Latina farm workers in Fresno State breast cancer study

FRESNO, Calif.

"Organo-chlorines tend to mimic estrogen and there are two really bad properties of these chemicals, one they persist in the environment they don't get broken down, they can stay for decades." Bush says the other bad property about these chemicals is that they can accumulate and stay in fat cells like breast tissue.

"If these particular chemicals are being accumulated in the breast fat tissue in the breast they potentially represent a source of coincident estrogen that could send triggers that start to develop tumors."

Fresno State's Cancer Biology Program is getting a $1.2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study the effects of these agricultural chemicals on female Hispanic farm workers. It's just one aspect of the cancer research going on here.

Graduate Student Jinsha Liu is doing general cancer research. "My project is really related to two factors which are important in the cancer metastasize." Liu is from China, but one goal of the cancer program at Fresno State is to attract local and minority students to cancer research, and Bush wants to let them know they can make a difference in the health of their community.

"Our Valley is polluted we've got a lot of things in the air in the water that need to be looked at."

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