Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer in Outdoor Workers: A Study on Actinic Keratosis in Italian Navy Personnel

Luigi Vimercati, Luigi De Maria, Antonio Caputi, Enza Sabrina Silvana Cannone, Francesca Mansi, Domenica Cavone, Paolo Romita, Giuseppe Argenziano, Alessandro Di Stefani, Aurora Parodi, Ketty Peris, Massimiliano Scalvenzi, Giampiero Girolomoni, Caterina Foti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Occupational exposure to ultraviolet radiation is one of the main risk factors for non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) development. The most common variants of NMSC are basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and actinic keratosis (AK). The latter is nowadays considered by most authors as an early squamous cell carcinoma rather than a precancerous lesion. Outdoor workers have a higher risk of developing NMSC because they spend most of the working day outside. The aim of this descriptive study was to assess the prevalence of skin lesions, especially AK, in a professional category of individuals exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation: the Italian Navy. From January to June 2016, a questionnaire and a total skin examination of 921 military personnel were administered by medical specialists (dermatologists) in seven different Italian Navy centres. AK was detected in 217 of 921 (23.5%) workers. Older age, outdoor occupation, longer working life, and fair skin seem to promote the development of AK. Of the 217 workers with AK, 187 (86.2%) had lesions in chronically sun-exposed skin areas. Italian Navy personnel have a high AK prevalence. Further studies are needed to investigate occupational hazards and their health effects among outdoor workers to promote protective behaviour and raise awareness of skin cancer.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume17
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 30 2020

Keywords

  • actinic keratosis
  • Italian Navy
  • non-melanoma skin cancer
  • ultraviolet exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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