What is the role of electromagnetic fields (EMF) in the etiology of breast cancer?

Updated: Dec 26, 2019
  • Author: Graham A Colditz, MD, DrPH; Chief Editor: Chandandeep Nagi, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Electromagnetic fields (EMF) have been proposed to alter breast cancer risk, perhaps by altering melatonin secretion by the pineal gland. In case-control studies designed specifically to study occupational exposure to EMF and breast cancer in women, small increases in risk have been inconsistently observed. However, in those studies, misclassification of exposure remains a concern. Because classifications are based on "usual" occupation, often obtained from death certificates, duration of exposure and personal work tasks could not be accounted for in most of the studies, and adjustment for known breast cancer risk factors was limited or entirely absent.


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