Tags: Prostate Health | prostate | cancer | risk | professions

Professions With the Highest Prostate Cancer Risk

By    |   Thursday, 11 Feb 2016 05:13 PM

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in males, affecting one in seven men, but research seems to indicate men in some professions may have a higher risk of getting prostate cancer than others.

Some occupations expose workers to substances that have been associated with a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. Having appropriate levels of zinc in the body is thought to protect it against prostate cancer. According to the Prostate Cancer Treatment Guide, cadmium may inhibit the body’s ability to absorb zinc, and notes welders, railroad workers, mechanics, and power plant operators can all be exposed to high levels of cadmium.

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The Prostate Cancer Treatment Guide also says there is some evidence that professions involving routine exposure to toxic agricultural and landscape pesticides can lead to higher risk of prostate cancer. These chemicals, over time, can cause cells in the prostate gland to reproduce abnormally, increasing the risk of cancer. This risk factor could apply to conventional farmers who use pesticides on their crops, but it also can affect men who work in places where pesticides are stored for long periods of time, like garden or landscape centers.

Chemical exposure isn’t the only occupational risk factor to consider when assessing lifetime prostate cancer risk. According to MedScape Medical News, a study compared the likelihood of prostate cancer diagnosis for long-haul truck drivers and teachers. Teachers were used in the study for comparison because they are not exposed to any occupational hazards suspected of increasing prostate cancer risk. The study found that long-haul truck drivers were four times more likely to develop prostate cancer than the teachers, possibly due to prolonged whole-body vibrations.

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While there is some evidence to support increased risk of prostate cancer in these professions, much of it is inconclusive. It has been difficult to find a direct cause and effect relationship between occupation and prostate cancer because there are so many risk factors that cannot be ruled out.

More research is needed, but it is generally accepted that lifetime prostate cancer risk is determined by a combination of factors. If you work in any of these suspected high-risk occupations, seek the advice of your physician.

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Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in males, affecting one in seven men, but research seems to indicate men in some professions may have a higher risk of getting prostate cancer than others.
prostate, cancer, risk, professions
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2016-13-11
Thursday, 11 Feb 2016 05:13 PM
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