Higher cancer rates found in military pilots, ground crews

Washington, D.C. Military pilots have high cancer rates, and a Pentagon study has for the first time revealed that the ground troops who fuel, repair, and launch those aircraft are also becoming ill.

Retired military aviators who had long been concerned about the number of air and ground crew personnel they knew who had cancer requested the information.

They were informed that previous military studies had determined their risk to be no higher than that of the broader American population.

In a yearlong study of roughly 900,000 service personnel who flew on or worked on military aircraft between 1992 and 2017,

the Pentagon found that air crew members had an 87% higher rate of melanoma and a 39% higher rate

The study showed ground crews had a 19% higher rate of brain and nervous system cancers, a 15% higher rate of thyroid cancer and a 9% higher rate of kidney or renal cancers,

while women had a 7% higher rate of breast cancer. The overall rate for cancers of all types was 3% higher.

There was some good news reported as well. Both ground and air crews had far lower rates of lung cancer, and air crews also had lower rates of bladder and colon cancers.

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