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BREAST CANCER VIDEO: Work Exposure to Certain Chemicals Increases Breast Cancer Risk
BREAST CANCER VIDEO: Work Exposure to Certain Chemicals Increases Breast Cancer Risk

(April 1, 2010 - Insidermedicine)

Long-term exposure to certain substances at work, especially before age 36, can markedly increase the risk of developing breast cancer after menopause, according to research published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Jobs associated with a high risk of being exposed to a wide range of potentially harmful substances include:

•    Those related to arts and media

•    Assemblers and fabricators

•    Cleaning and pest control

Researchers from Robert-Sauvé Occupational Health Research Institute in Montreal compared the occupational exposure to about 300 substances between over 500 women aged 50 to 75 with breast cancer and over 600 women of similar ages with other types of cancer.

Exposure to several substances was associated with a substantial increased risk of breast cancer, especially if it occurred before age 36, when breast cells are still active. Most notably, every 10 years of exposure before age 36 to acrylic fibers increased the risk of breast cancer by more than seven times. Similar exposure to nylon fibers doubled the risk. Exposure to some types of organic solvents and to aromatic hydrocarbons, byproducts of making petroleum-based products, increased the risk of developing breast cancers sensitive to certain types of hormones by two to three times.

Today’s research highlights the link between occupational exposure to several substances, especially before age 36, and the risk of developing breast cancer.