The present systematic review and meta‑analysis investigated the association between exposure to radiofrequency radiation and the risk of breast cancer. The published studies that were available in PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, Ovid MEDLINE, CINAHL Plus, Web of Science, Airiti Library, Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations and ProQuest until May 2020 were investigated. A total of eight studies (four case‑control and four cohort studies) were eligible for quantitative analysis. A significant association between radiofrequency radiation exposure and breast cancer risk was detected [pooled relative risk (RR)=1.189; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.056‑1.339]. Subgroup analyses indicated that radiofrequency radiation exposure significantly increased the risk of breast cancer susceptibility among subjects aged ≥50 years (RR=2.179; 95% CI, 1.260‑3.770). Pooled estimates revealed that the use of electrical appliances, which emit radiofrequency radiation, such as mobile phones and computers, significantly increased breast cancer development (RR=2.057; 95% CI, 1.272‑3.327), while occupational radiofrequency exposure and transmitters did not increase breast cancer development (RR=1.274; 95% CI, 0.956‑1.697; RR=1.133; 95% CI, 0.987‑1.300, respectively). It was concluded that radiofrequency radiation exposure significantly increased the risk of breast cancer, especially in women aged ≥50 years and in individuals who used electric appliances, such as mobile phones and computers. In accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‑analysis, an evaluation protocol was prepared and registered with the PROSPERO database (registration no. CRD42018087283).
breast cancer | radiofrequency radiation | systematic review | meta-analysis