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Breast Cancer in the Military

Breast Cancer in the Military

2016-10-15

Women in the military are more likely than other women to be diagnosed with breast cancer. However, it is still unclear if this increased rate is due to unusual exposure to carcinogens, increased rate of breast cancer screening in the military, or a combination of both. Veterans United Network provides a summary of both the positive and negative sides of breast cancer in the military. On one hand, there is evidence that soldiers face elevated risks of breast cancer due to exposure to chemicals and radio emissions, long-term use of oral contraceptives, and frequent night shifts. Areas with increased exposure to risk factors include military camps in Iraq that are built around landfills and burn pits, and military reservations where propellant bags were burned. On the other hand, becaue military women must go through a mandatory screening process in the miitary, breast cancer is diagnosed sooner and outcomes of military women with breast cancer tend to be better.

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