How The Va Rates Prostate Cancer
The VA has established a rating system for prostate cancer based on the severity of the symptoms. This rating system falls under genitourinary conditions . Prostate cancer is rated according to voiding dysfunction or urinary tract infection .
If surgery is required for prostate cancer, the VA will award a temporary 100 percent rating post-surgery. The VA will schedule a follow-up exam at a VA medical center about six months after the surgery in order to determine whether or not the 100 percent rating is still warranted.
If there is no metastasis, the VA will then rate the residuals according to voiding dysfunction or renal dysfunction , which usually comes to a 10 percent rating. Court cases have determined that the VA can reduce the 100 percent rating only after the cessation of surgical, X-ray, antineoplastic chemotherapy, or other therapeutic procedure. The term therapeutic according to DC 7528 is interpreted as the procedures to cure cancer and the disease.
Prostate Cancer And Agent Orange
Certain unique factors may put veterans, especially those who served in the Vietnam or Korean wars, at increased risk for developing prostate cancer. A 1996 report published by the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concluded that there is a link between prostate cancer and exposure to herbicides such as Agent Orange, which was used during the Vietnam and Korean wars. Similarly, a 2013 study conducted at the Portland VA Medical Center and Oregon Health and Science University found that veterans exposed to Agent Orange were at an increased risk for both developing prostate cancer and developing more aggressive forms of the disease.
Veterans with prostate cancer who were exposed to herbicides during active service may be eligible for disability compensation through the VA. There are several eligibility requirements to receive these benefits, and it is important to contact the VA directly if you think you are eligible.
Can Vietnam Veterans Be Tested For Agent Orange Exposure
No widely available lab tests can show if someone was exposed to Agent Orange in the past. Because of this, the Department of Veterans Affairs presumes that all veterans who served in certain places at certain times might have been exposed, and therefore might be eligible for certain medical benefits for service-related disabilities.
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The Judicial Divide Interpreting The Federal Rules Of Evidence
Courts divided over the nature and extent of the judicial scrutiny of proffered expert testimony warranted by the Federal Rules of Evidence. One liberal line of cases held that, under the new rules, expert opinion testimony was admissible if the expert was generally qualified in her field, if there was some factual basis for her opinion, and if the facts or data underlying the expert’s methodology met a threshold criterion of reliability. Another restrictive line of cases stood for the proposition that trial judges should more rigorously scrutinize the expert’s proffer and independently assess the quality and appropriateness of the data, methodology, and conclusions, to determine whether these are actually reliable.39
In his opinion in the Agent Orange litigation, Judge Jack B. Weinstein explained the divergent approaches that had developed as of the late 1980s in a slightly different way:
Courts have adopted two general approaches to Rule 703: one restrictive, one liberal. The more restrictive view requires the trial court to determine not only whether the data are of a type reasonably relied upon by experts in the field, but also whether the underlying data are untrustworthy for hearsay or other reasons. The more liberal view allows the expert to base an opinion on data of the type reasonably relied upon by experts in the field without separately determining the trustworthiness of the particular data involved.40
S. Karanth, in, 2014
Agent Orange Tied To Aggressive Prostate Cancer Risk
By Genevra Pittman, Reuters Health
5 Min Read
NEW YORK – Men who were exposed to Agent Orange chemicals used during the Vietnam War are at higher risk for life-threatening prostate cancer than unexposed veterans, researchers have found.
Whats more, those who served where the herbicide was used were diagnosed with cancer about five years earlier than other men, on average, in the new study.
This is a very, very strong predictor of lethal cancer, said urologist Dr. Mark Garzotto, who worked on the study at the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Oregon.
If youre a person whos otherwise healthy and youve been exposed to Agent Orange, that has important implications for whether you should be screened or not screened, he told Reuters Health.
But one researcher not involved in the new study said its hard to take much away from it, given the imprecise way it measured exposure.
Agent Orange – named after the giant orange drums in which the chemicals were stored – was used by the U.S. military to destroy foliage, mainly in southern Vietnam. The herbicide was often contaminated with a type of dioxin, a potently carcinogenic chemical.
The Vietnam Red Cross Society has estimated that up to one million Vietnamese suffered disabilities or health problems as a result of Agent Orange, including children born with birth defects years after their parents were exposed.
SOURCE: bit.ly/gzHzeL Cancer, online May 13, 2013.
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Agent Orange: Likely A Prostate Cancer Risk Factor
May 27, 2020
Research shows that exposure to Agent Orange, an herbicide frequently used during the Vietnam War, likely caused an aggressive form of prostate cancer in many Vietnam veterans.
The U.S. military used significant amounts of Agent Orange, which was contaminated with dioxin, a dangerous toxin that is now believed to cause cancer, to spray on trees and other vegetation. Soldiers who served in Vietnam between 1962-1975 were likely exposed to this chemical, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Department has linked Agent Orange exposure a variety of cancers, including prostate cancer, leukemia, and Hodgkins Disease. Additionally, the chemical is linked to Type 2 diabetes, Parkinsons disease, and other chronic illnesses.
While 1 in 9 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in lifetime, the incidence rate for military men is higher: 1 in 5. Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and later diagnosed with prostate cancer may be eligible for disability compensation and healthcare, per the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Numerous organizations have linked Agent Orange to higher rates of aggressive prostate cancer.
Researchers studied more than 2,700 U.S. veterans who were referred for a prostate biopsy. About a third of the patients had prostate cancer. Slightly more than half of those diagnosed patients were found to have an aggressive form of the disease.
Dioxin Or Agent Orange
Agent Orange is the code name given to a particular herbicide that was used extensively during the Vietnam War from 1962 to 1971.51 The herbicide contained an equal mixture of two phenoxy acids, one of which had an obligatory byproduct during its production, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, otherwise known as TCDD or dioxin. Various health issues among Vietnam War veterans became attributed, albeit with some controversy, to dioxin, including various cancers, birth defects in children fathered by veterans, cognitive or neuropsychiatric problems, and peripheral neuropathy.
Whether Agent Orange causes a neuropathy remains controversial. Neuropathic symptoms theoretically attributed to dioxin exposure are typically a distal sensory polyneuropathy affecting the lower extremities, with abnormal sensory findings and hyporeflexia on examination.52 Most studies have noted that only individuals with higher exposures, characterized as those with dermatological changes from direct contact with dioxin had any significant increase in risk for developing a polyneuropathy.52,53 Experimentally, both electrodiagnostic and histological evidence for a toxic polyneuropathy has been observed in rats following an intraperitoneal injection of dioxin,54,55 but it is unclear how this correlates with dioxin exposures reported in the Vietnam War or in particular occupations.
Theodore H. Tulchinsky MD, MPH, Elena A. Varavikova MD, MPH, PhD, in, 2014
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Prostate Cancer And Agent Orange Exposure
Berry LawVeterans Disability
Prostate cancer affects the prostate, a small gland in the male reproductive system. Some forms of prostate cancer are slow-growing and do not spread at all. These types of prostate cancer may go unnoticed and may not even require treatment. Other forms of prostate cancer, however, may grow rapidly and spread to other parts of the body causing a variety of medical problems.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men. It can be treated effectively if it is detected early and has not spread too far. It is crucial to understand the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer to be able to have a better chance at detected it early.
Health Risks For Veterans
Garzotto used data from the Veterans Affairs electronic medical records system. Of the 2,720 veterans who underwent a biopsy, prostate cancer was diagnosed in 32.9 percent of them and 16.9 percent had high grade, or lethal, prostate cancer. Agent Orange exposure was associated with a 52 percent greater overall risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Garzottos study is far from the only research linking Agent Orange to prostate cancer. Another study published in Cancer showed BJU International concluded that Agent Orange exposure may lead to more aggressive prostate cancer in some men.
There are a number of other health risks also associated with Agent Orange exposure, including congenital amputation, soft tissue sarcoma, Hodgkins disease and non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
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Exposure To Agent Orange Linked To Prostate Cancer In Vietnam Veterans
- University of California – Davis – Health System
- Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange have greatly increased risks of prostate cancer and even greater risks of getting the most aggressive form of the disease as compared to those who were not exposed.
UC Davis Cancer Center physicians today released results of research showing that Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange have greatly increased risks of prostate cancer and even greater risks of getting the most aggressive form of the disease as compared to those who were not exposed.
The findings, which appear online now and will be published in the September 15 issue of the journal Cancer, are the first to link the herbicide with this form of cancer. The research is also the first to utilize a large population of men in their 60s and the prostate-specific antigen test to screen for the disease.
“While others have linked Agent Orange to cancers such as soft-tissue sarcomas, Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, there is limited evidence so far associating it with prostate cancer,” said Karim Chamie, lead author of the study and resident physician with the UC Davis Department of Urology and the VA Northern California Health Care System. “Here we report on the largest study to date of Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange and the incidence of prostate cancer.”
What The Expert Agencies Say
Several national and international agencies study substances in the environment to determine if they can cause cancer. The American Cancer Society looks to these organizations to evaluate the risks based on evidence from laboratory, animal, and human research studies.
Some of these expert agencies have looked at whether Agent Orange or related compounds can cause cancer.
Institute of Medicine
Starting in the early 1990s, the federal government directed the Institute of Medicine , now known as the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies, to issue reports every 2 years on the health effects of Agent Orange and similar herbicides. First published in 1994 and titled Veterans and Agent Orange, the IOM reports assess the risk of both cancer and non-cancer health effects. Each health effect is categorized as having one of the following:
- Sufficient evidence of an association
- Limited/suggestive evidence of an association
- Inadequate/insufficient evidence to determine whether an association exists
- Limited/suggestive evidence of no association
This framework provides a basis for government policy decisions in the face of uncertainty.
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What Is Agent Orange
Agent Orange was a mixture of plant-killing chemicals used during the Vietnam War. It was used as a defoliant to remove tree cover, destroy crops, and clear vegetation from the perimeters of US bases. About 3 million Americans served in the armed forces in Vietnam and nearby areas during the time of the Vietnam War. Many of these veterans, as well as other people in the area, were exposed to Agent Orange during this time.
Exposure to Agent Orange varied a great deal. Exposures could have occurred when the chemicals were breathed in, ingested in contaminated food or drinks, or absorbed through the skin. Exposure may have been possible through the eyes or through breaks in the skin, as well.
One of the challenges in assessing the health effects of Agent Orange exposure has been trying to determine how much any individual was exposed to , as very little information of this type is available.
Diseases Caused By Agent Orange
Although there may be other conditions and Agent Orange side effects that stem from your exposure to the herbicide, the following are some of the most common ones that qualify for disability compensation with a presumptive connection from the VA. If you believe your application for disability benefits has been wrongly denied, you should contact a VA disability attorney for help.
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Does Agent Orange Cause Multiple Myeloma
Bone marrow is crucial for making new blood cells. Multiple myeloma causes blood cells to accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the process of making new blood cells. Patients who develop multiple myeloma are usually diagnosed first with a condition called monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance . Patients who have MGUS tend to develop multiple myeloma, and this risk increases over time. More than 26,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with multiple myeloma this year, and less than half are predicted to survive.
In its 2012 report, the Institute of Medicine stated that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that exposure to Agent Orange can cause multiple myeloma. In its 2012 report, the Institute of Medicine stated that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that exposure to Agent Orange can cause multiple myeloma. However, in 2016 the VA determined that Agent Orange and other herbicides are assumed to be connected to multiple myeloma, making veterans eligible for VA health care and disability compensation. This decision was supported by a study published in a cancer journal in 2015 indicating that veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange were 2.4 times more likely to develop MGUS than the veterans who were not exposed to it. The study was based on 958 veterans who served in the United States Air Force during Operation Ranch Hand.
All articles are reviewed and approved by Dr. Diana Zuckerman and other senior staff.
Vietnam Veterans & Prostate Cancer
Veterans who served in Vietnam are now reaching their mid-60s, which is the age at which prostate cancer is usually diagnosed. This means that we are seeing an influx of prostate cancer cases.
Roughly eight nine million men in the US served during the Vietnam War with approximately 2.7 million Americans serving in Vietnam. And according to recent studies, almost 1.4 million men are predicted to develop prostate cancer in their lifetime. A 2013 study conducted at the Portland VA Medical Center and Oregon Health and Science University found that Veterans exposed to Agent Orange are not only at higher risk for prostate cancer, but they also have an increased risk for more aggressive forms of the disease.
Agent Orange, as we have discussed in previous Agent Orange blog posts, has been found to cause many serious health problems. The VA has found sufficient evidence of an association with certain conditions so they have recognized fourteen different diseases and type of cancer as being related to Agent Orange exposure. These conditions are considered presumptive diseases, meaning that the VA will grant service-connection for these conditions as long as the veteran was in Vietnam. Some other diseases on this list include non-Hodgkins lymphoma , soft tissue sarcoma, porphyria cutanea tarda, multiple myeloma, and ischemic heart disease.
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What Is An Exposure Exam
To help the VA track the effects of exposure to this agent, they offer comprehensive health exams to veterans that may have been exposed. This is one of the free services they offer in regards to this agent. This exam will help to determine your personal benefits. However, it also helps the VA to understand the long term effects of this agent to better serve our veterans.
Denied Va Disability Benefits For Prostate Cancer
VA disability claims for prostate cancer, specifically stemming from exposure to military burn pits, may be denied by VA because there is no presumption of exposure. However, if your claim for prostate cancer was denied, you still have options for appealing the decision.
The accredited VA disability attorneys at CCK may be able to help you secure VA disability benefits for your prostate cancer. Contact our office today for a free consultation.
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Does Agent Orange Cause Cancer
In general, the American Cancer Society does not determine if something causes cancer , but we do look to other respected organizations for help with this. Based on current research, some of these organizations have made the following determinations:
- International Agency for Research on Cancer : IARC has classified one of the chemicals in Agent Orange as known to be carcinogenic to humans.
- US National Toxicology Program : The NTP has classified one chemical in Agent Orange as known to be a human carcinogen.
In addition, the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine linked exposure to Agent Orange to certain cancers and cancer precursors in its most recent report, titled Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 11 :
Sufficient evidence of an association:
- Soft tissue sarcoma
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia , including hairy cell leukemia and other chronic B-cell leukemias
- Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance , a precursor of multiple myeloma
Limited/suggestive evidence of an association:
- Respiratory cancers
- Prostate cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Bladder cancer
The IOM categories provide a framework for US government policy decisions regarding compensation for US Vietnam veterans.