US fighter pilots are up to 30% more likely to suffer from testicular, skin and prostate cancer, explosive study finds

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U.S. fighter pilots and their crew are much more likely to be diagnosed with testicular, skin and prostate cancer, an explosive study has found.

The massive investigation looked into the medical history of every pilot who had logged more than 100 hours of flight time in a US Air Force fighter jet from 1970 to 2004.

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The study covered all pilots who logged more than 100 flight hours in a US Air Force fighter plane from 1970 to 2004.Credit: Getty
Some former pilots suspect cockpit radiation from powerful radars could be linked to their cancers

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Some former pilots suspect cockpit radiation from powerful radars could be linked to their cancersCredit: Getty

The researchers compared the cancer rates of former pilots to the cancer rates of their non-pilot Air Force colleagues and the general population.

Conducted by the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing, the study found that fighter pilots and their crew were 29% more likely to be diagnosed with testicular cancer than their non-pilot comrades.

They were also 24% more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma and 23% more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, Defense One reports.

And compared to the general U.S. population, pilots were 13% more likely to be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 25% more likely to develop melanoma, and 19% more likely to have prostate cancer.

Major Brian Huggins, 711 Wing preventive medicine consultant, urged current and former fighter pilots to discuss “lifestyle approaches to cancer prevention and screening for skin melanoma and cancer of the skin. prostate ‘.

Previous studies had already found foci of cancer among the crews of the F-15E Strike Eagle and C-130, but the new study did not single out these planes.

However, researchers have found an alarming link between the Vietnamese-era F-100 Super Saber, the country’s first supersonic warplane, and higher cancer rates.

The study said: “Male fighter aviators who flew the F-100 were more likely to be diagnosed and die from colon and rectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, melanoma of the skin, prostate cancer and brain cancer.

“They also had a higher chance of being diagnosed and dying from thyroid cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, despite similar chances of diagnosis.”

Crews who flew the F-105 and F-4 also developed higher rates of testicular, melanoma and prostate cancer.

Some former pilots have long suspected that the cockpit radiation generated by powerful radars could be linked to their cancers.

Air Force fighter pilots have been asking the military for years to examine the potential causes of cancer in officers.

The study could be replicated by the Navy for its Airmen based on what the results reveal, task and goal reports.

“It is important for all of us that we have the truth on the ground about what is going on,” Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein said last year.

A review by the Defense Health Agency is also underway to look at cancer rates in all branches of the military, not just the Air Force.

The first results should be published by the end of the year, according to the spokesperson for Senator Dianne Feinstein.

In 2019, a survey found that the Air Force prostate cancer treatment rate at Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities had increased by 44% since 2000.

Treatment rates for urinary cancer, including kidney, bladder and ureteral cancers, have also increased by 80%.


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