A recent study by the Harvard Flight Attendant Health Survey shows that flight attendants are at greater risks of getting many types of cancers than majority of the population. Based on the research which followed more than 5,000 cabin crew, they found that their risk of getting breast cancer increased by 50% while the risks of stomach cancers are raised by as much as 74 percent!
Risk factors include exposure to radiation due to the time spent 40,000ft which is badically closer to the sun's rays. Included are also disrupted sleep cycles, vices, ane meal cycles.
The increased cancer risk that were in the breast (3.4% for FAs compared to 2.3% in the general population), cervical (1.0% compared to 0.70%), gastrointestinal (0.47% compared to 0.27%), and thyroid (0.67% copared to 0.56%).
Cabin crews are exposed to known carcinogens in the aircraft cabin environment. These include altitude based radiation, disruption of body clock especially those who crosses the time zones a lot, and poor air (dry engine air) inside the cabin.
Prevention is better than cure
A newly released cabin crew may get overwhelmed with the new lifestyle of flying. Given the opportunity to go anywhere, to shop, and of course, to earn a good pay, they tend to forget what's more important, their health and long term investments.
Despite this study, there are still plenty of ways to lessen the risk of cancer. Here are ways flight attendants can prevent it:
If you want to really secure yourself too, we suggest that you invest on a health plan. Insurance companies like Prulife, AXA, and Sunlife have health plans incase the worse and unexpected happens.
At the end of the day, your health is your wealth. It is what will keep you flying for a long time. Your health helped you to get your wings, now its time to return the favor by taking care of it.