Breast cancer risk by occupation and industry: analysis of the CECILE study, a population-based case-control study in France

Am J Ind Med. 2011 Jul;54(7):499-509. doi: 10.1002/ajim.20952. Epub 2011 Apr 6.


Background: It has been suggested that certain occupational exposures may play a role in breast cancer etiology. The recognition of high-risk occupations may give clues about potential mammary carcinogens in the work place.

Methods: We conducted a population-based case-control study in France including 1,230 breast cancer cases and 1,315 population controls with detailed information on lifetime work history. Odds ratios for women ever employed in an occupation or industry were adjusted for well-established risk factors for breast cancer.

Results: Adjusted odds ratios were marginally increased in some white-collar occupations, as well as in textile workers (2.4; 95% CI [0.9-6.0]), rubber and plastics product makers (1.8; 95% CI [0.9-3.5]), and in women employed for more than 10 years as nurses (1.4; 95% CI [0.9-2.1]) and as tailors/dressmakers (1.5; 95% CI [0.9-2.6]). The incidence of breast cancer was increased among women employed in the manufacture of chemicals, of non-metallic mineral products, and decreased among women in agriculture.

Conclusions: These findings suggest a possible role of occupational exposures in breast cancer, including night-shift work, solvents and endocrine disrupting chemicals and require further studies with detailed assessment of occupational exposures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology
  • Carcinogens / toxicity*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Industry / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Carcinogens