Thursday, October 19, 2006

UC Study: Does crime contribute to cancer?

According to a Tribune article, a study at the U of C is looking into the relationship between stress (perhaps related to crime) and sponetanous mutations associated with cancer:
At the University of Chicago, meanwhile, a large federally funded study is under way to look at social factors that might bring about biological changes that lead to breast cancer. The team includes specialists in the medical, biological, behavioral and social sciences.
"Between 70 and 80 percent of all breast cancers are due to sporadic mutations, not inherited mutations. That means it's things that happen in the environment," Gehlert said.
"We think that if you live in really adverse circumstances in a neighborhood with a lot of crime, so the threat's always there, you'll be afraid to go out and will develop what we call a dysregulated stress response," she said. "And you'll be more likely to have spontaneous mutations of the breast cancer genes."

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