Do occupational factors influence the risk of colon and rectal cancer in different ways?

Cancer. 1993 Nov 1;72(9):2543-9. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19931101)72:9<2543::aid-cncr2820720906>3.0.co;2-d.

Abstract

Background: Occupational exposures and physical activity have been considered as risk factors for the development of colorectal cancer.

Methods: A case-control study on working conditions and the risk of colon and rectal cancer was performed in southeastern Sweden during 1984-86. Involved were 177 patients, 98 with colon cancer and 79 with rectal cancer, and two groups of control subjects, 371 hospital control subjects and 430 population control subjects.

Results: A significantly decreased risk of left-sided colon cancer was observed in persons involved in more than 20 years of physically active work and a significantly decreased risk of rectal cancer in persons involved in more than 20 years of sedentary work. A tendency toward increased risk was seen for colon cancer in male railroad workers and in male gas station workers. A reduced risk of rectal cancer was found for drivers, textile workers, and administration workers, whereas an increased risk of rectal cancer appeared among paper workers and assistant nurses. A low risk of both colon and rectal cancer was found among construction workers and forestry workers. Exposure to asbestos carried a slightly increased risk of colon cancer, whereas exposure to solvents slightly decreased the risk of rectal cancer.

Conclusion: This study confirms earlier findings that physical activity decreases the risk for left-sided colon cancer, but also suggests that occupational factors influence the risk of colon and rectal cancer in different ways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colonic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupations / statistics & numerical data*
  • Rectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors