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TobaccoScience, policy and public health$
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Peter Boyle, Nigel Gray, Jack Henningfield, John Seffrin, and Witold Zatonski

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199566655

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566655.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 May 2020

Active and passive smoking and cancer of the breast

Active and passive smoking and cancer of the breast

(p.493) Chapter 28 Active and passive smoking and cancer of the breast

Areti Lagiou

Dimitrios Trichopoulos

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews studies on the link between smoking and breast cancer. There is little evidence that passive smoking increases the risk of breast cancer, although this possibility cannot be rejected. The problem reflects the more general issue of distinguishing a null association from a weakly positive one on the basis of epidemiological evidence alone. With respect to active smoking, the overall epidemiological evidence is weak. There are findings, however, suggestive of interaction of this exposure with early age at exposure and nulliparity, when the mammary gland is not adequately differentiated. There are also reports that active smoking modifies the spectrum of p53 mutations in breast tumours and interacts with particular genetic polymorphisms. These findings cannot be explained by simple forms of selection or information bias but they may still reflect chance or selective reporting. If they were to be replicated and further supported by epidemiological results, these results would indicate that active smoking does affect breast cancer risk. At this stage, and if one were to adopt the International Agency for Research on Cancer terminology concerning the evaluation of carcinogenicity, the likely verdict on active smoking in relation to breast cancer risk would be that it is a ‘possible’ carcinogen.

Keywords:   cigarette smoking, breast cancer, cancer risk, tobacco use, active smoking, passive smoking

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