Airborne Exposure to Some Chemicals May Increase Stomach Cancer Risk

Cancer Connect

According to an article recently published in the International Journal of Cancer, airborne exposure to some occupational carcinogens appears to increase the risk of noncardia gastric cancer among men.

Stomach (gastric) cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. It tends to be more common in Asia and among under-developed countries. Noncardia gastric cancer refers to cancer that is in the middle or lower part of the stomach. In order to prevent of greatly reduce the development of cancer, researchers continue to investigate potential carcinogens and their relationship to the risk of developing various cancers.

Researchers from Sweden recently conducted a clinical study to evaluate potential occupational airborne exposures that may be associated with a risk of developing noncardia gastric cancer. This study included over 256,000 males with 200 different jobs. Data on these jobs was obtained through self-administered questionnaires and forms.

  • Workers exposed to cement dust had a 50% increased rate of noncardia gastric cancer.
  • Workers exposed to quartz dust had a 30% increased rate of noncardia gastric cancer.
  • Workers exposed to diesel exhaust had a 40% increased rate of noncardia gastric cancers.
  • Exposure to asbestos, asphalt fumes, concrete dust, epoxy resins, isocyanates, metal fumes, mineral fibers, organic solvents, or wood dust did not appear to increase the risk of noncardia gastric cancers.

The researchers concluded that occupational exposure to cement dust, quartz dust, and diesel exhaust appears to significantly increase the risk of noncardia gastric cancer among males. Men exposed to these airborne carcinogens may wish to speak with their physician regarding potential screening measures for noncardia gastric cancer.

Reference: Sjodahl K, Jansson C, Bergdahl I, et al. Airborne exposures and risk of gastric cancer: a prospective cohort study. International Journal of Cancer. 2007; 120: 2013–2018.

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