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USSOCOM Memo on Cancer Study

Air Commandos – Read memo from USSOCOM regarding cancer study.

March 5, 2024

U.S. Special Operations Command Teammates,

We are conducting an in-depth study to characterize cancer risk and diagnosis within the active duty and retired Special Operations Forces (SOF) population. The study is in cooperation with ongoing Defense Healthcare Agency efforts that inform Department of Defense (DOD) senior leaders, healthcare providers, and biomedical innovators, and will focus on personnel that have been assigned to SOF units during their careers. In line with the First SOF Truth, this effort will enable the SOF enterprise to pursue force health protection measures that reduce excess health risk, as well as support our teammates who have been, our currently, or may be diagnosed with cancer.

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To accurately characterize cancer risk within the SOF community, we encourage individuals to take necessary steps below to ensure the study team can access their diagnosis:

• Ensure any cancer diagnosis is documented in DOD or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical records. While there is no need to move ongoing cancer care or surveillance from existing facilities to a DOD or VA facility, it is critical that documentation from external providers is transferred and incorporated into these official DOD/VA medical records.

• Complete routine cancer screenings. For men, these include prostate screenings and colonoscopies. For women these include breast exams/mammograms, pap smears, and colonoscopies.

People are our competitive advantage. We will support Service members diagnosed with cancer by ensuring they have access to advanced treatment options and robust resources to enable their ability to continue to serve our Nation. The Warrior Care Program and Command Surgeon will share information discovered in the study with the Force as it becomes available.

Shane W. Shorter
Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army
Command Senior Enlisted Leader

Brian P. Fenton
General, U.S. Army

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