Pentagon Study Finds Military Pilots, Ground Crews Have High Rates of Cancer
High cancer incidence rate among military pilots were discovered by the study of the Pentagon.
And for the first time, the ground crews that refuel, maintain, and launch these planes have been shown to also fall ill.
Pentagon published the study in early February, reports the Associated Press.
Retired military pilots have been looking for a date for a long time, the AP reported on Sunday, March 19.
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Military pilots have been sounding the alarm for years about the number of aircrew and ground troops they know with cancer.
They were told that earlier military research had shown they were not at any greater risk than the general US population.
But in a year-long study of nearly 900,000 military personnel who flew or worked on military aircraft between 1992 and 2017, the Pentagon found aircrew members had an 87% higher rate of melanoma and a 39% higher rate of thyroid cancer. AP reports.
At the same time, this figure was 16% higher in men. incidence of prostate cancer and women have a 16% higher rate of breast cancer.
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Overall, flight crews had a 24% higher rate of cancer of all types, according to the AP.
The study found that ground crews had a 19% higher rate. frequency of cancer of the brain and nervous systema 15% higher rate of thyroid cancer and a 9% higher rate of kidney or kidney cancer.
The study found that overall, aircrews had a 24% higher rate of cancer of all types.
Meanwhile, in women, this figure was 7% higher. incidence of breast cancer the same study found.
The overall rate of cancer of all types was 3% higher, the AP notes.
Navy A-6 Intruder pilot Jim Seaman was one of those who died of cancer at the age of 61. He passed away in 2018.
According to the Associated Press, he is among a group of pilots who have been diagnosed with cancer.
His widow, Betty Seaman, was part of a large group of aviators and surviving spouses who have lobbied Congress and the Pentagon for years to find out how many airmen and ground crews are facing cancer.
The Pentagon acknowledged that there were gaps in the study that likely led to the undercounting of cancer cases.
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The military health system database used in the study did not include hard data on cancer until 1990 — so it might not include pilots who flew early-generation jet aircraft in previous decades.
There is also good news
However, there was also some good news.
Both ground and air crews had much less lung cancer ratesand flight crews also had lower rates of bladder and colon cancer.
After adjusting for age, gender, and race, the data compared military personnel to the general US population.
The Pentagon said the new study is one of the largest and most comprehensive to date.
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An earlier study looked at Air force pilots only — and found slightly higher rates of cancer, while this one examined all services, as well as air and ground crews.
The study was requested by Congress as part of the 2021 Defense Bill.
The Pentagon has warned that even with a broader approach, the actual number of cancer cases is likely to be even higher due to data gaps that it says will work to eliminate.
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The study was required by Congress in the 2021 defense bill, the AP notes.
Now, given that higher rates have been found, the Pentagon should conduct an even larger test to try to understand why aircrews are getting sick.
The Pentagon went to great lengths to point out that the new study “does not imply that military service in flight or ground crews causes cancer because there are many potential confounding factors that cannot be controlled in this analysis,” such as family histories. cancer, smoking or drinking alcohol.
Localized prostate cancer
Meanwhile, a completely different study found that men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer who want to avoid immediate surgery or radiation one can safely choose active surveillance for the disease as a method of treatment.
This is stated in a recent study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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The researchers in the study determined that most men should not panic or rush into treatment decisions after diagnosis, as cancer death rates 15 years later were relatively low, regardless of treatment approach.
The study began in the UK in 1999.
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It involved 2,664 men aged 50 to 69 who were diagnosed with localized prostate cancer.
Of these men, 1643 were enrolled in a study that examined three different treatments – surgical removal of tumors (553), radiation therapy (545) and active surveillance (545).
Elizabeth Pritchett of Fox News Digital as well as the Associated Press provided information.