Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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A critical assessment of geographic clusters of breast and lung cancer incidences among residents living near the Tittabawassee and Saginaw Rivers, Michigan, USA
Guajardo, O. A., Oyana, T. J. J Environ Public Health. 2009. 2009, 316249.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - Dioxins
Study design
Funding agency
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
No analyses based on menopausal status
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
3,768 cases > 14 years old diagnosed between 1989-2002, identified in Michigan Cancer Registry, living in 22 zip codes in 3 Michigan counties with dioxin contamination.
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Residence in ZIP code near point source pollution data from U.S. EPA, industrial facility activity from National Library of Medicine, and year 2000 data on major cities, roads, surface water from Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
How exposure was measured
GIS/geographic location
Exposure assessment comment
Women in zip code chosen based on lower background dioxin soil concentrations served as study's reference group.
Breast cancer outcome investigated
Primary incident breast cancer
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.
Genetic characterization included
If the study analyzed relationships between environmental factors and inherited genetic variations, this field will be marked “Yes.” “No”, if not.
Strength of associations reported
Breast cancer incidence by ZIP codes with dioxin contamination, compared to reference ZIP code:
48602: OR 1.34 (95% CI 1.00-1.81)
48603: OR 1.65 (95% CI 1.24-2.20
48604: OR 1.42 (95% CI 1.03-1.97)
48618: OR 1.55 (95% CI 1.06-2.27)
48640: OR 1.76 (95% CI 1.32-2.36)
48657: OR 1.45 (95% CI 1.02-2.05)
48732: OR 1.53 (95% CI 1.11-2.10)
48734: OR 1.88 (95% CI 1.35-2.63)
48880: OR 1.85 (95% CI 1.31-2.62)
Author address
Advanced Geospatial Analysis Lab, Department of Geography and Environmental Resources, Southern Illinois University, 1000 Faner Drive, MC 4514, Carbondale, IL 62901-4514, USA.
Reviewers Comments
High breast cancer OR seen in ZIP codes farther away from point source pollution may be due to other demographic characteristics.