Breast cancer disproportionately impacting US soldiers

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 2, 2012

Women in the military are 20 to 40 percent more likely to get breast cancer than other women in the same age group. Despite this data from a 2009 report, very little of the $2 billion in funds from Congress for cancer research has been used to investigate this specific demographic hike, according to a story in Army Times.

The story talks to a researcher with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention who states that multiple factors could explain the higher rates for women in the military: higher use of oral contraception; industrial jobs; and of course, higher potential rates of chemical exposure.

About 800 women were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan during combat, and during that period 874 military women were diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the story, which cites the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center.

Also mentioned in the story is the lesser known impact of breast cancer on male soldiers. One soldier who grew up on Camp Lejeune said he is among the 80 military men who have a breast cancer connection to the Marine base well known now for its contaminated water history.

Source: Army Times

Cancer patients and oncology staffers participate in an artistic therapy program at Tripler Army Medical Center on Oct. 14, 2009.


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