Several studies have examined the possible role of serum organochlorine pesticide and PCBs levels in the development of breast cancer over the past decade, but there is little data on self-reported residential exposures.


This was a case control study conducted in New York City and the surrounding area that included 1204 patients (446 cases and 758 controls). Cases were defined as women with newly diagnosed breast cancer or carcinoma in situ, while patients with benign breast diseases and women undergoing non-breast related surgery were included in the control group. All patients were asked a series of questions to determine their pesticide exposure, including the type, location (inside vs. outside), who applied the pesticide, and duration of pesticide use. Logistic regression models were used to estimate unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI).


The most common pests encountered in the residences were ants, carpenter ants and cockroaches. The adjusted odds ratio for self-application of pesticide and professional application for this group of pests was 1.25(95%CI 0.79-1.98) and 1.06(95% CI 0.65-1.73) respectively. The risk did not vary when comparing inside and outside applications, (OR= 1.13(95% CI 0.75-1.72) and 1.22(95% CI 0.60-2.50) respectively. Tests for trend showed no dose-response relationship with each type of application.


Our study did not show an association between self-reported exposure to pesticides and breast cancer risk, which is consistent with the vast majority of studies including our own that showed no increased risk of breast cancer with biological levels of pesticides.

Citation Information: Cancer Prev Res 2008;1(7 Suppl):A125.

Seventh AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research-- Nov 16-19, 2008; Washington, DC