Comparative assessment of essential/toxic elemental levels in the scalp hair and nails of ovarian cancer patients and controls among Pakistani women

Muhammad Qayyum, Munir Shah, Muhammad Qayyum, Munir Shah
unpublished
Ovarian cancer is one of the severe gynaecological malignancies in women and exposure to the trace elements may be considered as a risk factor for its development. Selected essential and toxic elements (Ca, Mg, Na, K, Fe, Zn, Cu, Sr, Li, Co, Mn, Ni, Cr, Cd and Pb) were analysed in the scalp hair and nails of ovarian cancer patients and matching controls by atomic absorption spectrometry. Average concentrations of Cr, Li, Mn, Ni and Pb were found to be significantly higher (p < 0.05) in the
more » ... < 0.05) in the scalp hair and nails of the patients compared with the controls, nevertheless, appreciably higher concentrations of Ca, Fe and Zn were observed in the controls. The correlation study revealed significantly diverse associations among the elements in the scalp hair/nails of the patients and controls. Cluster analysis and principal component analysis were used for the multivariate apportionment of the elements in both donor groups. Variations in the elemental levels were also noted for various cancer types (epithelial cancer, stromal tumour and germ cell tumour) as well as stages (I, II, III and IV) in patients. The study evidenced distinctive variations in the elemental levels in the scalp hair and nails of ovarian cancer patients and controls. Moreover, these results could be of significance in the diagnosis and prognosis of ovarian cancer in patients.
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