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Cancer Causes Control. 2007 Oct;18(8):895-908. Epub 2007 Jul 19.

Occupation and keratinocyte cancer risk: a population-based case-control study.

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  • 1Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Dartmouth Medical School, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH, USA.



The aim of our study was to identify occupations associated with increased risk of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).


We conducted a population-based case-control study of BCC and SCC in New Hampshire. Cases (n = 599 BCC, n = 290 SCC) and controls (n = 524) completed a self-administered residence and work history questionnaire and personal interview regarding major risk factors for skin cancer. Reported jobs were coded using the Standardized Occupational Classification system (SOC). Odds ratios (ORs) and confidence intervals (CIs) for BCC and SCC were calculated for men and women separately using unconditional logistic regression models taking into account age, education, skin reaction to sun, history of painful sunburns, time spent outdoors, and for SCC, smoking.


Among men, we observed elevated risks of both BCC and SCC among groundskeepers and gardeners, except farm (SOC 5622). We also found that garage and service station-related occupations (SOCs 873) and to some extent food/beverage preparation/service occupations (SOC 521) were associated with BCC risk among men. Women in health services occupations (SOC 523) had elevated risks for both tumors, especially for BCC. Additionally, administrative support (SOC 46/47) occupations were related to BCC risk among women. Other occupations were associated with excess risks, but without consistent trends by duration of employment.


We observed several occupations associated with elevated BCC and SCC risk. These results resemble reported findings for cutaneous melanoma and are generally consistent with the few available studies on keratinocyte cancers.

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