Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2015 August 24 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]
Boulanger M, Morlais F, Bouvier V, Galateau-Salle F, Guittet L, Marquignon MF, Paris C, Raffaelli C, Launoy G, Clin B.
The aim of our study was to estimate the incidence of digestive cancers within a cohort of asbestos-exposed workers.
Our study was based on a cohort of 2024 participants occupationally exposed to asbestos. The incidence of digestive cancers was calculated from 1 January 1978 to 31 December 2009 and compared with levels among the local general population using Standardised Incidence Ratios (SIRs). Asbestos exposure was assessed using the company’s job-exposure matrix.
119 cases of digestive cancer were observed within our cohort, for an expected number of 77 (SIR=1.54 (1.28 to 1.85)). A significantly elevated incidence was observed for peritoneal mesothelioma, particularly in women. Significantly elevated incidences were also observed among men for: all digestive cancers, even when excluding peritoneal mesothelioma (SIR=1.50 (1.23 to 1.82)), oesophageal cancer (SIR=1.67 (1.08 to 2.47)) and liver cancer (SIR=1.85 (1.09 to 2.92)). Concerning colorectal cancer, a significant excess of risk was observed for men with exposure duration above 25 years (SIR=1.75 (1.05 to 2.73)).
Our results are in favour of a link between long-duration asbestos exposure and colorectal cancer in men. They also suggest a relationship between asbestos exposure and cancer of the oesophagus in men. Finally, our results suggest a possible association with small intestine and liver cancers in men.