Occupational radiation: even low levels can raise breast cancer risk

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Takeaway
  • Female radiation technologists with protracted low-to-moderate doses of occupational radiation exposure face increased breast cancer risks, especially if born before 1930.
Why this matters
  • Occupational radiation exposure should be minimized even if exposure is low.
Study design
  • Occupational breast dose estimates were calculated for all breast cancers diagnosed during 1983-2008 among 83,538 female radiation technologists.
  • Dose estimates were reconstructed based on work histories, historical data and, after the mid-1970s, individual film badge measurements.
  • Excess relative risks were calculated with Poisson regression and birth cohort stratification.
  • Funding: National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute.
Key results
  • There we...