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A correlation of breast cancer and calcium levels in hair analyzed by X-ray fluorescence


Time variations of elemental concentrations and their abnormalities due to breast cancer have been observed along single hair strands by X-ray fluorescence excited by synchrotron radiation. The renal-controlled elements Ca, Sr, S, K, Cl, Br and P have upper and lower levels associated with gating and closing of ion channels in the hair-making cells. The Ca lower level is normal. In cases of Ca deficiency, with a decrease from the normal, store-operated Ca channel gating occurs so as to keep the hair Ca at the normal, and paradoxically high Ca levels near or at the upper level are produced by PTH-operated channel gating of the cells. Chronic Ca deficiency shows a temporal pattern along the hair consisting of a long-term duration of the upper [Ca] level, 10-month long decay to the lower level and abrupt increase to the upper level. The observation for hair from breast-cancer patients also shows the upper Ca level for the time period well before detection, and suggests that cancer is always generated at the long-lasting [Ca] upper level and the hair [Ca] decreases gradually toward the lower level with the cancer growth. This decay of [Ca] is accompanied by those of [Sr] and [K]. Their different decay forms can be explained by parathyroid hormone related peptide (PTHrP) in serum secreted from the cancer having 150 times longer dwell time on the PTH receptors than that of PTH. Patient hair has a memory for the entire cancer process from the state before cancer generation, and the pattern can be distinguished from concentration variation due to the chronic Ca deficiency without cancer, leading to a criterion for cancer detection by the ratio of [Sr]/[Ca]. The hair analysis is useful for early detection of cancer.