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Esophageal cancer and agent orange

mrsbotch
Posts: 377
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi
My name is Barbara Rizzitello and my husband Vince, a Vietnam Vet from 1970-71 was exposed to agent orange. he passed away in Feb of this year with Esophageal cancer. He had applied to the VA for benefits before he died but as EC is not one of the regarded cancers he was denied. I have gone back to the vA with an appeal and they told me there that i should try to get as many Vietnam Vets with EC or their widows to file a class action suit against the VA. if anyone is interested let me know and I will do the leg work. Our men deserve better than this.

barbara

MarineE5's picture
MarineE5
Posts: 854
Joined: Dec 2005

Barbara,

I am sorry to hear that you and your husband had to go through this, and that he passed this past Feb before he was able to get results from the VA.

Esophageal cancer is not on the presumptive list of cancers caused by Agent Orange, but each case brought in front of the VA should be reviewed at an individual level. I do not know what all would be involved in a class action suit against the VA on this one cancer nor how long it would take.

I happen to know a local Marine that had Esophageal cancer and he is rated a disability. He had to go it as a single case and was rated.

Please private message me through the CSN Email system here and we can discuss what you and Vince have already done and what you may need to do to move his/your claim along. I am no expert, but I have been through this and may be able to point you in the right direction to those with more experience then me.

If HAWVET sees your message, he may add some advice as well.

My Best to You and Everyone Here

fastjayne
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2012

I would like to PM you to see if you can give me some advice with the claim for my husband who died of esophageal cancer in jan 2012. he was a vietnam vet in country from 1968 to 1970..
pls email me at fastjayne@aol.com

thanks.. Jayne from So. Calif..

lynnmcdermid
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2014

I realize your post was years ago.  You may be out of touch now with this site.  If not I would like some of the pointers you offered Barbara to steer through the VA system for a claim on my deceased husban's esophageal cancer and agent orange.  Thank you either way. Lynn

Bonita6
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2012

Barbara,

My husband, Fred, served in Vietnam in 1969-70. He died of esophageal cancer in June of last year. I have also been denied any benefits from the VA since his death. Please keep me informed of any information or changes you hear of concerning this matter.

Thanks so much. I KNOW what a difficult time this is for you and my prayers are with you. This first holiday season without our husbands is a really tough one.

Bonita

drpjr
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2012

Is there anything new going on with getting EC added to the presumptive diseases related to agent orange?

My dad passed away a year ago this month and I'm just trying to stay informed for my mom. It was a long hard fight for my dad and now my mom is trying to get through the loss.
Any information is appreciated. Has everyone been writing their congressman?
My mom did a claim but of course was denied.
I think it's terrible the gov't won't step up and take responsibility.
Thanks!

fastjayne
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2012

Hi Barbara...my husband was also a vietnam vet 1968-1970 and was also exposed to agent orange and radiation. He passed away in Jan 2012 after 6 month battle with esophageal cancer. I would be VERY willing to join a class action suit against the VA. I also would like to find an attorney to sue the VA since I found blood tests from Dec 2009 with very high white count that was never followed. The VA is F--ed up!!
pls reply if you get this..
Jayne

Lil Lt
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2012

Hi, I'm the daughter of Rick Beville, and Vietnam took much of his spirit from us. He was in combat 69-70. My brother born in '70, and myself, born May 26, '72, were blessed to have the rest of him until May 26, 2012. He had a battle with esophageal cancer and stayed with us for 9 yrs more, and then his liver, kidneys, and sepsis, and double pneumonia led to his last breath. I also watched his face wretch in pain with neuropathy. So, the main sentiment of these heroes deserving more is fully backed from me. By the way, what's offered for PTSD, such a nightmare.

MarineE5's picture
MarineE5
Posts: 854
Joined: Dec 2005

Dear Lil Lt,

No words that I type here today will ease the pain that you feel right now. I hope that as time passes, so does the pain and only fond memories of your time with your Dad will remain.

I am sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad and especially on your Birthday. Today is Father's Day. I am going to send you something via the e-mail system here. You have to be logged in to get it.

Slow Hand Salute

Susie3
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2013

My late husband was a Viet Nam Vet. and died of esophageal cancer 8 yrs. ago and you are right the VA does not recognise esophageal cancer as Agent Orange related; however, everything around the esophagus is recognized.

 

I also read where to California wives got esophageal cancer related to Agent Orange.

navs
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2014

Hi all,

I'm so glad to have come across this site and found people my heart has the same sentiments with.

My husband was in the US Navy and served from 1968 to 1988, a Vietnam vet therefore. He used to tell me stories about their participation in the war, albeit aboard a ship. He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in May 2013 and passed away six months later. We filed a claim with VA during that time but never got to follow it up with additional medical evidences as we were busy managing his activities of daily living.

I can't imagine esophageal cancer not being in the list of presumptive illnesses as a result of exposure to Agent Orange. If your husband is like mine, a mouth breather, then it's not unlikely to develop such - unless Congress wants to entertain the possibility that it could have been brought about by something our veterans were fed then which might have been contaminated by exposure to the herbicide.

I think we can all make individual appeals to VA, but a class action suit might have a stronger voice. I realize your post, Barbara, has been made more than two years ago, but I'd appreciate hearing your updates.

MarineE5's picture
MarineE5
Posts: 854
Joined: Dec 2005

navs,

I am guessing that you used a Veteran's Service Officer that is associated with a Veteran's Group verses the VA itself? The down side of all of this is the continuing battle between the distinction of Blue Water Navy and Brown Water Navy with the claims from the Navy Veterans. There is a list of ships that are considered when processing the claims and the Sailor had to be on ground or at least at a dock in-country along with proof to be in the presumptive for Agent Orange.

As you mentioned, the Veterans can still file a claim, it just is not on the presumptive list and can be a long road to be Granted for Service connection.

My Best to You and Everyone Here

dean1950
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2014

My dad passed away Dec 19, 2013 he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer June 11, 2013. My dad and I filed a claim with the VA August 2013 the paper work was never processed after my dad passed away my mother filed at that time they told my mom hecwas 100% disabled and should not be a problem. Yesterday we received a letter saying they need more information on my dads medical conditions.  After doing research on EC I honestly cant believe that EC is not recognized at agent orange related.  If anyone out there can help me. Please contact me.  Thank you.

 

Im sorry for everyone that had to go thru this with someone they love.

 

Please email me at lgunnels35@gmail.com

Thank you

 

Laurie

 

EC widow
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2014

I also lost my Vietnam agent orange exposed husband to EC in late january

he had just celebrated his 64 th birthday--I am trying to meet with rep Courtney to see if he will sponser a third attempt in congress to put it on the presumptive list--all of the respiratory cancers are on it !!!

let me know how I can help -- we definitely need to do something!

 

 

EC widow
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2014

Btw

i was married to my vet 40 years and my heart is breaking for me and all of you

 

more frustrating even is that unlike pancreatic cancer there is a screen for this and we don't do it -- but other countries do -- 

my husband lived a year and 7 months after diagnosis. -- the last month he was unable to eat

luv2dance
Posts: 7
Joined: Jun 2012

I am so sorry for your loss. Please believe , I understand your hurt, grief and also your flustration with the VA. I lost my sweet huband Dec. 2013 after being diagnosed in 3/12.  My husband was a Navy retiree but I don't believe he had boot on the ground for Viet Nam. It was never ruled in, or out by the VA. There is verbiage on the DD214, and according to whom you spreak in the VA a different intreputation. My husband had a 10% diability for gerd and Hiatus hertia. Through outhis  retirement in 1994  until he die the VA just upped his meds, as he tried to get the 10% increasd as symtomss worstened. The VA diagnosed  him with a maligant stomach tumor in 2006, and Barrett's esphogus suspected but never told him or set up a treatment plan or follow up. I pulled his records after he died. We had no clue...we trusted the VA.  When he was diagnosed with EC in 3/12 by an independant dr. the VA would not service connect him, or up the rating....  Our objective was to link the ec with the progression of the gerd. Well the va was happy when died and stopped bothering them. So, so sad to trearment anyone that way.   After he died I had his Primary care write a nexus for a service connected death. So now I have benefits. I believe he would have had a chance to beat the beast in the va has been straigtforword. Shameful treatment. Thanks for moving forward with the legislation. You will make a difference.

nana06
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2014

I am willing to add my name to file a class action suit against the VA. My husband is a Vietnam veteran served January 1967 to October 1970.  He passed away in April of 2013 from Esophageal Cancer.  He had been denied.  Please inform me of what I can do to help.  I have read numerous statements from Vets who have been denied and were exposed to Agent Orange during their tour in Vietnam.  This is a tragedy.  

Jacqueline

donnaspr
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2016

Hello,

I'm new to this site. Husband diagnosed with EC in August 2015. Served in Vietnem in 1969. Having had chemo, proton therapy and surgery we are now just starting to think, where did this come from. Of course Agent orange was hihh on our suspected list. Where do we start? i see most of the articles posted here are pretty far back. Would love to go on any class action list. Sorry for all your losses. we are just praying my hubbys treatment will be enough. Donna

MarineE5's picture
MarineE5
Posts: 854
Joined: Dec 2005

First, please say "Welcome Home" to your husband, he will understand. 2nd, the first step will be to file a claim thru a Military Veterans Service Officer that will work for you at no charge. If they say they are going to charge you, leave. You can find a Veterans Service Officer (VSO) at most Military Organizations such as the VFW, American Legion, Marine Corps League, and Vietnam Veterans of America. Some local Counties have there own Veterans Affairs Groups and a Service Officer on hand. 

EC is not on the pursumed list, so the claim may get denied at first, but you can appeal it. If you have some time, go onto the VA.gov site and search the Board of Appeals decisions. Type in your key words and read some of the claims. See why they were either denied or granted. I would scroll down to the bottom of the claim to see what the ruling was before reading all the legal stuff as to why they made that decision.

It is best if you have some "Expert Opinions" from the Doctors stating that the cancer was more likely than not caused by the Agent Orange. The Service Officer(s) will guide you in what needs to be done. It is a long battle. Does your husband have PTSD issues? Don't give up, as the more of us that file a claim, it makes it known that there is issues with all of us Vets. There is a Medical board that meets to go over all of this every 2 years and rule on their findings. They then present it to the VA.

Did your husband serve in the Marines? I ask this because Esophageal cancer is on the list for cancers caused by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. He would have to be stationed there for 30 days or longer. I hope this is of some help to you and your husband. You can email me if you have more questions via this site. Just click on the CSN Email  Link at the top left corner of the page here. Send the message to my screen name and I will get it. 

My Best to Both of You and Everyone Here

Sgt. USMC 66-70 RVN 68/69

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