Breast Cancer and Exposure to Aircraft, Road, and Railway Noise: A Case–control Study Based on Health Insurance Records

By Hegewald, Janice; Schubert, Melanie et al. | Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, November 1, 2017 | Go to article overview

Breast Cancer and Exposure to Aircraft, Road, and Railway Noise: A Case–control Study Based on Health Insurance Records


Hegewald, Janice, Schubert, Melanie, Wagner, Mandy, Dröge, Patrik, Prote, Ursel, Swart, Enno, Möhler, Ulrich, Zeeb, Hajo, Seidler, Andreas, Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health


According to the latest World Health Organization World Cancer Report, breast cancer continues to be the most frequent cancer afflicting women worldwide (1). The increased rates of breast cancer observed in more industrialized regions (2) suggests that characteristics of industrialized living, including differences in lifestyle and environmental exposures, may contribute to breast cancer risk.

One environmental risk factor for breast cancer that has been the focus of much research is exposure to light at night (LAN). Exposure to LAN reduces the production of melatonin, a hormone with oncostatic qualities that is associated with lower estrogen levels, generally secreted in the early stages of nightly sleep during the absence of light to regulate the circadian rhythm. Numerous possible mechanisms have been suggested to explain the role of melatonin in preventing or slowing tumor growth. The anti-oxidative properties of melatonin are important in metabolizing/processing the products of (oxidative) stress and experiments have shown melatonin to slow the proliferation of estrogen receptor positive (ER+) MCF-7 tumor cells (3, 4).

Studies of breast cancer risks among women working night shifts have examined the potential effect of exposure to LAN coupled with disruption of the circadian rhythm. Evidence from such studies led the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to declare shiftwork with circadian disruption to be "probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A)" (5). However, pooled breast cancer risks of female night shift workers based on meta-analyses of available studies vary and range from a 5-51% increase in risk (6-14). While an association between breast cancer and working nights may be due to the effect of LAN on melatonin levels, other aspects of working at night, such as reduced sleep may also be involved in tumor development or growth.

Studies on duration of sleep and the risk of breast cancer also report conflicting results. Some studies report increased risks for fewer average hours of sleep (15, 16), and others find no association or risks increasing with sleep duration (17-20). While poor sleep may also be associated with lowered melatonin levels, diurnal sleep itself promotes immunological processes through the production of cytokines during sleep and increased levels of white blood cells following sleep (21). Therefore, poor sleep or a lack of sleep could possibly impact the body's ability to recognize and eliminate damaged cells. As environmental aircraft, automobile, and railway transportation noise can also cause sleep disruption (22), traffic-related sleep disruptions could be associated with increased breast cancer risks.

Exposure to environmental traffic noise can also provoke stress reactions that may be immunotoxic (23). Stress-related activation of the hypothalamicpituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis results in increased levels of corticotropin-releasing hormone and subsequently increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Although epidemiological studies of breast cancer risk related to stressful life events or chronic stress (eg, job strain) are inconsistent, animal models find tumor incidence and growth to be increased by stress (24). Antonova et al (24) have postulated possible mechanisms to explain how cortisol may be involved in breast cancer development and include repression of the immune system's ability to find and repair cancer cells, inhibited DNA repair, and down-regulation of breast-cancer tumor suppressor gene (BRCA1) expression.

Environmental traffic noise and malignancies

Existing research regarding a possible increased cancer risk due to environmental traffic noise exposure is limited and inconclusive (25-28). Visser and colleagues (28) first examined the incidence of cancer near the Amsterdam Schiphol airport by comparing the standardized incidence ratios (SIR) of residents living in a "core area" (defined by noise contours) exposed to increased aircraft noise and airport-related pollutants with the SIR for residents living in the less exposed surrounding areas. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Breast Cancer and Exposure to Aircraft, Road, and Railway Noise: A Case–control Study Based on Health Insurance Records
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.