Deputy Scientific Editor, The Daily Mail by Xantha Leatham
Updated: 00:34 Jul 11, 2023
Studies suggest that hairdressers, beauticians, and accountants may be at increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.
A new study shows that working in certain jobs for more than 10 years can increase your risk of illness.
Scientists say people who work in sales, retail, clothing and construction may also be vulnerable.
And they suggest that exposure to certain chemicals, like those found in talcum powder and bleach, may be the reason.
Researchers at the University of Montreal analyzed data from women aged 18 to 79.
They compared 491 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer with 879 women without ovarian cancer.
We collected a variety of information from all participants, including work history.
An analysis published in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine reveals that working as a beautician, barber, cosmetologist, or related profession for 10 years or more increases the risk of ovarian cancer by three times. Became.
Working in construction almost triples the risk, while working in the accounting industry for 10+ years doubles the risk.
Similarly, long-term work in the garment industry, including embroidery, was associated with an 85% higher risk of developing the disease, while working in the sales and retail trades was associated with a 45% and 59% higher risk, respectively. It has been found.
The research team said hairdressers, beauticians, and related workers were the occupations most frequently exposed to 13 chemicals, including ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, organic dyes and pigments, and bleach.
But it’s not clear whether the association with ovarian cancer is due to a single drug, a combination, or other workplace factors, the researchers said.
The research team added that white-collar workers and professionals such as accountants may be at higher risk of ovarian cancer because workers are sedentary for most of the day.
On the other hand, they found that women working as specialist nurses appeared to have a reduced risk of ovarian cancer.
“We have observed groups that suggest that women working in accounting, beauty, sales, sewing and related occupations, retail trade and construction may be at increased risk.” they are writing
“We observed increased risk with high cumulative exposure to 18 agents, and the majority of occupations exposed to 12 of these agents were beauty-related.
“Women in beauty-related occupations are exposed to hundreds of high concentrations of chemicals, including hair dyes, shampoos, conditioners, styling products and cosmetics.”
Why ovarian cancer is called the ‘silent killer’
About 80% of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage of the disease.
At the time of diagnosis, 60 percent of ovarian cancers have already spread to other parts of the body, reducing 5-year survival rates from 90 percent in the early stages to 30 percent.
The disease is diagnosed so late because of its location in the pelvis, says Dr. Ronnie Drapkin, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has studied the disease for more than 20 years.
“The pelvis is like a bowl, so a tumor there can get pretty big before it’s really noticeable,” Dr Drapkin told the Daily Mail Online.
The first symptoms to appear in ovarian cancer are gastrointestinal symptoms as the tumor can push upwards.
When patients complain of gastrointestinal discomfort, doctors tend to focus on dietary changes and other causes rather than suggesting ovarian cancer screening.
Drapkin said patients usually do not undergo cancer-revealing screening tests until they have endured persistent gastrointestinal symptoms.
“Ovarian cancer is often referred to as a silent killer because it has no early symptoms, but when symptoms are present, they are very common and could be due to other causes. ” he said.
“One thing I would say to women is that no one knows your body better than you. If something doesn’t feel right, something probably isn’t right.”