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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 05/08/07
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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Community Forum Discusses Links Between Environment and Cancer

CINCINNATI—People who want to understand how environmental exposures can affect their overall health are invited to attend the third annual public forum on the environment and cancer offered by the Cincinnati Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Center (BCERC).

The event—“Looking Upstream for Environmental Links to Breast Cancer”—is a resource for anyone who wants to understand how the environment might affect their risk for cancer and other diseases.

It takes place Saturday, May 12, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at UC’s Genome Research Institute, 2180 Galbraith Rd.

Marcia Herman-Giddens, DrPH, adjunct professor of maternal and child health at the University of North Carolina, will give a keynote address on early onset puberty, the environment and the breaking down of cultural boundaries defining childhood and puberty in America. Herman-Giddens is internationally known for her research on puberty, childhood growth, media and other environmental influences that can influence childhood development and health.

Frank Biro, MD, a UC professor of pediatrics and adolescent medicine physician at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, will give an update on a local epidemiologic (population) study, called “Growing Up Female,” that focuses on environmental and genetic factors that might contribute to early onset puberty. In addition, UC researchers will speak on research related to fatty acids and obesity and environmental estrogens that exist in hard plastics—such as bisphenol A—and their links to cancer.

Hiba Ernst, PhD, a researcher with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will also talk about how the organization monitors and regulates water quality.

Established in 2003, the Cincinnati BCERC—one of only four such centers in the nation—is a joint research effort between the UC College of Medicine and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The BCERC’s work focuses on potential links between environmental factors, puberty and breast cancer, and on educating the community about its findings. The center is funded by a seven-year grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Cancer Institute.

The center has three primary projects: a laboratory research study looking at the effects of diet on mammary gland development, “Growing Up Female” and a community outreach and education program.

This year’s event is supported by the Breast Cancer Alliance of Greater Cincinnati, Interfaith Alliance, Patterns Inc., Pink Ribbon Girls, Sisters Network Cincinnati and Western and Southern Financial group.

Registration for the event is $15 and includes a buffet breakfast, educational materials and parking. Space is limited and registration is required. For more information, visit www.eh.uc.edu/growingupfemaleor call (513) 558-0092.

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