PhIP: The Three-Strikes Breast Carcinogen

PhIP: The Three-Strikes Breast Carcinogen
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The cooked meat carcinogen PhIP—found in fried bacon, fish, and chicken—may not only trigger cancer and promote tumor growth, but also increase its metastatic potential, by increasing its invasiveness.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

As we’ve seen, the cooked meat carcinogen, PhIP, can cause DNA mutations that may initiate a tumor, may then promote the growth of the cancer, due to its potent estrogenic activity, and the third strike is that PhIP may then promote the invasiveness of breast cancer cells.

The way breast tumors kill is by metastasis­­; it’s got to invade surrounding tissues and organs. The way you test invasiveness is you put cancer cells into what’s called an invasion chamber. Cancer cells go on the top, on one side of a membrane with tiny pores, these little gray circles. This is the underside of the filter, showing no invasion. But, add some estrogen, and you can see a few cancer cells peeking through.

Add some PhIP, and they really start going on the move. More breast cancer cell invasion-promoting than straight estrogen. They conclude that “in addition to its well characterised genotoxic potential [DNA-mutation causing potential], PhIP is potently estrogenic…, is capable of powerful hormonal activity…and is able to potently stimulate breast cancer cells to invade through a…membrane model. [This] finding that PhIP is able to exert this pro-invasive [appearance] in breast cancer cells at such low concentrations is remarkable. The genetic [toxicity] of the compound coupled to its ability to enhance cell proliferation and invasion indicates that PhIP can act not only to initiate the carcinogenic process, but also to promote it.” 

The problem is, they say, that “Exposure to PhIP is difficult to avoid because of its presence in many commonly consumed cooked meats, particularly chicken, beef and fish.”

But if you’re able to somehow dodge cooked meats, and don’t suck on a cigarette, tailpipe, or incinerator smokestack, maybe it’s not so difficult to avoid, after all.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

As we’ve seen, the cooked meat carcinogen, PhIP, can cause DNA mutations that may initiate a tumor, may then promote the growth of the cancer, due to its potent estrogenic activity, and the third strike is that PhIP may then promote the invasiveness of breast cancer cells.

The way breast tumors kill is by metastasis­­; it’s got to invade surrounding tissues and organs. The way you test invasiveness is you put cancer cells into what’s called an invasion chamber. Cancer cells go on the top, on one side of a membrane with tiny pores, these little gray circles. This is the underside of the filter, showing no invasion. But, add some estrogen, and you can see a few cancer cells peeking through.

Add some PhIP, and they really start going on the move. More breast cancer cell invasion-promoting than straight estrogen. They conclude that “in addition to its well characterised genotoxic potential [DNA-mutation causing potential], PhIP is potently estrogenic…, is capable of powerful hormonal activity…and is able to potently stimulate breast cancer cells to invade through a…membrane model. [This] finding that PhIP is able to exert this pro-invasive [appearance] in breast cancer cells at such low concentrations is remarkable. The genetic [toxicity] of the compound coupled to its ability to enhance cell proliferation and invasion indicates that PhIP can act not only to initiate the carcinogenic process, but also to promote it.” 

The problem is, they say, that “Exposure to PhIP is difficult to avoid because of its presence in many commonly consumed cooked meats, particularly chicken, beef and fish.”

But if you’re able to somehow dodge cooked meats, and don’t suck on a cigarette, tailpipe, or incinerator smokestack, maybe it’s not so difficult to avoid, after all.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Nota del Doctor

The “difficult to avoid” line reminds me of the cop-out in the Dead Meat Bacteria Endotoxemia video. This is the second of a four-part video series on heterocyclic amines—carcinogens such as PhIP—that are formed when meat is cooked. In Estrogenic Cooked Meat Carcinogens, I noted that, in addition to being able to cause the initial DNA damage that may trigger breast cancer, these chemicals may act as potent estrogens, promoting the growth of such tumors as well.

The growth hormone IGF-1 may also promote tumor progression and invasion (see IGF-1 as One-Stop Cancer Shop). IGF-1 is released by our liver in response to animal protein consumption. Why? See Higher Quality May Mean Higher Risk.

On the other hand, broccoli and Indian gooseberries may have both anti-proliferative and anti-invasive properties: Lung Cancer Metastases & Broccoli, and Amla vs. Cancer Cell Invasion.

In Reducing Cancer Risk In Meat-Eaters, I’ll note some ways for non-vegetarians to mediate their risk.

For further context, be sure to check out my associated blog posts: Estrogenic Chemicals in MeatAvoid Cooked Meat Carcinogens; and Foods that May Block Cancer Formation.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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