A recent scientific study suggests estrogen may be behind rising rates of oral cancer in young women. The hormone helps cancer cells spread, the research team found.
An enzyme, CYP1B1, helps precancerous cells become cancerous and grow more quickly. The enzyme is tied to estrogen, and may account for the spread of cancers. It has also been found to be a factor in lung cancer.
Now, the research team is on the hunt for a dietary supplement or drug that can inhibit this enzyme and slow down or even prevent oral cancers.
Per U.S. News and World Report:
“Our previous studies showed that the CYP1B1 enzyme sits at the hub of changes that occur in the lungs after smoke exposure. We were now able to look at its role in a more direct fashion by removing it from precancerous cells of the oral cavity,” explained Margie Clapper, co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center.
They don’t mention why cancer rates are rising in young women. Young women have always had plenty of estrogen, right? Presumably the bump in cancer cases is caused by widespread use of both hormonal birth control and endocrine disrupting chemicals that mimic estrogen.
My kids are at least a decade away from worrying about birth control, but the threat from endocrine disruptors like BPA is real right now. At my house, we avoid canned goods and plastic food containers. We make most of our food from scratch and dodge preservatives and packaged goods to further cut down on the kids’ exposure to chemicals.
I hope they do find a therapy to inhibit that enzyme, and soon. In the meantime, I’ll keep right on avoiding plastics and extra doses of hormones for myself and my kids.