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Research

Occup Med (Lond). 2005 Sep;55(6):498-500.

Increased cancer risk among surgeons in an orthopaedic hospital.

Mastrangelo G1, Fedeli U, Fadda E, Giovanazzi A, Scoizzato L, Saia B.

Background

Five cancer cases over 7 years were reported in a small orthopaedic hospital where radiation protection practice was poor.

Aim

To investigate whether workers subject to routine radiation dosimetric assessment in that hospital had an increased cancer risk.

Methods

One hundred and fifty-eight workers subject to routine dose assessment and 158 age-sex-matched unexposed workers were questioned about cancer occurrence. All tumours were analysed as a single diagnostic category.

Results

Cumulative 1976-2000 cancer incidence was 29 (9/31), 6 (8/125) and 4% (7/158) in orthopaedics, exposed other than orthopaedics, and unexposed workers, respectively. At logistic regression analysis, working as orthopaedic surgeon significantly (P<0.002) increased the risk of tumours.

Conclusion

These findings caution against surgeons' underestimation of the potential radiation risk and insufficient promotion of safe work practices by their health care institutions.

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