House, Senate pass bills to study the number of cancers striking military pilots - Elaine for Congress

House, Senate pass bills to study the number of cancers striking military pilots

The database would include any cancer diagnosis, the service member’s age at diagnosis, the type of aircraft they flew and whether they had died of cancer. It would also report race and gender data so that a scientific comparison of military aviator cancer rates could be made against the general population.

The House version, introduced by Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., passed earlier this week. The House provision would require the Defense Department to contract with the National Academy of Sciences within six months of the bill’s passage to determine the “incidence of cancer diagnosis mortality among members, and former members, of the Armed Forces who serve as pilots” based on gender, age, flying hours and type of aircraft.

“This is an important step for DOD and the VA to better understand the scope of the problem, identify service-connected illnesses, and address them appropriately,” Luria said in a statement. “We owe it to these brave service members to understand the health risks during their service and ensure we screen and treat early, so they live longer and healthier lives.”

Pilots had previously told McClatchy that their cancers, particularly prostate cancer, were surfacing at a much younger age and earlier screenings could be life-saving.

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