Women who've worked on farms are almost three times more likely to develop breast cancer than women who've never worked in agriculture, says a Canadian study published Thursday in the journal Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.
The 2 1/2-year study included 564 breast cancer patients, 154 of whom had worked on farms. All patients were treated at the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre in Ontario, the Toronto Star reported.
The breast cancer patients were compared to a group of women who did not have any kind of cancer. And after the researchers accounted for a number of known breast cancer factors - including age, smoking, genetics, hormone replacement therapies, and number of children - the association between agriculture and breast cancer became evident.
Exposure to pesticides and other substances commonly found on farms may explain the link, the study said.
"We also found that if a woman went on to work in healthcare or in auto (manufacturing), her breast cancer risk continued, and in the case of the auto industry, it actually slightly increased," study author James Brophy, an occupational and environmental health scientist, told the Star. – (HealthDayNews)
Enviro health Centre