Explore the science behind our work

In our science background briefings and webinars, you’ll find information about specific chemicals or lifestyle factors that have been linked to breast cancer, why they have been linked to the disease, and references to the original research papers which support these claims.

Vitamin D and Breast Cancer

May 2022|Size: 620.86 KB |

This brief summarises recent studies on the links between low levels of circulating vitamin D and breast cancer and explains if taking vitamin D supplements is protective against breast cancer.
  • Background Briefings
  • Science

Breast Cancer in Men briefing

December 2021|Size: 368.44 KB |

This brief summarises the major characteristics of breast cancer in men, including incidence, risk factors, and treatment.
  • Background Briefings
  • Science

Pesticides, organic food and breast cancer briefing

July 2021|Size: 484.99 KB |

Exposure to certain organochlorine and organophosphate pesticides, now banned in the UK, has been shown to increase breast cancer risk in women. Pesticides which are currently used may also increase...
  • Background Briefings
  • Science

Alcohol and breast cancer briefing

July 2021|Size: 308.89 KB |

Drinking alcoholic beverages increases the risk of breast cancer in women and heavy drinking increases risk in men.
  • Background Briefings
  • Science

Physical activity and breast cancer briefing

October 2020|Size: 1.75 MB |

Physical activity reduces the risk of breast cancer, breast cancer recurrence, and mortality following a breast cancer diagnosis.
  • Background Briefings
  • Science


January 2020|Size: 5.13 MB |

There is no ideal diet that will prevent breast cancer. However, a high consumption of fruit and vegetables, sufficient dietary calcium and low alcohol consumption can reduce risk.
  • Background Briefings

Aluminium Salts as Antiperspirants

September 2019|Size: 1.03 MB |

The use of aluminium salts in antiperspirants has caused debate amongst scientists. Some say their use may increase breast cancer risk; others say there’s insufficient evidence to prove any link.
  • Background Briefings

Breast Cancer Risk Factors

June 2019|Size: 7.12 MB |

A breast cancer risk factor is anything that might cause you to be more likely to develop the disease. The brief discusses known and suspected breast cancer risk factors.
  • Background Briefings

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)

September 2018|Size: 1.06 MB |

EDCs are chemicals that interfere with hormone function. They are mostly synthetic, found in many products, and widespread in the environment. Some mimic oestrogen and increase breast cancer risk.
  • Background Briefings


May 2018|Size: 1.13 MB |

Parabens are preservatives found in cosmetics, personal care products, and processed foods. They are widespread in the environment. They act as weak oestrogen mimics and may affect breast cancer risk.
  • Background Briefings

Top Five Tips

November 2017|Size: 1.97 MB |

At least a quarter of breast cancer cases may be preventable. Here are our top tips to help everyone reduce their risk of breast cancer and improve their general health.
  • Background Briefings

Flame Retardants

July 2017|Size: 2.63 MB |

Certain types of flame retardant, which are used to prevent fires, can cause cancer or endocrine disruption. This brief discusses flame retardants that may affect breast cancer risk.
  • Background Briefings
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