Veterans and civilians tend to face the same types of cancers. The most frequently diagnosed cancers are similar within both groups and include prostate, lung and bronchial, colorectal, urinary and bladder cancers, and skin melanomas. Despite the similarities, some veterans may be at increased risk for acquiring certain cancers.
VA research on cancer dates to 1932, when it set up a tumor research unit. The VA remains focused on understanding and preventing cancers within its patient base and is at the forefront of cancer research. It currently has $59.5 million allocated to support almost 250 active projects in FY2017. These projects cover basic biology and genetic underpinning in laboratory-based research, as well as large clinical trials of treatments and approaches that advance care. In addition, the VA’s Central Cancer Registry aggregates data collected by about 120 VA medical centers that treat cancer patients dating from January 1, 1995. This information could help researchers involved with President Obama’s Cancer Moonshot initiative.