Mesothelioma among military members

A recent study has shown that mesothelioma is common among members of military branches. In fact, it is routinely diagnosed in a high number of current and force military members every single year.

In order to understand why this is a trend among this group of individuals, we need to first get a feel for what mesothelioma actually is. Mesothelioma is a condition that is a type of cancer that is found in the lining of the human body’s internal organs, this lining is called the mesothelium. The cause of this type of cancer has been most commonly linked to exposure to asbestos, usually through being inhaled as it is typically seen in the lining of the lungs.

So, what connection do military members have to this condition? According to research, members of the armed forces who served in the years between the 1930s and 1970s have shown high rates of this cancer due to the use of asbestos as insulation during that time period. In recent years, military members working in areas involving heavy-duty machinery, as well as those working as airplane and automobile mechanics, have shown a high risk of this condition.

Developing mesothelioma is not inevitable among members of the armed forces, especially if the proper precautions are taken. Working in areas with high ventilation, and wearing respirator masks in areas that may contain asbestos are two ways to help avoid developing this condition. Most importantly, once a person has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is not totally unmanageable.

Source:, “Does Being in the Military Put You at Risk for Mesothelioma?,” Feb. 4, 2013