Background: The etiology of breast cancer is not well understood and the role of occupational exposures in breast carcinogenesis is still uncertain.
Methods: The population-based case-control study included 2,386 incident breast cancer cases diagnosed in 2000-2003, and 2,502 controls. Lifetime occupational histories and information on other potential breast cancer risk factors were obtained through personal interviews. Conditional logistic regression analyses calculated odds ratios (ORs) associated with various occupations and industries after control for potential confounders.
Results: We found statistically significant excesses of breast cancer among engineers (OR=2.0; 95% CI: 1.0-3.8), economists (2.1; 1.1-3.8), sales occupations-retail (1.2; 1.0-1.5), and other sales occupations (1.2; 1.0-1.5). Industries showing significantly elevated risks included special trade contractors (2.2; 1.2-4.3), electronic and electric equipment manufacturers (1.7; 1.1-2.7); and public administration/general government n.e.c. (2.7; 1.3-5.7). Each of these findings was supported by a statistically significant positive trend for duration of employment (P<0.05). A decreased breast cancer risk was observed in janitors and cleaners (0.7; 0.5-0.8).
Conclusions: In this study, we found few associations for breast cancer and occupations or industries. The suggestive findings for the electronic and electric equipment manufacturing industry and for the occupations with potential exposure to magnetic fields deserve further evaluation.