Pérez-Gómez B, Aragonés N, Gustavsson P, Plato N, López-Abente G, Pollán M.
Cancer and Environmental Epidemiology Section, National Center for Epidemiology,
Carlos III Institute of Health, Madrid, Spain.
BACKGROUND: Few occupational studies have addressed melanoma in women.
Accordingly, our aim was to identify occupations with higher risk of cutaneous
melanoma, overall and by site, in Swedish female workers. METHODS: All gainfully
employed Swedish women were followed-up from 1971 to 1989, using Death/Cancer
Registers. Occupational risk ratios adjusted for age, period, town size, and
geographic zone were computed for each site. Risk patterns for different sites
were then compared. RESULTS: High risks were observed among educators, bank
tellers, dental nurses, librarians/archivists/curators, horticultural workers,
and hatmakers/milliners. Telephone operators and textile workers had increased
risk, mainly in the leg. Other occupation-specific site excesses were also found.
Upper-limb risks were correlated with head/neck and thorax, though these two
sites were not associated. Legs registered a special pattern, with a moderate
correlation with upper limbs or thorax, and no correlation with head/neck.
CONCLUSIONS: Some occupations with possible exposure to arsenic/mercury displayed
increased risk. The generalized excess risk among hatmakers/milliners warrants
further attention. The weak correlation between legs and other sites suggests
site specificity in melanoma risk factors.