Breast cancer risk among female employees of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Australia

Freddy Sitas, Dianne L. O'Connell, Cathelijne H. Van Kemenade, Mark W. Short, Kun Zhao

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To determine whether there is an excess risk of breast cancer among female employees of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), especially outside Queensland, compared with women in the general populations of the states and territories. Design, setting and participants: We used an occupational cohort design. Information from ABC staff records was linked with data from state and territory cancer registries to identify female employees of the ABC with an incident, histologically confirmed breast cancer. Data linkage was complemented by a self-report method. We included a cohort of ABC female employees who had developed breast cancer at any time between 1994 and 2005, during their employment or after cessation of employment with the ABC. The standardised incidence ratio (SIR) was calculated as the number of women at the ABC observed with breast cancer divided by the expected number based on population rates in each state and territory. Tests for heterogeneity were performed to examine the variation of breast cancer risk between states and territories. Results: Out of 5969 women who were permanently employed either part-time or full-time at the ABC between 1994 and 2005, 48 eligible women with breast cancer were identified. An excess risk of breast cancer among ABC female employees in Queensland (identified in an earlier study) was reconfirmed. No excess risk of breast cancer was observed among ABC staff diagnosed in states outside Queensland (SIR, 1.01 [95% CI, 0.72-1.38]), or in Australia as a whole (including Queensland) (SIR, 1.12 [95% CI, 0.83-1.49]). There was no significant heterogeneity in breast cancer risk among states and territories once Queensland was excluded from the analysis (P=0.39). Conclusion: No statistically significant excess risk of breast cancer in ABC female employees was found across the Australian states and territories as a whole compared with their respective population incidences. A statistically significant increased risk of breast cancer was found among ABC female employees in Queensland, consistent with the findings in an earlier report.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-654
Number of pages4
JournalThe Medical Journal of Australia
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes

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