Occupation and bladder cancer

J. Shaham, A. Melzer, Z. Kaufman, J. Ribak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The proportion of all cancers attributed to occupational environment has been estimated at only 4% (range 2-8%), although 20% of bladder carcinoma is occupationally related. In Israel, 7 substances have been established as bladder carcinogens and another 2 are suspected. The linkage between bladder cancer and occupation was examined according to occupational history and work-place exposure; smoking habits were also noted. The study population consisted of 1230 patients diagnosed as suffering from bladder cancer in 1988-1993 in 5 central hospitals; 80% were men, mean age 68.9 +/- 10.8 years. Only 41% of the files (mean 45%, range 13-69%) had information about last job, but no information on exposure. The information in 226 files out of 500 (45%) about previous occupations indicated potential association with bladder cancer in 68%. These occupational fields were: medicine (doctors, nurses), building and agriculture, and comprised 27.6% of all jobs reported. Other occupations connected with bladder cancer reported with lesser frequency were in the paint, rubber, textile and leather industries. There was information about smoking, a known carcinogen for bladder cancer, in only 59% of the files. Our findings indicate that the overall situation in Israel is similar to that in other countries. There is a connection between bladder cancer and exposure to carcinogens at work, but the medical files were not a good source of information regarding the precise extent of this problem. Recording occupational history is important for proper medical surveillance of high risk populations, for early detection of bladder cancer, and for prevention of further exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-386, 456
Issue number10
StatePublished - 15 Nov 1996
Externally publishedYes


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