Over the last few decades, the missile community has raised concerns about the risk of cancer, including Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), among the missile-related career fields compared to the rest of the Air Force and the general population. In 2001, the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM) conducted a review that showed no environmental or workplace concerns among those who served at missile alert facilities at Malmstrom Air Force Base (AFB), Montana. A follow-on study in 2005 showed no sufficient evidence of a cancer cluster at Malmstrom AFB. Recently, government agencies have started a new collaboration to learn more about cancer concerns among the missile community.
Current study efforts
USAFSAM, as requested by Air Force Global Strike Command, began a study to address cancer concerns in the missile community. This Department of Defense (DOD) study is described in detail here: Missile Community Cancer Study. This study will formally address specific cancer concerns raised by community members across related career fields and examine the potential for unusual patterns of cancers at intercontinental ballistic missile bases.
This study includes collaborators from the DOD, the Air Force Global Strike Command, the Defense Health Agency, the Air Force Aerospace School of Medicine, VA’s Health Outcomes Military Exposures, VA Oncology Program and VA’s Benefits Administration.
If you are concerned about health effects from service in missile-related career fields, talk to your health care provider.
Veterans not enrolled in the VA health care system, find out if you qualify for VA health care.
Compensation benefits for health problems
Veterans may file a claim for disability compensation for health problems they believe are related to their military service. VA decides these claims on a case-by-case basis. File a claim online.
Learn more about VA benefits.