People working in some professions are more likely to develop health problems such as cancer, according to a new study.
For instance, flight attendants are more likely to develop skin and breast cancer than the general public. It is believed that cosmic radiations and the ultra-violet rays that flight attendants are constantly subjected to pose serious health risks.
The study found that female flight attendants had a higher prevalence of every cancer, especially breast cancer and skin cancer. This finding is surprising as flight attendants normally lead a healthy lifestyle. They often avoid many other common risk factors for cancer such as smoking and obesity.
“Our findings of higher rates of several cancers among flight attendants is striking given the low rates of overweight and smoking in our study population, which highlights the question of what can be done to minimize the adverse exposures and cancers common among cabin crew,” said Irina Mordukhovich, lead author and a research associate at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
“Something that somewhat surprised us, to some extent, was that we also saw a higher instance of breast cancer in women with three or more children,” said Mordukhovich. Typically, the risk of breast cancer decreases in women with more children.
“Women with three or more children are already probably not getting enough sleep,” Mordukhovich said. “Combine that with this disruption from the job, especially for those who fly internationally, this may be an indication that the circadian rhythm disruption is having an impact.”
Sadly, flight attendants aren’t the only ones prone to high cancer risks. Those in the farming and construction sectors are also prone to skin cancer due to too much exposure to ultra violet radiation from the sun. Farmers also expose themselves to harmful agricultural chemicals, which in turn increases cancer risk.