Study Links Professions with Higher Esophageal Cancer Risks

by: cancercompass

As scientists begin to learn what substances cause cancer of the esophagus, new research has surfaced linking the disease with certain professions, such as the hotel and restaurant trades, animal handling, mining and carpentry.

Jesus Vioque, lead researcher at Miguel Hernandez University in Alicante, Spain, studied the relationship between occupations and three types of cancers: esophageal, pancreatic and stomach. His study, which was recently published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, paid specific attention to squamous cell cancer and adenocarcinoma.

Vioque analyzed cases involving 185 men who were recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer and 285 cases of healthy men.  Each man answered a questionnaire about diet, profession and lifestyle.  Age and educational level, along with alcohol and tobacco consumption were also taken into account.

Overall study findings suggested ionizing radiation led to increased risk for squamous cell cancer, while serious exposure to volatile sulphur and lead increased adenocarcinoma risk.  High levels of asbestos exposure could also triple the overall risk of esophageal cancer, according to the study.

Vioque suggests workers in high risk professions take protective measures, such as wearing goggles or masks.

While scientists have identified some risk factors for esophageal cancer, the exact cause is unknown. Learn more about esophageal cancer risks.