Nav: Home

Hidden costs of skin cancer caused by workplace sun exposure revealed

April 26, 2018

Skin cancer cases attributable to work-related sun exposure could be costing millions of dollars, and must be better addressed by policymakers.

A new study, published today in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, has estimated the total and per-case costs of newly diagnosed non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) in Canada in 2011 caused by workplace sun exposure.

Using a range of secondary sources, including official government records and health surveys, researchers revealed the true economic burden of NMSCs, which cost $34.6 million in 2011 Canadian dollars.

These costs were made up of a range of lifetime costs, including healthcare treatment, the impact of time away from work, out-of-pocket expenses, and poor life quality.

Further analyses highlighted the sizeable cost per patient for the two most common types of non-melanoma skin cancer: basal-cell and squamous-cell carcinoma. The figure stood at $5,760 per case for basal-, and $10,555 per case for squamous-cell carcinoma.

One of the few cancers that are increasing in incidence, skin cancers are the most common form of cancer in Canada and other countries with large fair-skinned populations. Roughly one in ten Canadian workers are exposed to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation at work, and the majority of these spend six hours or more outdoors each day.

With solar UV radiation the main cause of skin cancer, the researchers hope that their landmark findings can persuade policymakers to give greater attention to reducing workplace sun exposure - both within and outside of Canada. The occupations deemed most at risk - construction, farming, and landscaping - are not exclusive to Canada.

As the study's principal investigator, Dr. Emile Tompa, a senior scientist at Canada's Institute for Work & Health, commented: "The findings suggest that policy-makers might give greater priority to reducing sun exposure at work by allocating occupational cancer prevention resources accordingly."

"The results can also raise awareness among policymakers, employers, unions and workers about the significant contribution of workplace sun exposure to skin cancers. These groups can now make a strong cost-benefit argument for inexpensive exposure reduction interventions, such as shade structures, hats and loose clothing, sunscreen, and shift scheduling to reduce the amount of time workers spend in the sun."

The study, which was funded by the Canadian Cancer Society, is the first to comprehensively estimate the economic burden of workplace NMSCs caused by sun exposure in Canada. It is hoped that the approach can be adapted to carry out similar economic burden estimates in other countries.
-end-


Taylor & Francis Group

Related Cancer Articles:

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.
Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.
Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.
More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.
New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.
American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.
Oncotarget: Cancer pioneer employs physics to approach cancer in last research article
In the cover article of Tuesday's issue of Oncotarget, James Frost, MD, PhD, Kenneth Pienta, MD, and the late Donald Coffey, Ph.D., use a theory of physical and biophysical symmetry to derive a new conceptualization of cancer.
More Cancer News and Cancer Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Warped Reality
False information on the internet makes it harder and harder to know what's true, and the consequences have been devastating. This hour, TED speakers explore ideas around technology and deception. Guests include law professor Danielle Citron, journalist Andrew Marantz, and computer scientist Joy Buolamwini.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.