Cancer in US Air Force Veterans of the Vietnam War

Fatema Z. Akhtar, David H. Garabrant, Norma S. Ketchum, Joel E. Michalek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cancer incidence and mortality were summarized in Air Force veterans of the Vietnam War. The index subjects were Operation Ranch Hand veterans who sprayed 2,3,7,8 tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (dioxin)-contaminated herbicides in Vietnam. Comparisons served in Southeast Asia during the same period but did not spray herbicides. We assessed cancer incidence and mortality using national rates and contrasted cancer risk in each of three Ranch Hand dioxin exposure categories relative to comparisons. The incidence of melanoma and prostate cancer was increased among white Ranch Hand veterans relative to national rates. Among veterans who spent at most 2 years in Southeast Asia, the risk of cancer at any site, of prostate cancer and of melanoma was increased in the highest dioxin exposure category. These results appear consistent with an association between cancer and dioxin exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-136
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Volume46
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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