Vol 69, No 1 (2018)
Case report
Published online: 2018-03-28

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Occupational lung cancer among fisherman: a triple case report

Tarik Ghailan1, Mustapha El Ftouh12
Pubmed: 29611614
IMH 2018;69(1):46-50.


Background: The World Health Organisation places lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer mortality in the world. The fishermen are one of the most important consumers of tobacco, which remains the main risk factor for lung cancer. However, there are no epidemiological data on the role of other causes, particularly occupational ones, in genesis of this disease. The objective of our work is to expose medical and occupational data of 3 fishermen with lung cancer and discuss a possible occupational origin of their pathology.

Case presentation: This is a case report where we describe medical and occupational data of 3 fishermen working in the port of Tangier (Morocco) who have lung cancer. The first one is an ordinary fisherman, the second is a mechanic on board and the third is an ordinary fisherman but who worked 21 years ago aboard deep-sea fishing ships as a helper in the mechanic room. All fishermen were in the fifties; the third one never smoked while the other two were described as heavy smokers. All of them were exposed during their daily work to some chemicals liable to cause lung cancer. The anatomopathological types found were 2 cases of adenocarcinoma which is the histopathological variant often found in cases of occupational origin and one case of squamous cell carcinoma.

Conclusions: The results obtained after studying these 3 cases suggest the possibility of occupational origin in the genesis of lung cancer among fishermen; however, the increased smoking rate in this population remains the most probable factor and helps the preventive approach to be adopted. More detailed epidemiological studies would highlight the possible role of occupational causes in the carcinogenesis of this pathology.  

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