There is a large body of literature published in peer-reviewed journals that report risk factors for breast cancer. Whilst studies continue to be reported that provide further evidence of an association between breast cancer incidence and established causal agents related to genetics/family history, reproductive status and increasing some lifestyle factors, there are many studies that report new potential causal agents linked to other lifestyle factors and environment including evidence of occupational exposure to agents/environments that increase likelihood of breast cancer incidence. With so many reports emerging, it is important that the evidence for all cited agents and situations is fully evaluated and the contribution made by each to the rise in breast cancer incidence assessed. There are few published studies that seek to critically examine, compare and contrast all reported risk factors, from the recognised to the emerging potential contributing factors.
The project will offer a quantifiable assessment and comparison of all recognised or suspected risk factors identified to date, establishing a methodology to further assess emerging suspected breast cancer causal agents.The overall aim of the project is to provide a comprehensive assessment of current knowledge concerning the risk factors for breast cancer. It is expected that greatest data uncertainty will exist for environmental factors such as exposure to various man-made and naturally occurring chemicals. Methodologies to improve the databank for such scenarios will be discussed in the final project report and appropriate recommendations made.
Research project summary:
Assessment of Risk Factors Influencing Trends in Incidence of Female Breast Carcinoma by R. Slack, S. Hutchings and L. Rushton
Female breast cancer: who, how and why? by Lesley Rushton and Sally Hutchings