Careers With Higher Risks of Cancer

by | Jun 15, 2024 | Cancer Treatment, CyberKnife for Cancer Treatment

If you’ve ever asked yourself “is my job making me sick” or “is my career putting my health at risk,” you should know, these are valid questions.  

And the answer — in some cases – according to the experts at the CyberKnife Center of Miami, South Florida’s state-of-the art radiation treatment center for cancer, could be yes.

The International Commission on Occupational Health Workplace Safety and Health Institute estimates that 5% to 8% of all global cancers are caused by carcinogens in the workplace. And while safety regulations are helping to decrease that risk – exposure to certain chemicals, gases and dust can increase the risk. Stress from a job or a sedentary job can also increase the risk of developing cancer because of how these jobs may affect your immune system.


Office Jobs and Cancer Risk

Sitting for long periods of time has often been linked to heart disease and diabetes, but according to the American Journal of Epidemiology, these types of jobs can increase the risk of cancer as well.

Possible explanations include that time spent seated may be associated with unhealthy activities like snacking or lack of exercise or that being sedentary negatively impacts the immune system and the body’s hormone levels according to the American Cancer Society.


Shift Work and Cancer

According to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, those who don’t get proper sleep at the proper time and whose natural circadian rhythms are frequently disturbed, like truck drivers for instance, could also be at risk.  

Studies point to the fact that cancer development can be related to changes in the circadian balance.


Risks of Cancer with Manufacturing, Construction and Mining Jobs

Cancer-causing chemicals pose a risk for those working in manufacturing, construction, and mining. Working in factories that produce rubber increases the risk of bladder, lung and stomach cancer as well as leukemia, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Construction workers face the risk of asbestos exposure, which can increase the risk of larynx, ovarian, and lung cancers. Miners, who are often around uranium and radon, may increase the risk of brain, stomach, and thyroid cancers.


Jobs with an Increased Risk of Ovarian Cancer 

A study published last summer in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine  reported that women in certain jobs, particularly hairdressers, beauticians and believe it or not – accountants – may be at a higher risk for ovarian cancer while nurses may be at a decreased risk. 

According to the study, working for more than 10 years as hairdresser tripled the risk of developing the disease. And working as an accountant doubled the risk.  Long-term work in the clothing industry, like embroidery, increased the risk by 85% while working in retail raised the risk by 59%.

“Elevated risks were observed for high cumulative exposure to 18 agents for which a large proportion of occupations exposed to 12 of these agents were hairdressing related,” the authors stated.

Those agents or chemicals include ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, certain dyes, petroleum, and textile dust.

The authors said more studies are needed.


UV Exposure and Cancer Risk

Those with careers that keep them outside for long periods of time like those in construction, agriculture or even lifeguarding may face an increase in skin cancer, including melanoma.  That’s largely due to the exposure to the sun’s UV rays without protecting the skin.

Pilots also face an increased risk of UV exposure according to JAMA Dermatology.


Other Professions and Risks of Chemical-Causing Cancers

Manicurists may face an increased risk of cancer, particularly leukemia, because they’re exposed to a chemical called benzene, according to a study in the journal Environmental Pollution.  Wearing long sleeves, gloves and masks may help reduce exposure.  

There is also an increased risk of cancer among firefighters.  

According to one study, firefighters face a 9% increase in developing cancer and a 14% increase risk of death from cancer when compared to the general population. The risk is likely due to certain chemicals and carcinogens.

Morticians and painters may also face an increased risk of cancer. Again, that’s due to chemical exposure.


Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

If you are concerned about how your job may impact your health, talk to your doctor, understand the risk factors, and take precautions if you can.

If you or your loved one is diagnosed with cancer that may require radiation as a treatment, the experts at the CyberKnife Center of Miami – the premier cancer treatment center in South Florida – are here to help.

CyberKnife is a state-of-the art, noninvasive radiation treatment system that can successfully treat cancers of the prostate, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas, spine, lymph nodes and brain as well as metastatic cancers.

CyberKnife has been used for more than two decades and has been studied in clinical trials.  It has helped hundreds of thousands of patients – even patients who were told they couldn’t have more radiation, or their tumors were inoperable.

CyberKnife offers excellent tumor control, lower risk of damage to healthy tissue, a better quality of life during treatment and fewer treatments than with traditional radiation. Plus, most parts of the body that have been treated with radiation before can be retreated with CyberKnife.

If you are interested in learning more about CyberKnife Miami call us at 305-279-2900 or go to our website