Prostate cancer: an occupational hazard in Romania?

Open access


Several occupational carcinogens (arsenic, cadmium) and industries (rubber production) have been associated with prostate cancer risk but most of the data are from studies conducted on screened populations. Here we explored this association in Romanian men, a population with low PSA screening test coverage. We have analyzed 468 prostate cancer cases pathologically confirmed and 495 non-cancer hospital controls, recruited in the ROMCAN project. Personal information, including occupational activity, was collected through interview. Two experts classified jobs and activities into 15 economic sectors with similar patterns of exposure. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between ever employed in each economic sector and prostate cancer risk. We observed a higher non adjusted risk for employment in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply activities (OR=3.95, p=0.029), manufacturing–light industry (OR=1.88, p=0.039), financial, insurance and gambling (OR=1.44, p=0.046) and a lower risk for employment in construction industry (OR=0.62, p=0.010). After adjusting for potential confounders, only the low risk in construction workers was maintained (OR=0.55, p=0.004). Our study provides some evidence on the role of occupational factors on the prostate cancer risk but further assessments are needed. Healthy lifestyle promotion and prevention should be reinforced at workplaces.

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