Occupational cancer among women: Research status and methodologic considerations

National Cancer Institute, Occupational Epidemiology Branch, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.59). 01/1999; 36(1):6-17. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0274(199907)36:1<6::AID-AJIM2>3.0.CO;2-F
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Occupational causes of cancer have not been well-evaluated among women. An increase in the number of women in the work force in jobs with potentially hazardous exposures during the past few decades raises the question as to whether there is a need to enhance our efforts in this area. The inability to evaluate occupational causes of female gynecologic tumors in studies of men, plus the potential for variation in outcome responses between men and women because of gender-based exposure and susceptibility differences, underscore the need for investigations specifically focused on women. Investigations of occupational exposures and cancer risk among women may require design considerations that differ somewhat from studies of men. Issues to consider include the impact of studying outcomes with high survival (e.g., breast cancer), gender-specific exposure patterns and toxicokinetic processing of some chemicals, special limitations in the use of the general population as the referent, and the need to control for established risk factors for gynecologic tumors.

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    • "This could be because of smaller numbers of women in the study, but may also indicate that including sufficient numbers of women for analysis was not a high priority in the study design. As discussed above methodological adjustments may need to be made when studying women, such as: increasing the sample sizes due to lower exposure rates, utilizing gender-specific exposure assessment techniques, and considering sex-and gender-specific confounders [Blair et al., 1999; Kennedy and Koehoorn, 2003; Arbuckle, 2006]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Since the early 1990s, researchers have been concerned with the low rate at which women are included in epidemiologic studies of occupational cancer. A previous evaluation determined that one-third of articles published between 1970 and 1990 included women. To assess whether there has been an improvement in recent years, papers on occupational cancer between 1991 and 2009 were reviewed in fifteen journals. The proportion of articles that included men remained stable around 90%, while the proportion of articles that included women increased substantially, from 39% in 1991-1995 to 62% in 2006-2009. Articles that assessed risk among men only or men and women presented a higher number of risk estimates and were more likely to evaluate dose-response relationships than studies including women. Despite advances in the inclusion of women in studies of occupational cancer, disparities remain in the number of studies of occupational cancer and depth of analysis in studies that included women. Am. J. Ind. Med. 58:276-281, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Industrial Medicine 03/2015; 58(3):276-81. DOI:10.1002/ajim.22424 · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    • "Furthermore, there is a well-known relationship between socioeconomic class and melanoma risk [Pion et al., 1995], which is also thought to reflect lifestyle differences. It has been pointed out that women working outside the home can differ from homeworkers in many lifestyle-related factors [Blair et al., 1999], such as tobacco, drug or alcohol use, or reproductive history, all of which have been studied as possible modifiers of melanoma risk [Westerdahl et al., 1996]. Dietary fat and coffee consumption have also been associated with melanoma in women [Veierod et al., 1997]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Few occupational studies have addressed melanoma in women. Accordingly, our aim was to identify occupations with higher risk of cutaneous melanoma, overall and by site, in Swedish female workers.Methods All gainfully employed Swedish women were followed-up from 1971 to 1989, using Death/Cancer Registers. Occupational risk ratios adjusted for age, period, town size, and geographic zone were computed for each site. Risk patterns for different sites were then compared.ResultsHigh risks were observed among educators, bank tellers, dental nurses, librarians/archivists/curators, horticultural workers, and hatmakers/milliners. Telephone operators and textile workers had increased risk, mainly in the leg. Other occupation-specific site excesses were also found. Upper-limb risks were correlated with head/neck and thorax, though these two sites were not associated. Legs registered a special pattern, with a moderate correlation with upper limbs or thorax, and no correlation with head/neck.Conclusions Some occupations with possible exposure to arsenic/mercury displayed increased risk. The generalized excess risk among hatmakers/milliners warrants further attention. The weak correlation between legs and other sites suggests site specificity in melanoma risk factors. Am. J. Ind. Med. 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    American Journal of Industrial Medicine 10/2005; 48(4):270 - 281. DOI:10.1002/ajim.20212 · 1.59 Impact Factor
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    • "Researchers must take care not to imply that sex or gender causes a health problem if this does not correspond to the research findings. Gender differences should be reported carefully, expressing both means and variance so that the extent and importance of differences are neither minimized nor exaggerated, and so that possible mechanisms are revealed [Blair et al., 1999]. Many researchers check their results with workplace informants before publication, in order to pick up possible errors or to hear explanations of results [Mergler, 1987; Guérin et al., 1997: chap. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Both women's and men's occupational health problems merit scientific attention. Researchers need to consider the effect of gender on how occupational health issues are experienced, expressed, defined, and addressed. More serious consideration of gender-related factors will help identify risk factors for both women and men.Methods The authors, who come from a number of disciplines (ergonomics, epidemiology, public health, social medicine, community psychology, economics, sociology) pooled their critiques in order to arrive at the most common and significant problems faced by occupational health researchers who wish to consider gender appropriately.ResultsThis paper describes some ways that gender can be and has been handled in studies of occupational health, as well as some of the consequences. The paper also suggests specific research practices that avoid errors. Obstacles to gender-sensitive practices are considered.Conclusions Although gender-sensitive practices may be difficult to operationalize in some cases, they enrich the scientific quality of research and should lead to better data and ultimately to well-targeted prevention programs. Am. J. Ind. Med. 43:618–629, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    American Journal of Industrial Medicine 06/2003; 43(6):618 - 629. DOI:10.1002/ajim.10225 · 1.59 Impact Factor
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