Breast Cancer And The Military

Breast Cancer And the Miltary

Breast Cancer And the Miltary

Are you or your spouse a member of the military? If so, there’s something that you need to consider. Breast cancer is striking relatively young military women at alarming rates. Not only that, the number of male service members, veterans and their dependents are at risk as well. ThermApproach believes you should be proactive when it comes to your breast health. If you are young, and in the military, it’s not too early to begin a yearly screening.  To help you with, that we offer a 10% discount to any member of The United States Armed Forces and your spouse.

With the military’s younger and generally healthier population, they tend to have a lower risk for most cancers than civilians, including significantly lower colorectal, lung and cervical cancer rates in certain groups. But, breast cancer is a different story. In fact, according to an article published in the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; incidence rates of breast and prostate cancers were significantly higher in the military among both whites and blacks. [1]

Women in the military have a tremendous amount on their plate. Besides risking their lives if stationed in hostile territory, they contend with post-traumatic stress disorder; exposure to hazardous chemicals, and now face the increased rate of breast cancer.

While some believe this increase could be due to more rigorous breast cancer screenings, “there’s no doubt that there’s a link,” says Richard Clapp, DSc, MPH, professor emeritus of environmental health at Boston University who has consulted with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on military breast cancer issues.

He also stated, "Military people in general, and in some cases very specifically, are at a significantly greater risk for contracting breast cancer,", and adds, life in the military can mean exposure to a witch's brew of risk factors directly linked to greater chances of getting breast cancer.

There are a few mitigating factors:
Chemical exposure:
Many women in the military are employed in more industrial settings where they can be exposed to volatile organic compounds – VOC’s – potentially toxic chemicals that have been shown to stimulate breast cancer growth. In fact, Army women exposed to one VOC had a 48% increased risk of breast cancer, according to a 2005 study done at the Navy Environmental Health Center in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Contaminated military bases:
In the early 1980s, it was discovered that two water supply systems at Marine Corps Base Camp LeJeune in North Carolina were contaminated with VOCs such as the metal degreaser trichloroethylene and the dry-cleaning agent perchloroethylene. Government data later found that workers stationed there had higher mortality rates from all types of cancer compared to workers at another military base. Not only were there higher rates of fatal breast cancer in women, the CDC is currently investigating whether contamination at Camp LeJeune caused unusually high rates of breast cancer in men.

Plastic water bottles:
Yes, you read that correctly. Disposable water bottles were used on a massive scale in Iraq for all U.S. personnel. Plastic water bottles contain chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA), which becomes very harmful when exposed to intense or even moderate heat. In Iraq, pallets of water are stored and moved around the country for days or weeks prior to being consumed.

According to Johns Hopkins University researcher, Dr. Rolf Halden, chemicals called phthalates are sometimes added to plastics to make them flexible and less brittle.

“Phthalates are environmental contaminants that can exhibit hormone-like behavior by acting as endocrine disruptors in humans and animals,” Halden said. “If you heat up plastics, you could increase the leaching of phthalates from the containers into water and food.” One of the most common effects is cancer, especially breast cancer.

Anthrax vaccine:
Breast and genitourinary cancer hospitalizations occurred more than 3.5 times as often. Abnormal PAP smears led to hospitalization more than 5 times as often after vaccination.

Because of these risk factors, we believe you should be screened earlier than later. Thermography is ideally placed for women as an early screening tool before the age of routine mammography, and an early detector in men of pain and inflammation before it becomes a debilitating health issue.

At ThermAppoach, we utilize sophisticated infrared technology and innovative computer software to capture the images in the form of an infrared thermogram, or heat picture.  All reports are interpreted by medical doctors that are Board Certified in Thermology. 

Before you can feel it, thermal imaging can see it. Please call our office to schedule your screening today.

[1] (NCBI)