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VIETNAM VETS AND ESOPHAGEAL CANCER

nelson8989's picture
nelson8989
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2005

LOOKING FOR VIETNAM VETS WHO HAD/HAVE ESOPHAGEAL CANCER. MY HUSBAND PASSED AWAY ON MAY 30-06 FROM EC. WAS DENIED COMPENSATION FROM THE VA AS AGENT ORANGE RELATED. I HAVE APPEALED. VETS, WE NEED TO GET EC ON THE PRESUMPTIVE LIST!! ACCORDING TO THE STUDIES, EC WAS NEVER EVEN CONSIDERED. SOME CASES HAVE BEEN APPROVED, WHY NOT ALL??

mernst2572
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2007

Sorry about your loss, I too lost my father to esophageal cancer. He was only 52. He was in Vietnam. They claim there is no association between the two. I have an uncle who went to get polyps removed from his sinuses and they found a very rare form of cancer, common in Asians. He also was in Vietnam. By the grace of God, chemo and radiation worked in his case. With your husband and my father by the time they discover it is often too late. My dad died almost 3 months to the day he was diagnosed. A friend of my father ,who also was over there, said that when they sprayed Agent Orange you could actually see the trees die right before your eyes. It will be 5 yrs since my dad passed. It never gets better, it just gets a little easier. Take care of yourself.

judyloo's picture
judyloo
Posts: 39
Joined: Jun 2008

My husband was dx'd with EC 12/07 and was in in & out of Nam from Japan 19666-1967; obviously has similar exposure to Agent Orange as other vets did. He has had chemo/rt and surgery 4/08 and is doing ok. Some problems now with post treatment esophageal stricture (makes eating a real problem at time) and they may have to put a stent in to keep the esophagus comfortably open - so our struggle is far from over. Am so sorry about your husband and can appreciate the journey the two of you have taken. What do we need to do or who do we contact about Agent Orange exposure? Thanks for letting me in on this little know information - its not out there for Vets and their families like other diseases from it are. Once again so sorry for your loss.

HAWVET's picture
HAWVET
Posts: 318
Joined: Apr 2006

I am sorry to hear about your losses. Unfortunately, we the survivors/spouses are having a difficult time establishing the relationship on those cancers not identified as being related to exposure to Agent Orange. All veterans who served in Vietnam from January 9, 1962 to May 7, 1975 are presumed to have been exposed. It does not matter what your job was or where you were stationed.

The problem is that the cancers are rare and it is difficult to prove that it was caused by Agent Orange. In my case, I had nasopharyngeal cancer. This cancer was identified as having insufficient or inadequate evidence to determine whether an association existed. I too, lost the appeal. I had decided to not follow through, but I have since decided I will pursue it further.

That is because I have found several cases which were approved on appeal. I am gathering data to see how I will approach the VA. I believe my case requires a statement from a doctor stating that exposure to Agent Orange cannot be ruled out as being the cause of the cancer.

If you look at the guidelines for medical opinions, a simple conclusion by a doctor is "In my opinion, the currently existing medical condition is probably related to or at least likely as not to have occured during the veteran's military service and exposure to Agent Orange when stationed in the Republic of Vietnam." Now, I have to find that physician.

wboaz's picture
wboaz
Posts: 48
Joined: May 2008

The number 1 and 2 causes of throat/oral cancer are tobacco products and alcohol. To get to anything else you pretty much swear that they didn't use either of these. My surgeon said that he even suspects products like listerine that contain alcohol but that you don't swallow. Good luck with you case but be prepared to have to provide extraordinary proof.

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