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Nasopharyngeal Cancer and Agent Orange

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

Are there any one besides myself who have naspharyngeal cancer and had served in Vietnam. It can be a relative. Am trying to establish numbers and whether a claim was processed with the Veterans Administration.

grandmadarcy
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2009

Contact your local VA asap. My husband has ACC and has been advised to make a claim concerning agent orange. He served in Korea in 1968-1969. It has recently leaked out about the agent orange used in Korea during these years. So if one has been exposed to agent orange in Vietnam or Korea, stake your claim asap.

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

Grandmadarcy, thank you for the response. I submitted a claim a while back and it was disapproved. Unfortunately, NPC is considered NOT to have been caused by Agent Orange. I have done a lot of research and had submitted testimony hoping for a revision and a favorable conclusion when Agent Orange Update 2008 is published later this year.

lolojldunn
Posts: 37
Joined: Apr 2008

Hi Hawvet,

I'm also a Vietnam Vet having served with the 9th Infantry in the Mekong Delta in 1967. In 2007 I was diagnosed with stage 4 SCC of the right tonsil. I never suspected that Agent Orange may have been a contributing factor. During my treatment nothing was said by my Docs that led me to even consider a claim with the VA. I guess it's something worth considering.

Thanks for bringing it up.

Jim

pipemandoo
Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2009

Yep, I too got my fill of the dreaded AO back in 1966-67, 280 miles north of Saigon at Phan Rang. I claimed I was exposed to AO when I was getting out of the military in 1979...however, the things that were visible then weren't caused by AO...sorry! I, only recently, was prompted to again put a claim in to the V.A....so, I did. Last month I received a form letter saying they had my claim and it would take quite a while to process it. My service rep guy thinks I'll be in for an easy (?) 100%. I am on my 3rd bout of cancer now. The first time it was cleaned up with radiation and chemo. When it came back in 7 months, in the same place, stage 4, I had to have a total laryngectomy. Now, its in my prostate and the numbers are climbing fast and we're going to have to come up with a plan to deal with it. My prostate has already been 'trimmed' once and that is when they discovered the cancer. Another menu item from AO was diabetes...yep, got that too. Geeze, so many things seem to be coming back to haunt me.
My ENT doctor thinks its a good idea to put my claim in to the V.A. I have been looking around the internet at the different AO sites and its alarming that so many of those sites haven't been maintained in years, or, aren't even available anymore! It really bothers me that those initiators aren't with us anymore! Pretty soon, there won't be any Vets around to make any claims....then, it'll all just be history...forgotten. Will anything be learned?

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

Lolojldunn & Pipemandoo, thank you for the responses. Lolojldunn, there is no harm in submitting a claim. If you can get the doctor to say it could possibly be related to Agent Orange, you have a beeter chance. I do wish you the very best.

Based on your brief summary (pipemandoo), I believe you have an excellent chance of having your claim approved. You mentioned a couple of items that had been associated with Agent Orange. With all your ailments, I do hope you have 100 percent.

The VA determines exposure to AO based on the biennual report provided by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies. The last report was Agent Orange Update 2006. The next will be Agent Orange Update 2008. If you have time, google Agent Orange Update 2006 and you can scan through that 800 plus pages of Agent Orange studies and info. Update 2008 should be published later and possibly in year 2010.

Unfortunately, some of us have some rare cancers and it is difficult to statistically relate it to Agent Orange. The incidence rate cannot be compared. I had started this thread to see if there were more of us with NPC. At VA's home page, they do publish a list of appeals by the year and it is interesting to read the summaries. There had been at least 80 cases of NPC on appeal. That alone showed an incidence rate of NPC of veterans that is higher than the rest of the population. I did extensive research, but my case was still disapproved.

I was surprised that I hardly got any response from this thread. As stated by Pipemandoo, there won't be many of us left, especially Vietnam veterans, and we will be history. For your information, I did retire from the U.S. Army. I do have a rating but for some other illness. The amount is subtracted from my military pay.

vietnamvetwife68
Posts: 9
Joined: Mar 2009

Hi...my husband has NPC...first time he was radiated in 2006 then it came back in 2007 and then had radiation and chemo..Now he was diagnosed for the third time and he went for treatment of chemo only for 3 sessions and decided no more! He is wasting away terrible and just recently got meds to increase his appetite and help with depression after about 4 days (yesterday actually) they kicked in...He has a little something to eat and drink..I don't know what else I can do....I threatned that he would have to go in the hospital for hydration and it seemed to work some. But today he ate very little again...But I happy that he is atleast trying somewhat now! Just need some time to release my woes .....Thanks

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5717
Joined: Apr 2009

Hi
I been there 3 times myself and know what you are going through. I am on some stuff from Honduras and it has been doing very good. e-mail me and I will give you the address

God bless I will keep you in my prayers

Hondo
timhonmc@aol.com

jestawoman
Posts: 35
Joined: Oct 2009

My brother is 3rd time recurrent localized nasopharyngeal . He too was diagnosed in early 2006. At present, after several biopsies and surgeries to remove lumps, and after a radical left neck dissection he is undergoing re-irradiation to the original tumor, and has been on erbitux chemo 1x weekly for 5 1/2 months. Before this re-irradiation, of which he has had 7 of 36, oncologist told him the erbitux just wasn't helping much, and referred him to Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland for determination of any possible treatment plans. That's when we learned about the new, more precise, and promising kinds of radiation becoming available. For a short time had decided NO more treatment, because he feared going through the horrors of his first rounds of chemo and rads. He decided he didn't want his kids to see him that way for whatever time he had left. After my extreme response to his decision and lots of reading and research, we looked into the other radiation and chemo options that although fairly new, are showing some great statistics and adding years to survivors lives - without all the horrible side effects for many. You can read more on my members page if you like...
I'm pretty tired, hope I am making sense. My wish is to help you get as excited as we are now about the chance to kick this cancers A__s another time, adding time for living and without the suffering of past experiences. Peace!...out!

pipemandoo
Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2009

Well, Hawvet, after just about a month, really quick, the VA came back with a 100% rating on me and that was just on the prostate cancer and the diabetes...they are still working on the laryngectomy and a couple of other things. I have a couple of appointments with some VA doctors this month and I'm sure its so they can look at the gaping hole in my neck and say "yep, he had a laryngectomy". I'm curiour to see what the results of this cancer and these doctors appointments will do to my 100% rating. I don't imagine it'll go down....but, who knows? Right?

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

My belief was that you were going to be approved and that 100 percent rating is great. There is a chance the rating may go down, but I kinda doubt it. A good friend of mine has diabetes and was approved for 100 percent a few years back. It is still 100 percent. Plus, you have prostate cancer too and both are Agent Orange related.

Agent Orange Update 2008 was released a few weeks ago. Unfortunately for us who had nasopharyngeal cancer, it remained the same. The report did ask the VA to relook at some of these rare cancers, but I do not hold much hope. They are too busy with the casualties from Iraq/Afghanistan. The numbers filing claims for PTSD is high.

I do not know if you retired from the military, but they now allow dual compensation for any combat related illness or wounds.

dejohnso
Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2009

Contact Mary Burr Paxton to be included in and study info and statistics the IOM does her contact information is below - the more cases they know of the better chance of getting this added to the presumptive list:

MPaxton@nas.edu
Mary Burr Paxton, PhD, DABT
Senior Program Officer
Population Health and Public Health Practice
Institute of Medicine
Keck 871, 500 Fifth St., NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 334-1731
fax: (202) 334-2939

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