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A new study has compiled a list of 7 risky jobs for women because they increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Are you one of the professions concerned?

Less common than breast cancer, ovarian cancer affects approximately 5200 French women each year. Its mortality rates are high because they are often detected late. And if certain risk factors are singled out (endometriosis, BRCA genes), environmental factors could also be responsible.

On the same subject

Five unrecognized warning signs of ovarian cancer

The results of a study carried out in Montreal (Canada) from 2011 to 2016 on the links between ovarian cancer And working environment have just been published. Researchers analyzed data from 491 Canadian women with ovarian cancer and compared it to 897 healthy women. And so it would be women working in the hairdressing and beauty industry who would have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. Those who work in sales, textiles, construction but also accounting, would also be at risk. It should be noted that this particularly concerns women who have worked in these professions for 10 years or more.

Currently, only theasbestos has been directly implicated in the occurrence of ovarian cancer. However, the study implicated certain chemical agents: talc, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, dyes and bleaches. There are also formaldehyde, synthetic fibers and polyester.

However, the study authors pointed out that “conclusions from these results are limited“, further research is needed to examine the links between ovarian cancer risk and different occupations. According to Kevin McConway, professor of applied statistics at the Open University (UK), this study is “exploratory” And “aims to generate new hypotheses“.

Women still too underrepresented in cancer research

Finally, in a statement attached to the study, Melissa Friesen and Laura Beane Freeman, members of the National Cancer Institute, recalled the lack of representation of women in cancer studies: “by excluding women, we miss the opportunity to identify female-specific risk factors for cancers, assess whether there are sex-specific risk differences, and study exposures occurring in occupations primarily occupied by women. women.”


  • Occupational environment and ovarian cancer risk, BMJ JournalJuly 10, 2023
  • Science Media Centre, July 10, 2023

© Shutterstock / Oleggg

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And yes, the barber profession has become more feminized in recent years! On the other hand, the use of talcum powder to prevent chafing and irritation can be harmful to your health. Indeed, some talc powders contain asbestos.

© Shutterstock / Standret

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Beauty professionals handle many products, and while most are of natural origin, some, such as nail polish, containing formaldehyde can be harmful.

© Shutterstock / Robert Kneschke

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Women working in sales (salespersons, cashiers, order pickers) would be exposed to carcinogenic products such as alkanes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

© Shutterstock / Aleksandr Finch

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Exposed to synthetic fibres, polyester but also to bleaching agents, workers in the textile industry would also be affected by an increased risk.

© Shutterstock / pattarawat

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An accountant
Although it seems surprising, accountants would be more affected than average by ovarian cancer according to the study. One hypothesis put forward by the researchers to explain this observation would be the sedentary lifestyle of these women.

© Shutterstock / Bannafarsai_Stock

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construction worker
Although construction is a predominantly male environment, women constitute approximately 13% of the industry according to the French Building Federation. According to the study, the latter could be at greater risk of developing ovarian cancer.

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