Breast Cancer Risk in Relation to Occupations with Exposure to Carcinogens and Endocrine Disruptors: a Canadian Case-Control Study

James T. Brophy, Margaret M. Keith, Andrew E. Watterson, Robert Park, Michael Gilbertson, Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale, Matthias Beck, Hakam Abu-Zhara, Kenneth Schneider, Abraham Reinhartz, Robert DeMatteo, Isaac Luginaah

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82 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background

Endocrine disrupting chemicals and carcinogens, some of which may not yet have been classified as such, are present in many occupational environments and could increase breast cancer risk. Prior research has identified associations with breast cancer and work in agricultural and industrial settings. The purpose of this study was to further characterize possible links between breast cancer risk and occupation, particularly in farming and manufacturing, as well as to examine the impacts of early agricultural exposures, and exposure effects that are specific to the endocrine receptor status of tumours.

Methods

1005 breast cancer cases referred by a regional cancer center and 1147 randomly-selected community controls provided detailed data including occupational and reproductive histories. All reported jobs were industry- and occupation-coded for the construction of cumulative exposure metrics representing likely exposure to carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. In a frequency-matched case?control design, exposure effects were estimated using conditional logistic regression.

Results

Across all sectors, women in jobs with potentially high exposures to carcinogens and endocrine disruptors had elevated breast cancer risk (OR = 1.42; 95% CI, 1.18-1.73, for 10 years exposure duration). Specific sectors with elevated risk included: agriculture (OR = 1.36; 95% CI, 1.01-1.82); bars-gambling (OR = 2.28; 95% CI, 0.94-5.53); automotive plastics manufacturing (OR = 2.68; 95% CI, 1.47-4.88), food canning (OR = 2.35; 95% CI, 1.00-5.53), and metalworking (OR = 1.73; 95% CI, 1.02-2.92). Estrogen receptor status of tumors with elevated risk differed by occupational grouping. Premenopausal breast cancer risk was highest for automotive plastics (OR = 4.76; 95% CI, 1.58-14.4) and food canning (OR = 5.70; 95% CI, 1.03-31.5).

Conclusions

These observations support hypotheses linking breast cancer risk and exposures likely to include carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, and demonstrate the value of detailed work histories in environmental and occupational epidemiology.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Health
Volume11
Issue number87
Early online date19 Nov 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Breast cancer
  • Canning
  • Casion
  • Carcinogen
  • Endocrine Disruptor
  • Metal
  • Occupational
  • Plastics

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