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Friday, January 16, 2015

Breast Cancer and Occupational Hazards: A Time For Action

Breast cancer is a major disease that impacts for females and males. Historically research into the causal relationship of workplace hazards have been lacking and the disease continues to result in illness and death to workers and their families. Prevention and treatment have largely been ignored as the pharmaceutical industry continues to offer palliative care. Today's post discusses the immediate need to expand research into the association of occupational hazards with disease. Today's post is shared from and

"Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among women in the United States and other countries, making it a major public health concern. Despite significant scientific evidence about its known or suspected causes, research and prevention measures to identify and eliminate occupational and other environmental hazards and risk factors for breast cancer remain largely overlooked. As a result, hazards continue unabated for women generally, especially those who work outside the home. The science linking breast cancer and occupation in particular is growing. Researchers have identified commonly used chemicals that induce breast tumors in test animals. Animal studies link chemicals that mimic reproductive hormones to elevated breast cancer rates. Other animal and human studies link chemical exposures to increased breast cancer rates, including two recent investigations focused on occupational hazards. But the latter are the exception. Studies that attempt to identify and characterize workplace agents linked to breast cancer, as well as intervention studies focusing on the use of less toxic processes and substances, are limited. In what might be construed as a case of gender and social class bias, many research and funding agencies have ignored or downplayed the role of occupational studies despite their relevance to prevention efforts. Action required starts with making a national priority of promoting and supporting research on occupational and other environmental causes of breast cancer. Other public health actions include hazard surveillance and primary prevention activities such as reductions in the use of toxic materials, informed substitution, and green chemistry efforts."

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