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Truck drivers may be at an increased risk for prostate cancer

The “whole-body vibrations” truck drivers experience on a daily basis may put them at a higher risk for aggressive prostate cancer, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Previous research has suggested that long-term exposure to vibrations undergone by men when working with large equipment may increase their risk for prostate cancer.  While the mechanisms behind this relationship aren’t fully understood, some experts speculate that intense vibrations can cause the body to produce more testosterone – which is a known risk factor of prostate cancer.

To better gauge the potential risk from whole-body vibrations, researchers from the National Cancer Institute analyzed medical records from 2,132 men who were involved in the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project.  For the project, the men – who had all been diagnosed with prostate cancer – were asked about the two jobs they held for the longest duration of time during their careers, as well as the most recent job they had before they were diagnosed.

The researchers found that men who had spent more time working as truck drivers than doing any other job were four times more likely to be diagnosed with highly aggressive prostate cancer compared to men who were educators.  According to the Los Angeles Times, educators were used as a baseline control group, since the researchers considered them to have almost no exposure to whole body-vibration.

Of the occupations studied, truck driving had the strongest association with aggressive prostate cancer.  However, working at a garden shop was also found to be strongly linked with prostate cancer, though the researchers speculated that this may be due to their high exposure to pesticides.

The research was presented American Association for Cancer Research’s International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research.

Click for more from the Los Angeles Times.