Chapter 3

Cancer as an Occupational Hazard

Manzoor Ahmad Gatoo and Sufia Naseem


Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases of mankind that causes alarming mortality and morbidity in humans. According to International Labour Office (ILO), Occupational cancer is the most common work-related cause of death, leaving accidents and account for 32% of all work-related deaths worldwide leaving accidents and other occupational diseases well behind. It has long been evident that cancer has a multi-factorial etiology and is a multi-stepped process involving initiation, promotion and tumor progression. Studying occupational cancer is very challenging because of the long latency of cancer and the involvement of many factors in the development of cancer including family history, personal characteristics, dietary and personal habits besides exposure to cancer-causing agents in the workplace and environment. Occupational factors continue to be highly prevalent in new or upgraded IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) classifications in last decade. Inhalation, skin exposure and ingestion are significant modes of exposure of chemicals resulting in Cancer.Prevention of occupational cancer is a multistep strategy which involves eradication/minimization of carcinogenic process or agent coupled with good work /hygiene practices, employee education /counselling and workplace monitoring.

Total Pages: 62-86 (25)

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