Outdoor Professions Carry Different Risks for Non-Melanoma Skin Cancerby Stephanie Stephens Health Writer
Solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is known as a major risk factor for non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). The condition is now recognized as an occupational disease common to outdoor workers in a number of countries.
A new cross-sectional study in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology finds that different outdoor jobs present "significant different risks" and show different risk behavior, the authors said. They looked at 563 total participants, of which 348 were outdoor workers — farmers, gardeners and mountain guides — and 215 were indoor workers.
They report that NMSC including actinic keratosis was diagnosed in 33.3 percent of mountain guides, 27.4 percent of farmers, 19.5 percent of gardeners, and in 5.6 percent of indoor workers. Mountain guides were at highest risk compared to farmers, they said.
They also considered skin cancer screening attendance rates: indoor worker 61.4 percent, mountain guides 57.8 percent, farmers 31.9 percent, and gardeners 27.6 percent, along with daily UVR exposure during work, and protective behavior that included using sunscreen at work. In conclusion, they suggested tailoring prevention efforts specifically to different jobs to help reduce the global burden of NMSC.