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Vietnam Vets

Posts: 377
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi to all of you. As I watch this board I am saddened by some of the new posts but also sometimes uplifted with some of the good news.

I reached out to you awhile back asking any of you if you knew of anyone who was in Vietnam and exposed to agent orange and has EC. I am asking once again . I have been made aware that there are a couple of cases that have been won by EC widows relating their husbands deaths to EC even tho it is not on the presumed list of cancers caused by agent orange on the VA's list.

Thank you so much . If anyone would like to e-mail me personally please do so at mrsbotch@hotmail.com.

Good luck in your fight. My husband lost his in Feb of this year after 2 years but thaere is hope. Just make sure you go to a major cancer center that deals alot with the MIE and EC. Do not fool around with this dreaded cancer as it is brutal as many of you know.

Much love


wilsontrees's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2009

Barbara, I am not on this board very often, so I just noticed your post on Vietnam Vets. My husband served in the Marines in 'Nam in the 60s. Five years ago, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and was able to get full disability for about a year. (Due to assumed Agent Orange exposure )He is now on partial for that cancer. He is also two years out from his surgery for EC. He was lucky-- his cancer was discovered at Stage 1.

There has been a bill regarding 'Nam vets and digestive cancers including esophageal cancer languishing in Congress. The bill calls for the VA to recognize these cancers as caused by Agent Orange. So far, no progress has been made out of committee.

I don't have the link, but it seems to me there is a group of vets and/or their families regarding this issue.

I hope this info helps a little!

Jennifer W.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2004

I hope that the gastric cancer legislation goes through. This whole cancer/Agent Orange thing is big and could involve thousands of veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and then were wrongfully denied disability benefits, medicine, and treatment.

In my particular case, I have survived EC for over 8 years and secondary liver cancer for over 5 years. Not sure how much longer I can hang on.

Until recently, I was not aware that while I was in-country Viet Nam that all of our drinking water was laced with Agent Orange. So I didn't just breath in Agent Orange, I drank it.

I was in the "brown water" Navy, and for anyone on our ship who has MS, diabetes, and certain cancers, the ilness is presumed to have been caused by Agent Orange. Probably half ot the people on our ship have received diability pensions or have died from one of these illnesses.

In general, the work on the connection between Agent Orange and EC was done with too few patients to be conclusive. The FDA would have been much more rigorous in their approach and required several thousand patients in their studies, because the results from studying hundreds of patients are often wrong. We can only pray that someday EC will be added to the list of presumptive cancers.

I am working closely with my Congressman and oncologists in filing a claim for a disability pension.

Unfortunately, many EC patients die much too soon, and I hope the VA isn't trying to play out the game clock.

God bless all VietVets with EC who were exposed to Agent Orange.


Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2013




Denise54's picture
Posts: 20
Joined: Jul 2011

Hello. My dad, Jerry, who was diagnosed with Stage III esophageal adenocarcinoma with no mets this past May 2011 is a Vietnam Vet who was exposed to agent orange while there. He said that U.S. soldiers were patrolling in the jungle, that's when the military planes overhead sprayed agent orange while they were in there KNOWING that American soldiers were down there. My dad stated that although a good amount landed on their squad, many others got it worse.
Dad is continuing his chemo, will do so until the tumor shrinks more. Dr. Nguyen from UCIrvine will then do the MIE surgery when he sees fit.
It is an awful disease that we're determined to beat. We're taking things day by day, I'm grateful my dad has been feeling well enough to eat regular food, even with his latest chemo.


ritawaite13's picture
Posts: 249
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi Barbara,
My husband was in Vietnam in 1968/69 and exposed to Agent Orange. He has just been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He had no risk factors typical to EC patients. He quit smoking in 1978, he was not a drinker, nor did he have any reflux symptoms. We really can't figure out why he got this awful disease but are submitting paperwork through the VA to substantiate the fact that he has EC and was exposed to Agent Orange. I know that EC is not currently on "the list" of cancers caused by AO but that could change and it should. If all other respiratory cancers are included, why not EC??
You can email me at ritawaite13@gmail.com

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2011

My dad also had EC and was exposed to Agent orange. He passed away in May and was diagnosed in Oct. I've been helping my mom file her claim. The VA has been great, just extremely slow. Any updates would be great concerning the addition to "the list".

AngieD's picture
Posts: 504
Joined: Sep 2011

My husband, Larry, is a Vietnam vet and was diagnosed with Stage IV EC in June of this year. He was an AF pilot and was there from June '64-June '65. He flew the small L-19 Bird Dog planes and was all over the country. He says he has no knowledge of if he was exposed or not. This was in the early days before Agent Orange had had any publicity and may have been being secretly used. Any information you could send us on how to proceed or help would be greatly appreciated. ladav@sbcglobal.net
I'm new here and am so sorry to hear about your husband and will remember you in my prayers.

Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2012

Hi Barbara,

My Dad was just diagnosed last week. The VA doctor took us (and dad) completely by surprise when he told Dad is unit had been exposed to agent orange! We had no idea. He said that given dad didn't have any other risk factors for EC, its the only cause he could think of. (Dad also had prostate cancer about 15 years ago.)

I'm thoroughly pissed off that there is no "official" connection between agent orange and EC. Our doc seemed pretty sure that this was the culprit! Dad went and looked closer and found that there was even "extra heavy" contamination where his unit was stationed.

- Karrie

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2012

My boyfriend was diagnosed with EC in July 2010. He too was in Vietnam. If you go to the VA website there is information regarding Agent Orange and a Registry for Agent Orange. Perhaps this will help you. Good Luck!

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2012

Hi Barbra and everyone else who has posted here.
My name is Michele and I am only 21 years old. My dad was a paratrooper in the Vietnam war. He died when I was only 8 years old. When I was in high school my mom and grandma died within 3 months and my grandpa( a WW2 vet) died a year later. For the longest time I worried about getting cancer because my grandma gramps and mom all had it. Although I am young I am not very healthy. I've had depression for the loss of my family and stress makes me sick with colds all winter. I've had an infection that hasn't gone away and I've taken antibiotics for multiple times. I worry that in the future I will have cancer too.
I didn't know too much about my dad but my older sisters tell me he had extreme PTSD and many other psychological problems. The scariest was when he had flashbacks of Vietnam. I don't remember my dad like this but I do remember how kind and loving he was with me and my little brother. He moved to MO after my brother was born because he was verbally abusive to my mom. I never got to know him or his family out in the mid west.
Because he was in the war I go to college paid by the VA. I am double majoring in Art Education and Fine Arts, one day I will be a teacher! :D
I just recently discovered a large hard lump on the right side of my neck. I made an appointment to see my doctor but in the mean time I was googling to find some answers. I came across articles about the effects of Agent Orange. No one ever told me about this, I had heard of it but I never thought my dad would be connected to it. Upon reading these endless stories of others who's fathers went to Vietnam I realized that my dad, running through the jungles of Vietnam must have been exposed.
Now I feel as though my world has been turned upside-down. I feel I have been lied to or something. I am young and healthy at 21 years old but I greatly fear for my future health. I hope this lump on my neck isn't connected to agent orange or cancer. I worry that as I get older I may develope or show signs of illness as a result of my dads service. I also worry about having kids of my own in the future. If it is true that my dad was exposed while fighting than how would it be ethical for me to have my own kids if I know I have bad genetics. Ive always dreamed of having kids but will their lives be burdened by illness and disease. I worry for my little brother because we have the same mom and dad and I have not told him about what I have just discovered. My goal for life was to finish school and become a teacher and better the lives of children. But now I see my future filled with health problems. I only have health insurance until I finish college and then I'm on my own. I worry that I won't show any signs of illness until I am older and I have lost my health insurance.
I never knew what agent orange was until now. I am very afraid for my future. I am angry, we had some sort of Hitler in our Government that developed agent orange. Not only does this effect my life and my future children's lives. But an entire country of innocent people! And what happens to the generations after in Vietnam and America alike. I feel so sick knowing what I know now. I may be healthy now ( besides the lump in my neck) but what happens when I'm older? What will happen to my brother who already has more health problems than I do. I wish there was a cure or a way to reverse time. I don't think my life will ever be the same.

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2016

I was diagnosed and treated for esophageal cancer 3 years ago. I served in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot from April of '70 thru April of'71. My surgeon informed me when I had surgery nearly 3 years ago that the occurence of esophogeal cancer had increased 700% in the last 20 years, mainly in men over 50 and they don't know why. He could not furnish me a letter that I could submit to VA because there was no direct evidence that agent orange might be a factor. Sure seems like the age of men with this large increase of cancer in the last 20 years would be a reason to find out how many of us served in Vietnam. I receive a disability from VA for aschemic heart disease that VA attributes to exposure to agent orange and they do offer disability for other types of cancer because of exposure to agent orange. Sure seems like esophogeal cancer could also be included. My cousin, who is my same age and also served in Vietnam a year before me, was just diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer this month. Sure seems like there could a reason for further research about cause and effect for esophageal cancer and Vietnam veterans.

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