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Prostate cancer and Vietnam

jackb
Posts: 14
Joined: Oct 2001

If you are a veteran who served in Vietnam and have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, this is to let you know that the Veterans Administation (VA) ruled that you may be eligible for compensation. According to the "Agent Orange Review", Vol. 16, No. 1, May 2000, published by the VA:
"Under the law, veterans who served in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975 (including those who visited Vietnam even briefly or served in the waters just offshore), and who have a disease that VA recognizes as being assoicated with Agent Orange (note: prostate cancer is one), are presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange. These veterans are eligible for service-connected compensation based on their service..."
I submitted my claim a year ago and it is still being processed. There is a LOT of red tape, but don't give up. One word of advice - contact a service organization like VFW or American Legion. These organizations have service officers who assist veterans in this (and you do not have to be a member of the organization). DON'T GIVE UP - you are entitled to this compensation for serving your country in Vietnam and ending up with prostate cancer.

boffingen
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2002

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer from exposure to agent orange in 1968-69
I had radical prostate surgery about two years ago in the VA hospital. I have a degree of incontanance and am impotant since the operation. The urologist says that they have helped me as much as they can. The VA wants to cut me to 20% because my PSA test is good. Be careful, make sure you can get help with the complications. VA drops you from the disability acording to the low PSA test.

jackb
Posts: 14
Joined: Oct 2001

Hi, this is Jean, Jack's wife (he rarely has a chance to get on the computer and I use it at work all the time, so...) Jack still hasn't gotten anything from VA (it's been 17 months since he submitted his claim), so all this is hearsay, but he was told by another Vietnam vet who had prostate cancer from Agent Orange that he would be entitled a special monthly compensation forever because of "loss of creative organ." This separate from the 100% disability you get for the first six months for prostate cancer(unless you have radiation and/or chemo, for which you are supposed to get 100% each month in which that occurs). The VA website is clear about the 100% for six months and for radiation/chemo months, but doesn't give specific percentages for the "loss of creative organ." I do know that they base incontinence percentages on the number of pads used daily. Check the VA site of Federal Regulations under "Voiding dysfunction" and "Urinary frequency" for percentages: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/cfrhtml_00/Title_38/38cfr4_00.html

If you look at decisions on appeals at http://www.va.gov/vbs/bva/ (check the left margin for years of decisions), you can see what the appeals process ruled for all kinds of circumstances. One statement I found in the 2001 decisions was: "The Court indicated that the VA has a duty to consider whether an appellant is eligible for special monthly compensation when service-connection was established for a disability or injury
to a creative organ, regardless of whether the appellant knew of such a possible rating."

You might want to consider applying for the special monthly compensation for loss of creative organ, and you might want to appeal the drop in your current benefits. Go to one of the service organizations (Vietnam Vets or VFW or AL) and ask for help or get a private lawyer. The VA is not going to easily give up any entitlements you have coming to you.

Good luck.

bulkboy
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2002

I have advanced prostate cancer due to agent orange.I have mets in the lymph nodes I did radation anndd am doing intermittened hormone treatment.The radation caused radation cystitis which fried the bladder.I had to have the prostate and bledder removed due to this.I have been 100% disabled for the bladder removal which is permanent in nature,but the va has just sent me a letter saying that the cancer to the lymphatic system is now going down from 100% to 0%,due to the fact that the doctor did not find any cancer of the lumph nodes,even though he stated that I am doing hormone treatment, I quess that meanes Iam cured!!!! my psa is just starting to go up but I guess its not high enough either Rich

jackb
Posts: 14
Joined: Oct 2001

Why don't you try getting in touch with Vietnam Vets of America, VFW, or some other service organization. They all have people who assist vets in their appeals - and it sounds like you SHOULD appeal. If they can't assist you, ask them for a reference for an attorney who's experienced in going to battle with the VA. It's a pain in the butt that you should have to do this, but no surprise. Good luck.

Luna13
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2004

Not exactly sure what I want to say. My dad has prostate cancer that has mets to the bone, and is a Vietnam Vet. HE was just diagnosed within the last year.

suznfrmmn
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2002

Thanks for your input. My husband learned about this after the first of the year.
We haven't heard anything back but expect it will take awhile. He was only
51 and had radical prostate surgery and things will never be the same but at least his PSA has been good. Have you heard anything more since you last wrote in here?

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