A geographical analysis of breast cancer clustering in southern Ontario: generating hypotheses on environmental influences
This article presents the results of spatial analysis of breast cancer clustering in southern Ontario. Data from the Cancer Care Ontario were analyzed using the Scan Statistic at the level of county, with further analysis conducted within counties that were identified as primary clusters
at the dissemination area level. The results identified five counties as primary clusters of women diagnosed with breast cancer between 1986 and 2002: Essex (relative risk [RR] = 1.096–1.061; p < 0.001), Lambton (RR = 1.05–1.167), Chatham-Kent
(RR = 1.133–1.191), Niagara (RR = 1.228–1.290) and Toronto (RR = 1.152–1.146). The within county analysis revealed several DAs with significantly higher (RR > 3, p < 0.05) rates of breast cancer, and supports
our hypothesis that breast cancer risk in southern Ontario may be associated with industrial and environmental (such as pesticides) pollutants. Further research is needed to verify the environmental links within the identified clusters.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Geography,The University of Western Ontario, London,ON, CanadaN6A 3K7
School of Social Work, University of Windsor, Windsor,ON, Canada
Cancer Surveillance Unit, Cancer Care Ontario, Toronto, ON,Canada,
Windsor Regional Cancer Centre, Windsor,ON, Canada
Department of Surgery,University of Toronto and Surgical Oncologist, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, Toronto,ON, Canada
June 1, 2012
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