Occupational and Environmental Cancer: Recognition and Prevention CCOHS



Course Details

Course Description

Many Canadians encounter carcinogens in their workplace or environment. Sometimes this exposure will cause cancer. Recognition of cancer from occupational or environmental causes is difficult because, in most cases, these cancers cannot be distinguished from other cancers.

This course teaches primary health care providers how to recognize occupational and environmental cancers and how to respond to this finding. Insights are provided into how the recognition of occupational and environmental cancer risks can lead to prevention. Case studies will highlight key points and allow participants to apply lessons learned.

Access to numerous free resources including online occupational and environmental cancer links, and Screening and Detailed Exposure History Questionnaires, is also provided.

This e-course was developed by members of the National Committee on Environmental and Occupational Exposures (NCEOE) in cooperation with CCOHS and funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) through the Primary Prevention Action Group (PP-AG).

Topics include:

  • Definition and incidence of occupational and environmental cancer
  • Importance of recognizing occupational or environmental cancer and/or ongoing carcinogen exposures
  • Types of scientific research used to identify carcinogens
  • Authoritative carcinogen lists, by chemical, occupation and cancer site
  • Components of an exposure history
  • How to interpret an exposure history
  • How to follow up on your conclusions
  • Radon and asbestos case studies
  • Cancer clusters

Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  • Name common types of occupational and environmental cancer
  • Describe how carcinogens are identified
  • Find and use published lists of carcinogens
  • Take and interpret an exposure history
  • Identify steps to take if an occupational or environmental cancer is suspected or your patient is being exposed to a carcinogen
  • Assess a cancer cluster report
  • Apply the recognition process to other occupational and environmental diseases

Average time to complete this course is approximately 1 – 1.5 hours.

Target Audience

  • Family physicians
  • Medical specialists
  • Nurses
  • Nurse-practitioners
  • Other primary healthcare providers
  • Anyone with an interest in learning about the recognition and prevention of occupational and environmental cancer




This course is offered free of charge.

Delivery Method

This course is delivered as an on-line e-learning course. All you need is a computer, access to the Internet – and you are ready to go! This e-learning course is designed to help you learn at your own pace and in your own environment at your own convenience.

Review Process

CCOHS courses are unique in that they are developed by subject specialists in the field, and reviewed by representatives from labour, employers and government to ensure the content and approach are unbiased and credible.