Considerations on the Implication of Work Environment Factors in Respiratory Cancer
Background: Occupational cancers are defined as neoplastic proliferations caused by exposure to certain specific chemical, physical or biological agents during their professional activities. Materials and Methods: We included in our study 3523 patients with respiratory cancer admitted in four clinics in Cluj-Napoca between 1991 and 2000. The study aimed to establish if there is a relation between certain exposure groups, and respiratory cancer. Results: Nasal cancer had the earliest onset; bronchopulmonary cancer had the highest mean age at onset. The most significant risks identified were: silica, asbestos, exposure to respiratory irritants for bronchopulmonary cancer, mixed dusts, organic dust and smoking for laryngeal cancer, nonspecific industrial exposure and smoking for oral cancer, wood dust and organic solvents for sinus cancer, nonspecific industrial exposure and farming, for nasal cancer. Women are more susceptible to cancer than men are. Rural environment seems to have a protective effect for respiratory cancer development. Smoking is an additional risk factor that often interferes with occupational exposure risk assessment and in our study was found to be of greater importance in the development of laryngeal and oral cancers in comparison to the other three localizations. Conclusions: There is an acute need for a well-coordinated data collecting and referring system in order to implement effective preventive strategies. Smoking is a disturbing factor in the evaluation of carcinogenic effect of occupational agents.