Identifying Gaps in Breast Cancer Research

CBCRP's Special Research Initiatives team developed this review of the existing research in the environmental causes of breast cancer and the unequal burden of the disease to ensure that we do not duplicate previous studies and to identify the most promising areas for research. This information was used by the SRI Strategy Team and Steering Committee to develop recommendations for SRI research funding.

This document has gone through extensive drafting, editing, and revision by experts in the various fields. Nonetheless, new information and research results are always being released. As possible, we will update chapters with new findings. These chapters are marked as Draft and dated. If and when a chapter is updated, the revised version will be posted with a new date.

We welcome your comments and suggestions for improving this document. Please email us at:

Download the full document as a PDF (2.22MB) or download the individual chapters below:

Front Matter



Section I: Exposures from the Physical Environment and Breast Cancer

Overarching Issues
A. Secondhand Smoke
B. Environmental Chemicals/Pollutants

  1. Air Pollutants, Fuels and Additives
  2. Persistent Organic Pollutants
  3. Polybrominated Flame Retardants
  4. Pesticides
  5. Solvents and industrial chemicals
  6. Water Contaminants
  7. Hormones in Food
  8. Metals
  9. Exposures from Polyvinyl Chloride
  10. Bisphenol A

C. Compounds in Personal Care Products
D. Pharmaceuticals
E. Infectious agents
F. Ionizing Radiation
G. Electric and Magnetic Fields
H. Light at night
I. Vitamin D/Sunlight

Section II: Disparities in Breast Cancer: Domains of Individual-level Social Inequality

A. Race/Ethnicity
B. Sexual Minority Women
C. Disability Status
D. Culture
E. Health Insurance

Section III: Neighborhood Context and Breast Cancer