CUA 2018: Do Men with Prior Military Service have an Increased Risk for Genitourinary Cancers? Results from the HINTS National Database 

Halifax, Nova Scotia ( Data published suggests that the incidence of select malignancies is higher among military personnel than the non-military population [1]. In this interesting study the authors used the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS national survey database 4th edition), to assess whether any history of military service predicts an increased incidence of cancers in general, and genitourinary (GU) cancers specifically. 

In this cross-sectional study, a population-based survey of people living in the U.S. during the years 2011-2014 was used. Men aged 18 and above were analyzed in this study. All were stratified according to their military service history into the following categories: 

  1. Current active duty 
  1. Active duty in the last 12 months 
  1. Active duty >12 months ago  
  1. Reserve or National Guard duty only 
  1. No military history 
The authors also performed multivariable logistic regression analysis to assess predictors of GU cancers. 

A total of 4715 men were included in the study. Table 1 demonstrates the demographic characteristics of all patients. Men with a military history were significantly older, resulting in more retired men. Most interestingly, figure 1 demonstrates that among men with a military history, the rate of cancer in general is considerably higher, and specifically the rate of genitourinary cancer, which is mainly driven by higher rate of prostate cancer.  When performing multivariable analysis the following factors were deemed to be predictors of increased rate of genitourinary cancers: 

  • Age  
  • Black race 
  • Retired status  
  • History of military service  
Despite the obvious selection bias, this study suggests that a history of U.S. military service seems to be associated with a higher incidence of genitourinary cancers among men in the HINTS database. This interesting finding suggests that further studies are needed to elucidate the correlation between cancer and any kind of previous military service. 

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Presented By: Hanan Goldberg, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto , Canada 

Written By: Hanan Goldberg, MD, Urologic Oncology Fellow (SUO), University of Toronto, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Twitter: @GoldbergHanan  at the 73rd Canadian Urological Association Annual Meeting - June 23 - 26, 2018 - Halifax, Nova Scotia

  1. Kangmin Zhu, Susan S. Devesa, Hongyu Wu, et al. Cancer Incidence in the U.S. Military Population: Comparison with Rates from the SEER Program. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 Jun; 18(6): 1740–1745.