Pesticides and Cancer Risk

Jun 27, 2011

Pesticide use in vegetable and fruit farming has been a common practice for decades.   Likewise, medical research over the years, has resulted in safer ways to kill pests and disease.  Still, health concerns persist.

Markey Cancer Center Clinical Dietician Karina Christopher says recent studies like pesticides with an increased chance of breast and prostate tumors.

“Breast cancer and prostate cancer are more hormone related cancers.  And so, if you have an increase in your hormones, so it will cause a tumor to potentially grow, pesticides can do that they can actually make hormones and cause your risk of cancer, particularly breast and prostate be higher,” said Christopher.

Christopher says it’s important to eat the fruits and vegetables, even with a pesticide risk.

“There’s more benefits from eating five to nine serving of vegetables than worrying about the pesticides left on those because you’ve eaten them.  The benefits outweigh the risks for sure,” added Christopher.

The primary suggestion when eating fruits and vegetables is to remembers to wash them off first.  Christopher says it’s difficult to determine how Kentucky fields compare with other farms in other states.