Why do female orthopaedic surgeons have a higher risk of breast cancer? – A narrative review
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Child Jesus Clinical Hospital, University Clinical Centre, Medical University, Warsaw, Poland
Praski Hospital, Warsaw, Poland
Corresponding author
Julita Kinga Zembala   

Child Jesus Clinical Hospital, University Clinical Centre, Medical University, Warsaw, Lindleya 4, 02-004, Warszawa, Polska
Med Srod. 2023;26(1-2):16–19
Introduction and objective:
Breast cancer is a leading cause of mortality worldwide, and female orthopaedic surgeons have shown a higher prevalence of breast cancer due to occupational radiation exposure. This review aims to explore the association between radiation exposure and breast cancer among female orthopaedic surgeons, while highlighting challenges in minimizing exposure and emphasizing the importance of protective measures.

Abbreviated description of the state of knowledge:
Orthopaedic surgeons face increased radiation exposure during fluoroscopy-based procedures, putting them at risk. Studies have demonstrated their vulnerability, particularly in procedures like intramedullary nailing and pedicle screw insertion. Protective measures such as lead aprons and positioning techniques can help reduce exposure.

This review highlights the higher prevalence of breast cancer among female orthopaedic surgeons due to their occupational exposure to radiation. The close proximity to radiation sources during procedures increases their risk. Protective measures such as lead aprons and proper positioning techniques play a crucial role in reducing radiation exposure. However, there is a lack of knowledge and training in radiation safety among orthopaedic surgeons. To promote the health and safety of these surgeons, it is essential to raise awareness, implement appropriate precautions, and provide standardized training programs. Further research is needed to better understand the underlying mechanisms and develop targeted interventions to mitigate the risks associated with radiation exposure in this population.

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