Scand J Work Environ Health 1998;24(1):3-7    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.271 | Issue date: Feb 1998

Environmental risk factors of breast cancer

by Welp EA, Weiderpass E, Boffetta P, Vainio H, Vasama-Neuvonen K, Petralia S, Partanen TJ

Breast cancer is women's most ubiquitous cancer. The role of dietary factors is controversial, but there is limited evidence for such occupational risk factors as employment in the pharmaceutical industry and as a beautician. Ionizing radiation probably increases the risk. Exposure to chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides, chlorinated solvents, and polychlorinated biphenyls may be risk factors, although the evidence is insufficient. Data on low-frequency electromagnetic fields are inconclusive. Tobacco smoking may be a risk factor, but the effect may depend on N-acetyltransferase 2 genetic polymorphisms. There are yet unidentified determinants, probably environmental, that may act via estrogenic activity or through other mechanisms. The etiology may vary according to the joint estrogen and progesterone receptor status of the tumor. P53 mutation frequency varies considerably in breast cancer populations, which may reflect variation in exogenous exposures. Epidemiology research on breast cancer needs to consider subtypes of the disease, lifetime exposure assessment, host susceptibility, and adjustment for reproductive and menstrual history.

The following article refers to this text: 2001;27(3):161-213