Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
Print this page
Case-control study of occupational exposures and male breast cancer
Cocco, P., Figgs, L., Dosemeci, M., Hayes, R., Linet, M. S., Hsing, A. W. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 1998. 55:9, 599-604.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - Occupation, PAH, organic solvents, pesticides, EMF
Study design
Other: Case-control mortality
Funding agency
NCI Other: International Union Against Cancer
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Number of Controls
Controls: 1,041
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Participants of the National mortality follow-back survey; 1986 US deaths among white and African-American men aged 25-74 years; breast cancer cases and controls matched for age, race, region.
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Job exposure matrix for longest held job scored for intensity level (0-3) and probability (0-3).
Exposure assessment comment
Broad categories of exposure and likely substantial misclassification.
Statistical Analysis
Breast cancer outcome investigated
Mortality from breast cancer: male
Ethnic groups with separate analysis
If this study provided a separate analysis by ethnic or racial group, the groups are listed here.
Confounders considered
Other breast cancer risk factors, such as family history, age at first birth, and hormone replacement therapy use, that were taken into account in the study.
Index of socioeconomic status, based on annual family income, education, assets, and occupation; marital status; BMI, tobacco, alcohol use reported by proxy respondents.
Genetic characterization included
If the study analyzed relationships between environmental factors and inherited genetic variations, this field will be marked “Yes.” “No”, if not.
Description of major analysis
Odds ratios estimated by logistic regression
Strength of associations reported
Elevated risk for work in blast furnaces (high heat)
Motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment OR 3.1 (1.2-8.2)
No pattern of elevated risk is observed for categories of exposure to pesticides, PAHs, organic solvents
Results Comments
Authors state that male and female breast cancer are regarded as the same disease; and environmental factors may be easier to discern in men, because they are not affected by risk factors associated with reproductive history. However, the number of cases in each occupation in this study is small and the number with "high" exposures smaller.
Author address
Institute of Occupational Medicine, University of Cagliari, Italy.