Occupational cancer among women: Research status and methodologic consideration
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.