BREAST CANCER, JOB CATEGORY, OCCUPATIONAL ACTIVITY AND WORKERS’ COMPENSATION: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

In the workplace, there are certain activities that makes one susceptible to work injury or illness.

A recent study examined Breast Cancer in relation to Job Category and Occupational Activity. Information from this study may assist an Worker on whether they should consider filing a claim for Breast Cancer.

This article will discuss Breast Cancer and the association it has with respect to Job Category and Occupational Activity and Workers’ Compensation.

What Is Breast Cancer?

Per the CDC, Breast Cancer is “a disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control. There are different kinds of breast cancer. The kind of breast cancer depends on which cells in the breast turn into cancer.”

There are different kinds of Breast Cancers.   Some are more common than others.  The more common Breast Cancers are invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma.   Also, there are less common Breast Cancers that include Paget’s Disease and Inflammatory Breast Cancer.  Further, there is Ductal Carcinoma in Situ which is a breast disease which may lead to breast cancer.  CDC.

What Was Studied with Respect to Breast Cancer?

A recent study addressed whether job category or occupational activity were a risk factor with respect to Breast Cancer.  Association of job category and occupational activity with breast cancer incidence in Japanese female workers: the JACC study Gita Nirmala Sari, Ehab Salah Eshak, Kokoro Shirai, Yoshihisa Fujino, Akiko Tamakoshi & Hiroyasu Iso  BMC Public Health volume 20, Article number: 1106 (2020)

The study did the following analysis and found that “[t]here were 138 incident cases of breast cancer during 13.3 years median follow-up period. Office workers compared with manual workers were at a higher risk of breast cancer after adjusting for reproductive health factors and physical activity indicators; the multivariable HR (95% CI) was 1.65 (1.07–2.55). Also, women who had mainly a sitting position during work compared with those moving during work had the higher risk: the multivariable HR (95%CI) of 1.45 (1.01–2.12). The excess risk of breast cancer was observed for office workers when time spent in walking was < 30 min/ day; HR (95% CI) was 1.11 (1.01–1.23), and for women mainly at a sitting position during work when time spent in walking was 30–59 min or < 30 min/day; HRs (95% CIs) were 1.87 (1.07–3.27) and 1.74 (1.07–2.83), respectively.”

What Did the Study Find?

The study found that certain work activities can be associated with breast cancer.   The study did an analysis as to the there is an association with respect to physical activities and Breast Cancer.   It found that “Office workers compared with manual workers were at a higher risk of breast cancer.” Association of job category and occupational activity with breast cancer incidence in Japanese female workers: the JACC study Gita Nirmala Sari, Ehab Salah Eshak, Kokoro Shirai, Yoshihisa Fujino, Akiko Tamakoshi & Hiroyasu Iso  BMC Public Health volume 20, Article number: 1106 (2020)

What was a Manual Worker for the Study? What was an Office Worker?

In the study, there was a focus on Manual (Active) Workers vs. Office (Inactive) Workers.

The study used a “self-administered questionnaire, participants were further asked to classify their job category into office, manual and others. Based on the Japan Standard Industry Classification (JSIC) published by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication of Japan which included a wide range of specific jobs coded from 1 to 99 [22], the participants who answered the job category as others were allocated to manual (for examples; sales, restaurant, forestry, fisheries workers, etc.), office (for examples; clerk, postal, management staff, etc.), professional (for examples; health worker, judges, accountant, musician, etc.) and unclassified job categories. For the current research, we reclassified job categories into four categories namely manual, office, professional and unclassified. The occupational activity was classified according to the position during work as moving, mainly standing and mainly sitting. Association of job category and occupational activity with breast cancer incidence in Japanese female workers: the JACC study Gita Nirmala Sari, Ehab Salah Eshak, Kokoro Shirai, Yoshihisa Fujino, Akiko Tamakoshi & Hiroyasu Iso  BMC Public Health volume 20, Article number: 1106 (2020) [emphasis added]

What Was the Level of Physical Activity Used Within the Study?

The associations of the breast cancer risk with the job category and occupational activity were tested after the stratification by walking time (< 30 min/day, 30–59 min/day, or ≥ 1 h/day). [Note: walking time was the physical activity used to differentiate.]

What Does this Study Mean for Injured Workers Who Have Breast Cancer?

If you are a Worker who is succumbed with Breast Cancer, you should look to see if you fit within the framework of the study.  Please note that this study is not an exclusive of the proposed industrial causes of breast cancer.   This article is limited to the issue of activity and occupation.

Are There Other Studies Which Support the Theory of Decreased Physical Activity and Increased Risk of Breast Cancer?

There was a previous study which also supported the theory of increased activity and the reduction of the risk of breast cancer.  Physical Activity and the Risk of Breast Cancer Inger Thune, M.D., Tormod Brenn, M.Sc.,  Eiliv Lund, M.D., Ph.D., and Maria Gaard, M.D. May 1, 1997 N Engl J Med 1997; 336:1269-1275 DOI: 10.1056/NEJM199705013361801. The conclusion of the report was “Physical activity during leisure time and at work is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer.”

What If I Need Legal Advice?

If you would like a free consultation concerning any workers’ compensation case, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. They have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their worker’s compensation cases for 28 years.

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