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3 very different jobs carry a higher ovarian cancer risk: study


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Montreal — Women employed in hairdressing, construction and accounting may face a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer, a recent study out of Canada suggests.

University of Montreal researchers looked at data from the Prevention of Ovarian Cancer in Quebec Study, which included 491 women ages 18-79 who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer between 2010 and 2016. They compared information from that group with data from 897 women without the disease.

Findings show that the women who were employed for at least 10 years as hairdressers, beauticians or related occupations had a threefold greater risk of developing ovarian cancer. These jobs were most often exposed to 13 different agents, including ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, organic dyes and pigments, and bleaches, and the second most frequent occupation exposed to talcum powder. However, the researchers note that it’s unclear whether “these associations were driven by a single agent, a combination or other workplace factors.”

Women in construction faced a similarly heightened risk, while those who were employed long term in accounting faced twice the risk.

Other industries associated with an elevated risk of ovarian cancer included clothing/embroidery (85% greater risk), retail (59%) and sales (45%).

The study was published online in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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