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Australian TV Channel to Study Breast Cancer Incidence in Its Women Staff

THE ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) has decided to investigate the frequency of breast cancer among women in all of its studio complexes across Australia .

The move followed the release today of a final report by an independent panel of experts into the high rate of breast cancer cases at its studios in the western Brisbane suburb of Toowong.

"If there is a currently unknown or undetected aspect of work or the working environment at the ABC Toowong that could have contributed to the observed increase in risk of breast cancer, it might also be present in similar ABC studio complexes elsewhere in Australia," the report said.

"We recommend, therefore, the conduct of similar investigations into the frequency of breast cancer among women who have worked on those sites at some time since 1994, as we have done at Toowong."

All the ABC's Brisbane staff were relocated from the Toowong site just before Christmas after a study found female employees reported breast cancer at a rate of up to 11 times higher than the general working community.

ABC managing director Mark Scott said the Cancer Council would do the new study.

The independent panel's report released today found there was a "real increase in the risk of breast cancer in women working at the ABC Toowong site that was related to length of employment and may have been contributed to by some aspect of work or the working environment at Toowong".

But the expert panel found that the increase in risk was unlikely to have been caused by exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields, extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields, ionising radiation or chemicals.

"There was also little or no evidence to suggest that the increase in risk could be explained by an underlying high risk of breast cancer in women employed at Toowong due to their sharing of known genetic or lifestyle risk factors for bre
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