But other than mesothelioma? An estimate of the proportion of work-related cancers in Quebec

  • F. Labrèche Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (irsst); Université de Montréal, Montreal
  • P. Duguay Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (irsst)
  • A. Boucher Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (irsst)
  • R. Arcand Institut national de santé publique du Québec
Keywords: Work-related cancers, attributable fraction, compensation statistics, research priorities

Abstract

Background

More than 30 exposures in the workplace are proven carcinogens. In the present study, we aimed to estimate the burden of occupational cancer in Quebec so as to increase awareness among stakeholders and to prioritize research activities.

Methods

Work-attributable fractions—that is, the proportions of cancers attributable to work—as published in Finland and the United Kingdom were applied to Quebec 2002–2006 cancer incidence and mortality data to estimate the number of work-related cases for 28 cancer sites.

Results

Overall, 6.0% of incident cancers (men: 9.1%; women: 2.7%) and 7.6% of cancer deaths (men: 11.8%; women: 2.8%) could be attributable to work, resulting annually in an average of 2160 new cancer diagnoses and 1190 cancer deaths in Quebec. Incident cancers of the lung, prostate, skin, bladder, and (female) breast were the most numerous; cancer sites resulting in more deaths were lung, (female) breast, and pleura. During the same period, compensation statistics reported annual averages of 94.3 incident cancers and 61.9 cancer deaths, mostly involving mesothelioma (64% of compensated incident cancers) and lung cancer (30% of compensated incident cancers).

Conclusions

Increased recognition of workplace cancers by all stakeholders, from workers and employers to treating physicians, will foster appropriate preventive measures for safer workplaces.


Author Biographies

F. Labrèche, Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (irsst); Université de Montréal, Montreal
Chemical and Biological Hazards Prevention; Departments of Environmental and Occupational Health and of Social and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health
P. Duguay, Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (irsst)
Scientific Division
A. Boucher, Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (irsst)
Scientific Division
R. Arcand, Institut national de santé publique du Québec
Occupational Health Unit
Published
2016-04-18
How to Cite
Labrèche, F., Duguay, P., Boucher, A., & Arcand, R. (2016). But other than mesothelioma? An estimate of the proportion of work-related cancers in Quebec. Current Oncology, 23(2), e144-e149. https://doi.org/10.3747/co.23.2812
Section
Short Communication