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CANCER RISK FACTORS: OCCUPATIONAL RISK FACTORS

About 10 percent of all cancers are related to exposure to carcinogens on the job. The relationship between a person's job and cancer was noted in the eighteenth century when it was observed that the incidence of cancer of the scrotum was very high in chimney sweeps. Many associations between exposure to carcinogens at work and cancer have been made since then. Most recently, the boot and shoe manufacture and repair industry and the furniture and cabinetmaking industry were shown to be risk factors for cancer of the nasal sinuses.

Preliminary studies indicate that butchers and slaughterhouse workers are at risk for lung cancer and cancer of other parts of the respiratory system as well as some leukemias. However, these findings need to be confirmed and controlled for those persons who also smoke before this industry can be labeled as a definite risk factor for cancer.

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