Skin cancer risk higher in military personnel

July 8, 2018

(HealthDay)—There is an increased risk for skin cancer among U.S. active duty service members and veterans, according to a review published in the June issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Kelsie Riemenschneider, M.D., from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify studies of melanoma and non-melanoma in .

The researchers identified nine studies describing skin cancer incidence in the U.S. military, with four studies specific to melanoma. Overall, there was an increased risk for melanoma associated with service in the military or prisoner of war status. There was an increased incidence of both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer among World War II soldiers who served in tropical environments. Increased risk may be branch dependent, with two studies finding the highest rates among the United States Air Force.

"Several of the reviewed studies implicated increased sun exposure during military service and lack of sufficient sun protection as the causes of higher rates of skin cancer among U.S. military and veteran populations as compared with among the nonmilitary population in the United States," the authors write.

Explore further: Another foe for the U.S. military: skin cancer

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