways to increase the chance of survival after a diagnosis. Patients are advised to continue the American Cancer Society’s recommendation for early detection. This includes monthly breast self-exams as well as annual mammograms at age 40 and beyond. Patients who have a strong family history of breast cancer are encouraged to maintain a close relationship with their primary care physician who may request additional screenings. It is important that women focus on breast care for a lifetime.