Eurogip has published a new report entitled “Incidence and detection of occupational cancers in nine European countries”. The data concern Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland.
Cancer cases (reports and recognition) since 2005 have been relatively stable in Denmark, Belgium, France, Italy and Sweden, but have increased in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. For this last group, there are various reasons, such as the inclusion of skin cancer on the national list of ODs in Germany in 2015.
In every country except Germany, cancers due to asbestos dust accounted for the overwhelming majority of cancers recognized as an occupational disease in 2016. For example, mesotheliomas represented more than 30% of occupational cancers in Denmark, 50% in Austria and Italy, 65% in Belgium and around 90% in Sweden.
Comparing the number of cases recognized with the insured population, Germany and France top the list by far, with 15.1 and 11.39 per 100,000 insured respectively. The lowest ratio is posted in Sweden: 0.5. In Germany, cancers account for 32% of recognized occupational diseases. The study also reveals that the off-list recognition system is not the most suitable one for cancers.
The second part of the report discusses programmes designed to detect cancer cases at an early stage in order to improve the chances of healing, and schemes which help victims assert their rights to compensation for an occupational disease. These schemes could be the cross-checking of OD reports with the cancer register for mesotheliomas and cancers of the nasal cavities (Denmark), scouting for a possible work-related origin of lung cancers in a hospital environment (northern Italy), or else targeting and support for the potential victims of a bladder cancer by the OSH insurance organization (France).