After looking at 10 years’ worth of cancer data, researchers at the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center found that service members tend to have higher rates of melanoma, brain, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, breast, prostate and testicular cancers than civilians.
They also found interesting differences across the services. Airmen are more likely to suffer skin cancer than other service members, for example, while sailors are the most likely to have lung cancer. Coast Guardsmen have the highest rates of testicular cancer, while Marines tend to the have the lowest cancer rates overall.
Military researchers say the rates have remained stable — though the incidence rate of these particular kinds of cancer has increased from 51 per 100,000 troops in 2000, to 57.5 per 100,000 in 2006, and then back down to 54.5 per 100,000 in 2009. “There were no clear trends of increasing or decreasing incidence of specific [cancer] sites or overall” cancer rates, the report states. “In general, the strongest demographic correlate of increased risk of a cancer was older age.”
That held true for all cancers except for cervical and testicular, the report states.
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