MSU Researchers Looking for Cancer Link

By  | 

Inside MSU's Biomedical Physical Sciences Building, researchers are working on a way to prevent breast cancer.

They're looking at diets high in fat ...

MSU Professor Sandra Haslam explained, "You're talking about red meat, pretty much anything that's really high in saturated animal fat."

... and, your body's exposure to the chemical BP3 found in sunscreen.

"We know that high fat diet can increase the estrogen like effects of BP3, so it's a natural question to ask at this point, what would this do potentially?" added MSU Professor Richard Schwartz.

The two professors will be working together over the next five years to study mice with a high fat diet, mice exposed to BP3 and mice with the combination of the two.

"It takes about a year, year and a half, for the tumor to develop. So, it's not a really fast process. But, we will be looking at intermediate points to see if certain bio-markers emerge that can be associated with the promotion of cancer development," said Professor Haslam.

The $4.15 million grant will also fund education outreach, telling parents what to avoid to lower their children's risk.

"There are already plenty of reasons not to have a diet of bacon everyday," said Professor Schwartz. "We're not saying that people need to completely avoid fat, for instance, but they should be judicious in the kind of diet they choose."

And, consider choosing other sunscreens.

Professor Haslam added, "We can make small adjustments that may in fact be really important."

And, that important outcome is motivating for the students involved.

"If we can find anything ... whether something causes breast cancer or doesn't cause breast cancer, that's a big thing to publish and to let the world know," said Sophomore Julianna Joseph.

The researchers will also be sharing their results with researchers at the University of Cincinnati who are conducting a long-term study on a group of young woman.

We'll let you know if they make any breakthroughs.