Glossary of Exposures


What is an exposure?

We often come into contact with—or are exposed to—substances and other factors linked to breast cancer. These include chemicals, and physical agents such as ionizing radiation and light-at-night. This glossary highlights certain exposures with the strongest evidence linked to breast cancer. For each, we describe what it is, where it’s found, the science linking it to breast cancer, who is most vulnerable and how to avoid the exposure.


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