Skin cancer cases attributable to work-related sun exposure could be costing millions of dollars, and must be better addressed by policymakers.
A new study, published today in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, has estimated the total and per-case costs of newly diagnosed non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) in Canada in 2011 caused by workplace sun exposure.
Using a range of secondary sources, including official government records and health surveys, researchers revealed the true economic burden of NMSCs, which cost $34.6 million in 2011 Canadian dollars.
These costs were made up of a range of lifetime costs, including healthcare treatment, the impact of time away from work, out-of-pocket expenses, and poor life quality.
Further analyses highlighted the sizeable cost per patient for the two most common types of non-melanoma skin cancer: basal-cell and squamous-cell carcinoma. The figure stood at $5,760 per case for basal-, and $10,555 per case for squamous-cell carcinoma.
One of the few cancers that are increasing in incidence, skin cancers are the most common form of cancer in Canada and other countries with large fair-skinned populations. Roughly one in ten Canadian workers are exposed to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation at work, and the majority of these
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