the committee believes that followup is warranted to see whether such an association exists when more time has passed, inasmuch as it is still early for the development of most cancers in Gulf War veterans. In the three primary and two secondary studies considered by the committee, the prevalence of skin cancer does not appear to be increased in deployed veterans of either the Vietnam War or the Gulf War when skin cancer is assessed by dermatologic examination.
Boscarino (2005) found an increase in the risk of death from cancer in veterans with PTSD, specifically Vietnam veterans who had participated in the CDC VES. Three secondary studies that assessed the risk of cancer in veterans of other wars, including World War II and the Gulf War, found no increase in the prevalence of any cancer in veterans with combat-related PTSD compared with veterans without PTSD.
In general, the studies reviewed by the committee for cancer did not indicate an increased risk of any cancer in Vietnam or Gulf War veterans with the possible exceptions of testicular cancer in Gulf War veterans and NHL in Vietnam veterans. However, the committee emphasizes that given the latent period of most cancers, a sufficient amount of time has not elapsed since deployment for cancer to develop. Furthermore, many of the studies of Gulf War veterans, but not of Vietnam veterans, did not look for cancer as a health effect. The assessment of cancer as a result of deployment is also complicated by other potential exposures, such as to Agent Orange and other environmental contaminants, during both the Vietnam War and the Gulf War.
The committee concludes that there is inadequate/insufficient evidence to determine whether an association exists between deployment to a war zone and cancer.