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Research & Evidence
Experts recommend a holistic strategy aimed at cancer in the workplace, covering prevention, detection, treatment and reintegration into the workplace.
Cancer in the Workplace
The Economist Intelligence Unit
"Cancer Facts & Figures 2018." American Cancer Society, January 2018.
Estimated numbers of new cancer cases for 2018, excluding basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers and in situ carcinomas except urinary bladder. Estimates are not available for Puerto Rico.
Note: State estimates are offered as a rough guide and should be interpreted with caution. State estimates may not add to US total due to rounding.
Siegel, Rebecca L., MPH; Kimbertly D. Miller, MPH; Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD. "Cancer Statistics, 2018." Wiley Online Library, January 4, 2018.
Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths that will occur in the United States and compiles the most recent data on cancer incidence, mortality, and survival.
Cancer is a major public health problem worldwide and is the second leading cause of death in the United States. In this article, we provide the estimated numbers of new cancer cases and deaths in 2018 in the United States nationally and for each state, as well as a comprehensive overview of cancer occurrence based on the most current population‐based data for cancer incidence through 2014 and for mortality through 2015. We also estimate the total number of deaths averted as a result of the continual decline in cancer death rates since the early 1990s and quantify the black‐white disparity in cancer mortality by state and age based on the actual number of reported cancer deaths in 2015.
Aiuppa, Laura; Maria Hewitt; Sharyl J. Nass. "Long-Term Survivorship Care After Cancer Treatment." The National Academies of Sciences, 2018.
The 2006 Institute of Medicine (IOM) consensus study report From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition made recommendations to improve the quality of care that cancer survivors receive, in recognition that cancer survivors are at risk for significant physical, psychosocial, and financial repercussions from cancer and its treatment (IOM and NRC, 2006). Since then, efforts to recognize and address the unique needs of cancer survivors have increased, including an emphasis on improving the evidence base for cancer survivorship care and identifying best practices in the delivery of high-quality cancer survivorship care.
Farhad Islami, MD, PhD; Ann Goding Sauer, MSPH; Kimberly D. Miller, MPH; Rebecca L. Siegel, MPH; Stacey A. Fedewa, PhD, MPH; Eric J. Jacobs, PhD; Marjorie L. McCullough, ScD, RD; Alpa V. Patel, PhD; Jiemin Ma, PhD, MHS; Isabelle Soerjomataram, MD, PhD, MS. "Proportion and Number of Cancer Cases and Deaths Attributable to Potentially Modifiable Risk Factors in the United States." CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, November 21, 2017.
Contemporary information on the fraction of cancers that potentially could be prevented is useful for priority setting in cancer prevention and control. Herein, the authors estimate the proportion and number of invasive cancer cases and deaths, overall (excluding nonmelanoma skin cancers) and for 26 cancer types, in adults aged 30 years and older in the United States in 2014, that were attributable to major, potentially modifiable exposures (cigarette smoking; secondhand smoke; excess body weight; alcohol intake; consumption of red and processed meat; low consumption of fruits/vegetables, dietary fiber, and dietary calcium; physical inactivity; ultraviolet radiation; and 6 cancer-associated infections).
Elyse Phillips, MPH; Teresa W. Wang, PhD; Corinne G. Husten, MD; Catherine G. Corey, MSPH; Benjamin J. Apelberg, PhD; Ahmed Jamal, MBBS; David M. Homa, PhD; Brian A. King, PhD . "Tobacco Product Use Among Adults — United States, 2015." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, November 10, 2017.
In 2015, approximately one in five U.S. adults (48.7 million) currently used any tobacco product, with most using combustible tobacco products. Any tobacco product use was significantly higher among males; adults aged <65 years; non-Hispanic AI/AN, whites, blacks, and persons of multiple races; persons living in the Midwest; persons with a GED; persons with annual household income <$35,000; persons who were single/never married/not living with a partner or divorced/separated/widowed; persons who were uninsured or insured through Medicaid; persons with a disability; and persons who identified as LGB. Adults with serious psychological distress had the highest prevalence of any tobacco product use of any subpopulation.
Girija Syamlal, MBBS; Brian A. King, PhD; Jacek M. Mazurek, MD. "Tobacco Use Among Working Adults — United States, 2014–2016." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, October 27, 2017.
Cigarette smoking has declined considerably among U.S. adults over several decades; however, increases have occurred in the use of noncigarette tobacco products in recent years, and the use of multiple tobacco products has become common among current users of noncigarette tobacco products.
Babb, Stephen MPH, Benmei Liu PhD, Brandon Kenemer MPH, Carissa Baker Holmes MPH, Anne M. Hartman MS, MA, James T. Gibson BS, Brian A. King PhD, MPH. "Changes in Self-Reported Smokefree Workplace Policy Coverage Among Employed Adults— United States, 2003 and 2010–2011." Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco Research, October 12, 2017.
The workplace is a major source of exposure to secondhand smoke from combustible tobacco products. Smokefree workplace policies protect nonsmoking workers from secondhand smoke and help workers who smoke quit. This study examined changes in self-reported smokefree workplace policy coverage among U.S. workers from 2003 to 2010–2011.
Greta M. Massetti, PhD; William H. Dietz, MD, PhD; Lisa C. Richardson, MD, MPH. "Excessive Weight Gain, Obesity, and Cancer." JAMA, October 3, 2017.
Even though the effects of overweight and obesity on diabetes, cardiovascular disease, all-cause mortality, and other health outcomes are widely known, there is less awareness that overweight, obesity, and weight gain are associated with an increased risk of certain cancers. A recent review of more than 1000 studies concluded that sufficient evidence existed to link weight gain, overweight, and obesity with 13 cancers, including adenocarcinoma of the esophagus; cancers of the gastric cardia, colon and rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, corpus uteri, ovary, kidney, and thyroid; postmenopausal female breast cancer; meningioma; and multiple myeloma.
Drope, J., Cahn, Z., Kennedy, R., Liber, A. C., Stoklosa, M., Henson, R., Douglas, C. E. and Drope, J. "Key issues surrounding the health impacts of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and other sources of nicotine." CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, September 29, 2017.
Over the last decade, the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), including the electronic cigarette or e-cigarette, has grown rapidly. More youth now use ENDS than any tobacco product. This extensive research review shows that there are scientifically sound, sometimes competing arguments about ENDS that are not immediately and/or completely resolvable. However, the preponderance of the scientific evidence to date suggests that current-generation ENDS products are demonstrably less harmful than combustible tobacco products such as conventional cigarettes in several key ways, including by generating far lower levels of carcinogens and other toxic compounds than combustible products or those that contain tobacco. To place ENDS in context, the authors begin by reviewing the trends in use of major nicotine-containing products. Because nicotine is the common core—and highly addictive—constituent across all tobacco products, its toxicology is examined. With its long history as the only nicotine product widely accepted as being relatively safe, nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT) is also examined. A section is also included that examines snus, the most debated potential harm-reduction product before ENDS. Between discussions of NRT and snus, ENDS are extensively examined: what they are, knowledge about their level of “harm,” their relationship to smoking cessation, the so-called gateway effect, and dual use/poly-use.
"AACR Cancer Progress Report." Philadelphia: American Association for Cancer Research, September 13, 2017.
With the number of cancer cases diagnosed in the United States rising every year, it is vital that the AACR increases public awareness about cancer and the importance of research for improving health and saving lives from cancer. The annual AACR Cancer Progress Report is a cornerstone of these educational efforts and the AACR’s work to advocate for increased funding for the federal agencies that are vital for fueling progress against cancer— in particular, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Report is released in September of each year and highlights advances over the past 12 months in the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. It also includes the personal experiences of cancer survivors who have benefited from these advances. Together with the developments described in the report, these survivor stories provide hope for a much brighter future for cancer patients and their loved ones.
Scott Gottlieb, M.D., and Mitchell Zeller, J.D. "A Nicotine-Focused Framework for Public Health." New England Journal of Medicine, August 6, 2017.
Despite extraordinary progress in tobacco control and prevention, tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. Combustible cigarettes cause the overwhelming majority of tobacco-related disease and are responsible for more than 480,000 U.S. deaths each year. Indeed, when used as intended, combustible cigarettes kill half of all long-term users.
Hines, Jonas Z. MD ; Steven C. Fiala, MPH ; Katrina Hedberg, MD. "Electronic Cigarettes as an Introductory Tobacco Product Among Eighth and 11th Grade Tobacco Users — Oregon, 2015." CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), June 16, 2017.
During 2011–2015, increased electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) and hookah use offset declines in cigarette and other tobacco product use among youths (persons aged <18 years)
Maura L. Gillison, Tatevik Broutian, Barry Graubard, Robert Pickard, Zhen-Yue Tong, Weihong Xiao, Lisa Kahle, Anil Chaturvedi; Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD; The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; Informat. "Impact of HPV vaccination on oral HPV infections among young adults in the U.S.." Meeting Library, ASCO University, June 5, 2017.
The incidence of HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers has risen in recent decades among US men. The potential impact of HPV vaccines on oral HPV infections has yet to be evaluated in efficacy-trials or surveillance studies.
HPV vaccination substantially reduced vaccine-type oral HPV infection prevalence among young adults (ages 18-33 years) in the US population during 2011-2014. However, due to low vaccine uptake, population-level effectiveness was modest overall and particularly low in men.
Ralph S. Caraballo, PhD ; Paul R. Shafer, MA ; Deesha Patel ; Kevin C. Davis, MA ; Timothy A. McAfee, MD. "Quit Methods Used by US Adult Cigarette Smokers, 2014–2016." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, April 13, 2017.
Quitting cigarette smoking greatly reduces the risk of developing smoking-related diseases; although the health benefits are greater for people who stop at earlier ages, there are benefits at any age (1). The use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) has increased in the United States (2). Little is known about how the rise in e-cigarette use, particularly among current and former adult cigarette smokers, may have affected quitting behaviors. This study assessed common methods used to try to quit cigarettes among a nationally representative online sample of US adult current smokers surveyed from April 2014 through June 2016.
Commissioned by Bristol-Myers Squibb. "Cancer in the Workplace." The Economist Intelligence Unit , February 17, 2017.
The impact of cancer looks set to continue to grow for organisations in the decades ahead. Experts predict continued growth in the numbers of the working population affected by cancer as populations age and earlier diagnosis and better treatment of the disease lead to improved survival rates. If employers are to continue to provide an environment in which they can attract and retain talented staff, they must take action.