Ugeskr for Laeger. 2007 Apr 30;169(18):1674-8. [Link]
Hansen J, Rasmussen TR, Omland Ã˜, Olsen JH; Danish National Board of Industrial Injuries.
Kraeftens Bekaempelse, Institut for Epidemiologisk Kraeftforskning.
Introduction: Persons in Denmark afflicted by an occupational disease are offered economical compensation and it is the responsibility of the physician to register such cases with the Danish National Board on Industrial Injuries. However, the number of cancers reported to the Board is lower than expected. We evaluated the causes of underreporting for two types of cancer with a major occupational background.
Materials and Methods: Cases of pleural mesothelioma and adenocarcinoma of the sinonasal cavities diagnosed between 1994 and 2002 were drawn from the Danish Cancer Registry. Patients were searched for in the files of the National Board of Industrial Injuries. For patients not registered, information on employment history since 1964 and job title was collected from the Danish Supplementary Pension Fund and the Central Population Register, and the likelihood of occupational exposure to asbestos and wood dust was evaluated.
Results: 695 individuals were registered with pleural mesothelioma and 108 with adenocarcinoma of the sinonasal cavities in the Cancer Registry. Of these, 381 (55%) patients with mesothelioma and 44 (41%) patients with adenocarcinoma were also registered with the National Board of Industrial Injuries. Among the latter, 91% and 87%, respectively were judged by the Board to be occupationally induced. For 3 out of 4 cases not registered with the Board register-based occupational information was available. This information indicated exposure to asbestos by 60% of the men and 3% of the women; the equivalent figures for adenocarcinoma and wood dust were 32% and 0%, respectively.
Conclusion: We observed a substantial underreporting of pleural mesothelioma and adenocarcinoma of the sinonasal cavities with the National Board of Industrial Injuries. The underreporting seemed to be unchanged since the 1980s. We propose that all cases of mesothelioma and all cases of cancer of the sinonasal cavities not registered with the Board are referred to a department for industrial medicine for etiological evaluation.