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Med J Aust. 2007 Aug 6;187(3):178-80.

"There will be no more!": the legacy of the Toowong breast cancer cluster.

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  • 1Cancer Control Program, Public Health Unit, South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Area Health Service, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


During 1994-2006, 10 cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed among 550 women employed for some time at a broadcast media site in Brisbane, Queensland. These cases represented a more than sixfold increase in risk compared with the female population of Queensland. After an initial unsatisfactory inquiry, an independent assessment was successful when the investigation addressed environmental factors of concern to the employees, as well as agents that may have accounted for the cluster. The perceptions of the women affected were documented in the television program Australian Story. No specific cause of the cluster was identified, but staff concerns were allayed by relocation from the site. The outcome suggests a specific duty of care involving adequate attention being paid to community needs in such situations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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