Occupation and occupational exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals in male breast cancer: a case control study in Europe

Publié le 1 Novembre 2010
Mis à jour le 10 septembre 2019

Objectives. Male breast cancer is a rare disease of largely unknown aetiology. In addition to genetic and hormone-related risk factors, a large number of environmental chemicals are suspected of playing a role in breast cancer. The identification of occupations or occupational exposures associated with an increased incidence of breast cancer in men may help to identify mammary carcinogens in the environment. Methods Occupational risk factors for male breast cancer were investigated in a multi-centre case-control study conducted in eight European countries which included 104 cases and 1901 controls. Lifetime work history was obtained during in-person interviews. Occupational exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals (alkylphenolic compounds, phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls and dioxins) were assessed on a case-by-case basis using expert judgement. Results Male breast cancer incidence was particularly increased in motor vehicle mechanics (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.0 to 4.4) with a dose-effect relationship with duration of employment. It was also increased in paper makers and painters, forestry and logging workers, health and social workers, and furniture manufacture workers. The OR for exposure to alkylphenolic compounds above the median was 3.8 (95% CI 1.5 to 9.5). This association persisted after adjustment for occupational exposures to other environmental oestrogens. Conclusion These findings suggest that some environmental chemicals are possible mammary carcinogens. Petrol, organic petroleum solvents or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are suspect because of the consistent elevated risk of male breast cancer observed in motor vehicle mechanics. Endocrine disruptors such as alkylphenolic compounds may play a role in breast cancer. (R.A.)

Auteur : Villeneuve S, Cyr D, Lynge E, Orsi L, Sabroe S, Merletti F, Gorini G, Morales Suarez Varela M, Ahrens W, Baumgardt-Elms C, Kaerlev L, Eriksson M, Hardell L, Fevotte J, Guenel P
Occupational and environmental medicine, 2010, vol. 67, p. 837-44