On Cancer's Trail

Williams, Florence
May 2008
High Country News;5/26/2008, Vol. 40 Issue 10, p12
The article discusses the efforts of Navajo biologist Stephanie Raymond-Whish to find the link between the occurrence of breast cancer among Native Americans and the heavy metal uranium. With a history of breast cancer running in her family, Raymond-Whish, together with her co-workers in the Northern Arizona University (NAU) campus, discovered through laboratory animal tests that uranium at low dose can act as an artificial estrogen. Uranium tailings were found to pockmark Navajo lands in the U.S. since they were once a target of frenzied uranium ore mining during the time of the Cold War. The heavy metal appears to alter mammary cells at very low doses and interfere with normal hormonal signals. INSETS: A patient;A well.


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