A study published in the April issue of Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests that women who are exposed to fibers such as acrylic, nylon and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons at a young age may be at an increased risk for developing breast cancer after menopause, according to ModernMedicine.com.
The study followed 556 women between the ages of 50 and 75 who had been diagnosed with malignant breast cancer, and 613 women with other forms of cancer who were used as controls. Experts then used a woman's life and job history to determine the amount of chemicals the participants had been exposed to over the course of their lives, the website reports.
It was revealed that there was a correlation between exposure to fabricated fibers and late-in-life breast cancer.
"Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that breast tissue is more sensitive to adverse effects if exposure occurs when breast cells are still proliferating," the authors of the study wrote. "More refined analyses
are required to further our understanding of the role of chemicals in the development of breast cancer."
With these findings in mind, it may be wise for women who have worked with chemicals or synthetic fibers in past to be proactive about their breast health. The American Cancer Society suggests that after the age of 40 a woman should have a mammogram on an annual basis.