Cancer among farmers in central Italy.
This case-referent study evaluated cancer risks among farmers in central Italy. Cancer cases (N = 1674, 17 sites) were selected from all deceased men aged 35-80 years; a random sample of 480 decedents formed the reference series. Farmers had a decreased risk of lung and bladder cancer and melanoma and nonsignificant excess risks for stomach, rectal, kidney, and nonmelanoma skin cancer. Stomach and kidney cancer were significantly increased among the farmers with > 10 years' experience, and stomach, rectal, and pancreatic cancer were increased among licensed pesticide users with > 10 years' experience. Possible relationships emerged between specific crops and cancer: fruit and colon and bladder cancer, wheat and prostate cancer, olives and kidney cancer, and potato and kidney cancer. The results regarding stomach, pancreatic, lung, bladder, and prostate cancer and melanoma congrue with earlier results. The kidney cancer excess, the association of colon and bladder cancer with orchard farming, and the excess of rectal cancer among licensed farmers are new and unexpected findings.