Many jobs have various risks and consequences. But is cancer a reasonable occupational risk or hazard? New studies show that truck drivers are probably at an increased risk of prostate cancer due to the nature of their job.
“The whole-body vibrations truck drivers experience on a daily basis may put them at a higher risk for aggressive prostate cancer. Previous research has suggested that long-term exposure to vibrations undergone by men when working with large equipment may increase their risk for prostate cancer. While the mechanisms behind this relationship aren’t fully understood, some experts speculate that intense vibrations can cause the body to produce more testosterone – which is a known risk factor of prostate cancer,” according to Fox.
The National Cancer Institute analyzed the records of more than two thousand men with prostate cancer trying to decipher the cause behind the cancer. Fox reports, “For the project, the men – who had all been diagnosed with prostate cancer – were asked about the two jobs they held for the longest duration of time during their careers, as well as the most recent job they had before they were diagnosed. The researchers found that men who had spent more time working as truck drivers than doing any other job were four times more likely to be diagnosed with highly aggressive prostate cancer compared to men who were educators (educators were used as a baseline control group).”
Researchers were surprised by the correlation between truck driving and prostate cancer. “Of the occupations studied, truck driving had the strongest association with aggressive prostate cancer,” according to Fox. Men working at garden shops also had a higher risk of prostate cancer, probably due to “their high exposure to pesticides,” according to the study.