Cancer - MicroTrace Minerals

Metals and Cancer

The following pages link various types of cancer to specific and potentially toxic metals. Studies from occupational, environmental and epidemiological studies are listed.

Comparing the Metal Concentration in the Nails of Healthy and Cancer Patients Living in the Malwa Region of Punjab, India with a Random European Group – A Follow up Study

British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, Vol. 5, Issue 4

The cancer prevalence in the Malwa region of Punjab (1089/million/year) is much higher than the national average cancer prevalence in India (800/million/year). In our previous study on hair metal analysis, we located a high metal burden in Punjabi cancer patients and their live-in relatives, suggesting that an excessive metal exposure is a factor in the pathogenesis of cancer. The present study focused on nail metal analysis, a biological material similar to hair. Previously, we had used ICP-MS spectroscopy to confirm high exposures to aluminium (Al), barium (Ba), manganese (Mn), lead (Pb), uranium (U and other metals in the hair of Punjabi cancer patients and their healthy relatives (Blaurock-Busch et al. 2014).

In this study, we used nail metal analysis to confirm the results of our previous study. We compared the nail metal concentration of healthy Punjabis (N=83) with randomly selected healthy Europeans (N=83) and found highly significant differences between the European and Punjabi groups, including the healthy and the cancer groups. In comparison, our European group showed a low percentage (0 to 13%) of pathological values for aluminium (Al), barium (Ba), cadmium (Cd), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), strontium (Sr), titanium (Ti) and uranium (U), while the healthy Punjabi groups showed between 13% and 99% pathological values for these elements.

The greatest metal burden was found in the breast cancer group (N=13), showing 100% pathological values for Al, Fe, Mn and U. This study supports previous research, which demonstrated a significant metal burden in Punjabi people. Water, soil, and phosphate fertilizers may be the cause of this excessive exposure.

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