The risk of shipyard workers acquiring lung cancer and gastrointestinal cancer was investigated retrospectively by analysing the mortality pattern of 365 deceased shipyard workers. Instead of using the proportional mortality ratio (PMR), the odds ratio (OR) was determined according to a method proposed by Axelson, Miettinen and Der Wang. The pattern of causes of death among Swedish males was used as a reference. The OR was 2.3 for lung cancer and 1.4 for gastrointestinal cancer, using death in cancers of other sites (ICD 170-209) as reference diseases. There was a heavy exposure to asbestos, which is the probable cause of the increased risk of lung cancer in this population.