Tackling an
environmental disease

 HEA, UNISON, Co-operative bank and Scottish breast cancer campaign logos
Primary prevention is the answer



adipose - relating to fat or fatty tissue
aetiology - the study of the origins and causes of disease
aflatoxin - a carcinogenic toxin produced in foodstuffs by a species of mould
agonist - agent which acts on cell receptors to provoke a biological response
androgens - group of hormones controlling male sexual development, e.g. testosterone
antagonist - agent which competes for cell receptor site and prevents action of agonist
DNA - deoxyribonucleic acid: the chemical of which the genetic material is composed
Electro-magnetic - long -wave radiation emitted naturally and by electrical fields (EMFs) appliances, equipment, power lines, power stations
endocrine - system composed of organs (glands) which make and secrete substances (hormones) directly into the bloodstream. The biological system which controls the production, transport and utilisation of hormones in the body.
endogenous - originating from within the body
epidemiology - the study of disease/ill health its distribution and the contributing factors in a population
exogenous - originating outside the body
genomics - new science studying the genetic makeup of organisms and the use of such information to find applications in biology, medicine and industry
hyperplasia - excessive cell growth
inorganic - chemical or compound not containing carbon
in vivo - experiments carried out on a live animal
in vitro - experiments carried out in a laboratory on cells and tissues outside the body e.g. microorganisms in a test tube
leaching - percolating through something
menarche - onset of menstruation
metabolic/metabolism - all physical and chemical processes which maintain and energise the body
mutagen - agent which causes permanent change in genetic material carried in cells
mutation - a change in the genetic material of a cell (DNA)
neoplasm - a new growth consisting of abnormal cells (a tumour)
nucleus - central mass in cells; contains the chromosomes and DNA
oestrogen - steroid hormone that controls the growth, development and function of female reproductive organs and female sexual characteristics
off-gassing - occurs when a substance which is stable at lower temperatures is warmed and becomes a gas in volatile compounds below
oncogenes - genes involved in the genesis of cancer
organic - chemicals or chemical compound containing carbon atoms
PCBs - polychlorinated biphenyls: a family of 209 substances having a large number of ill effects on health including cancers. Used in electrical equipment as coolants, lubricants and insulators. Now banned but very persistent and widespread in the environment.
pre-eclampsia - disorder of pregnancy and the post -birth period; characterised by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Can affect both mother and baby.
prophylactic - preventing illness
prostate - an organ in the male situated at the neck of the bladder and part of the male reproductive system
synergism - interaction between two or more chemicals
teratogen - a substance which causes abnormalities in a foetus
toxicologist - one who studies the effects of toxins on tissues and organs
volatile compound - a substance which readily evaporates to form a gas or vapour

contact us | about us | a campaign of Breast Cancer UK reg. charity number: 1138866 in England & Wales; reg. company number: 7348408|
Reg. address: Breast Cancer UK Ltd, Solva, Southwick Road, Denmead, Waterlooville, Hants. PO7 6LA UK | last updated: 05/10/2006