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The BCERF program on the Cancer Risks of Environmental Chemicals in the Home and Workplace closed on March 31, 2010. No further updates will be made to this web site. Please go Cornell University’s eCommons web site to access BCERF’s archived research and educational materials (http://ecommons.library.cornell.edu/handle/1813/14300).

Biology of Cancer and the Breast
Frequently Asked Questions

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Is breast cancer caused by a virus?

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Some types of cancer are associated with viruses. Scientists are interested in whether certain viruses affect the risk of breast cancer. We do not have any conclusive information about viruses and breast cancer.

Scientists are looking for DNA sequences of viruses in human breast tumors. So far, they have not found strong evidence for a cause and effect relationship between a specific virus and human breast cancer. See The Ribbon, Vol. 5, No. 3, Fall 2000, for a discussion about the possible role of viruses in breast cancer.

Answered by: Suzanne Snedeker, Ph.D.

Last Reviewed: 05.03.06

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