Air Cancer Research/studies

Airline crews twice as likely to develop melanoma: study

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San Francisco – Pilots and cabin crew have about twice the incidence of melanoma – the most serious type of skin cancer – compared to the general population, a recent study indicates.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and other colleges examined 19 studies that included more than 265,000 participants. Within the studies, researchers analyzed the standardized incidence ratio, which measures how cases in certain groups compare to the general population.

Flight workers may be at greater risk for melanoma because they are exposed to ultraviolet and cosmic radiation at higher altitude, the Sept. 3 report states.

“This has important implications for occupational health and protection of this population,” researchers wrote. Further studies on the topic are needed, they said.

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and tanning beds contributes to the risk of melanoma, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

The study was published online Sept. 3 in JAMA Dermatology.