Monday, 13 January 2014

Does occupational exposure increase the risk of breast cancer?

Ionizing radiation has long been linked to breast cancer, and certain occupations are much more likely to be exposed than others. It can be generated through a wide variety of sources: cosmic radiation, X-ray machines, naturally occurring radioactive materials in the earth's crust, nuclear weapons and accidents.

As it is capable of producing reactive oxygen species and directly interfering with cell DNA, any occupation with an increased exposure to ionizing radiation would be thought to be associated with a much greater risk of developing breast cancer.
However, recent research published by Wenny Buitenhis of the SPHPM indicates that occupational exposure to ionizing radiation does not lead to a statistically significant rise in the numbers of cases diagnosed.
There was however, a slight increase in the risk of acquiring human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive breast cancer as a result of workplace exposure.

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