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military on deploymentA study by the World Congress on Cancer says that U.S. military that are deployed to sunny climates are not being adequately protected from most common types of skin cancer.  In a previous study 34% of veterans who were deployed to tropical climates developed melanomas compared to 6% of non-military patients in tropical climates.  In this latest study, only 22% of military personnel were made aware of the risk of sun exposure.  Seventy-seven percent (77%) of military personnel reported to being exposed to bright sunlight for more than 4 hours daily and only 27% had regular access to sunscreen.  Thirty-two percent (32%) of the respondents in the study reported to having no access to sunscreen at all.

With limited or no access to sunscreen, 62% of military personnel have reported to getting severe sunburns and, in some cases, blistering.  They also noticed a change in color, shape or size of moles on the skin in 29% of the cases.  After returning home from deployment, only 4% received skin examinations from a physician.

The government needs to make it mandatory for the health of military personnel to protect their skin by making sunscreen a part of their field equipment and educate them on the use of sunscreen.

To read more about this topic, click on the following link:

Prager, E. (2014). Skin Cancer Foundation, “Soldiers placed at risk of skin cancer, study reveals”. Retrieved September 17, 2014, from:

http://www.skincancer.org/media-and-press/press-release-2014/soldiers-skin-cancer

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