Cadmium (Cd) is a heavy metal with widespread occurrence in the environment. Occupational exposure to cadmium occurs in many occupational settings, such as pigment and batteries production, galvanization and recycling of electric tools. Environmental contamination with Cd comes from industry and agriculture. The interest of the researchers and stakeholders in cadmium as potential risk factor for breast cancer has been increasing over the recent years.
The objective of our ongoing project is to assess the association between Cd and mammographic density - a strong risk factor for breast cancer. Our research hypothesis assumes that Cd, as metalloestrogen, modifies mammographic density therefore affecting breast cancer risk.
The cross sectional study will include, in total, 500 women undergoing screening mammography at the mammography centres in Lodz (Poland). The study procedures include personal interview, anthropometric measurements, blood and urine collection and mammography. Cd is determined in spot urine sample (by ICP-MS technique). Digital mammography is performed according to the standards for screening mammography and volumetric mammographic density is analysed by Volpara software. The potential associations are examined with linear regression model, age and BMI adjusted.
During the first phase of the study we collected data from 200 women of mean age 54 years. The mean Cd concentration was 0.54 µg/L, and mean volumetric density 7.6% (left breast, cranio-caudal view). The preliminary analysis showed an inverse association of the volumetric density with age (p<0.01) and BMI (p<0.001). We did not observe association between cadmium concentration in urine and volumetric density.