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Mestastatic Malignant Melanoma with spindle cells and unknow site of origin

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2005

Help! My husband was diagnosed with the above mentioned cancer in November. A few weeks ago it was suggested that we contact VA to present a claim under Agent Orange exposure. After doing some reading and feeling overwhelmed I am not sure the best way to handle our case. The Dr.'s cannot determine were the cancer began, because there is no site of origin. Also, we are contacting the physicians and getting what info I found on the internet to them so they can write letter explaining their position. I saw were melanoma is now an accepted claim for the men involved in the Operation Ranch Hand and how does that decision affect the other men exposed who have melanoma? Thanks

Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2003

Contact your County's "Veterans Service Officer" and file a claim. Every state has a department of military affairs, contact them if you can not find your local VSO and they will provide you with their name's and phone number. Also, every VA facility has a state VSO on site.
The VSO will help you with the paper work and tell you exactly what you need to provide as proof or evidence. They will file the claim for you. You have lost quite a bit of money by hesitating, your husband will be rated at 100% service connected, which is about $2,300 per month but, is only payable from the date of your claim. It will take about 5 or 6 months for the VA to process your claim and is retro to the date you file. The award is presumptive to agent orange. There is no test that will indicate exposure, accordingly the VA presumes everyone who served in Nam was exposed and your proof is the cancer itself.....Therog

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2004

My husband was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma due to Agent Orange exposure while serving in Viet Nam. I would suggest that you contact your local DAV (Disabled American Veterans) chapter and have them represent your husband. They were very helpful and got things done very quickly. My husband is now collecting a monthly compensation check and believe me there are many other benefits that may be available......Good Luck and please let me know how things work out.

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

I saw the list of harm to Vietnam Vets ... and feel it is less likely to be Agent Orange ... but EGBE that the agent orange was mixed with. It is a better 'match' for the harm of not only the Vietnam vet, but also the 'gulf war syndrome' vets


Both NHL and soft tissue sarcomas are the FOR SUREs as harm to the Vietnam vet ... and even the brain tumors at the bottom of the list, fit the profile of 2-butoxyethanol harm.

I was very pleased to receive correspondence in greater detail from Senator Lisa Murkowski in regards to the exposures of Gulf war troops
90-91 to 2-butoxyethanol and diethylene glycol monobutyl ether

I still would like to know why the DOD put these 2 chemicals on the list of solvents and pesticides the gulf war troops were exposed to.


After seeing the documentary on Pres FDR, I strongly suspect that his death was more from exposure to this chemical than anything else.


Troops today are at risk and so are housewives and young people; even babies. Worst exposure is vapors in one's eyes... and there is a very strong 2nd hand exposure with this chemical

A strong exposure to it looks like 'flu-like' symptoms and I am also concerned about Hillary and her staff. They should check for the CFS
symptoms and blood in urine and elevated 'retic rate' to find out if this chemical may be causing an autoimmune immune system: autoimmune hemolytic anemia is the fatigue that should be there, if so.

I know a lot about this chemical, because I've been looking into it for over three years now. Someone in my family was harmed by it during the Exxon Valdez oil spill cleanlup.

Chad Pagel of Indiana, a gulf war vet, shared how his whole company came down with horrible diarrhea when securing the airport. My question, What happened to his group?


And what were these three soldiers doing before the 'flu?'


Please contact your US Representative and US Senatoars & tell them all ... what has happened to YOU. Maybe they'll pick up on the pattern & ban this 2-butoxyethanol.


Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2009

My husband was diagnosed 2007 in january with metatastic melanoma with no place of origin. He was in vietnam from 1965 to 1969 and was exposed to agent orange. He passed away in 2008 and was denied veterans benefits for his melanoma but was 30% PTSD. I was denied widows benefits also. While searching the internet for proof I came upon this site and read your blog. I hope you get this, I would like to know if you found evidence for the va and if it helped. also would you share this evidence?

Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2009

I’m so sorry to read about the loss of your husband. I would like to personally thank you for the time that he served and welcome him home. Every Vietnam Veteran that I talk to always expresses how angry they are that this Country has never welcomed them home. My daddy is an ex-Marine, enlisted in 1962 and was sent to Vietnam 1965-1966. We forced our men to enlist or drafted them and when they came home, we spit on them and called them baby killers. They were young men that were forced to enlist or were drafted while our fellow Americans were given the freedom of speech and the freedom to treat our soldiers like crap. They were never welcomed home, were made to feel like murders and were ashamed to wear their uniforms. What a very sad and disgraceful time for our Country!?
Anyway, the reason for my post is to tell you that my daddy has been recently diagnosed with Cancer of Unknown Origin. The oncologist at the VA told us that it is extremely rare, only 5% of cancer patients have this and 3 men are currently being treated for it at the same VA that my dad is at. When my dad asked if they were Vietnam Veterans, he was quickly blown off and told that there is no link between this form of cancer and Agent Orange. So let me get this straight…rare form of cancer…only 5% have it…3 of them are at the same VA as my dad…no connection!? Every time my dad mentions the word Agent Orange and health problems he is blown off and told that there is no connection. I read your post and my heart breaks. Is this how our Country treats our Veterans? Is this how we treat their widows? I too am searching for answers and also want to ask if anyone has any information that they could share? I’m truly sorry for your loss and hope that someone out there can help us to understand why our loved ones were treated so poorly and denied benefits for this rare form of cancer.
Take care of yourself,
Proud Daughter of a Vietnam Veteran

Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2010

I served in Da Nang, Viet Nam 1970 --1971. Unfortunately I was diagnosed with a primary melanoma in 1992 (21 yrs after Viet Nam) on the back of my leg. I had another primary melanoma on the top of my head discovered in 1998. In 2003 found a lump in my groin and it was determined that the melanoma from my leg had worked it's way up and was now in my lymph system. Had the lymph nodes removed and told that I had a 35% chance of surviving 5 years. Did interferon for a year. Am still around today and have submitted claim to the VA. Claim is now 8 months old with little response except to say they are working on it. Have read the Operation Ranch Hand Report and it seems to tie in melanoma with agent orange. Any other cases or studies that do the same? Anyone have any experience in this field? Have read various VA cases and some allow Malignant Melanoma and some don't. The decisions seem to be all over the board. If anyone has any insights please let me know--thanks

Just Jan
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2011

My late husband served in Vietnam (1968-1970) - was a 'Wireman' with the Marines and, like many other military, had Agent Orange dumped on him the entire time. November 1994, he had a mole removed from his leg. By July 1995, he had developed a tumor in his groin area that affected lymphs and had a huge surgery to have that removed. He was just 48 years old when he died one year later on July 16, 1996 - Death Certificate says cause of death was Metastatic Melanoma.

In his last year, we had many occasions to be down in the Veterans Unit at UW Hospital. Non-doctor staff there said (unofficially, of course) that, with the timeframe he was in Vietnam, it was a no-brainer that Agent Orange was involved. My husband was the eternal optimist and never wanted anything more than a thank you for being over in Vietnam - so he never pursued compensation or anything else from the VA.

Now after many years of struggling, someone just recently encouraged me to approach the VA for widow benefits. I did connect with the VA at county level and, quite frankly, don't know how to proceed - seems Melanoma is highly suspicious, but still not specifically on the Agent Orange List. If anyone has been down this road, I sure would appreciate any advice on how/who/where to proceed.. Thanks..

HAWVET's picture
Posts: 318
Joined: Apr 2006

Jan, I believe your best bet is to see a VA counselor either at the state or federal level. If your husband was a member of a national veterans organization, you can also check with their service officers.

In general, you can receive compensation if death was a result of a service connected injury. Was your husband receiving VA benefits or did he have a claim pending prior to him passing away?

Agent Orange may have been the cause of the Melanoma, but it could only be approved/disapproved through a VA claim process. I am not sure but I do not believe a claim can be submitted after the veteran passes away. If there wasn't any claim submitted, then the first thing you need to do is have ths question answered.

There is also a death pension for low income spouses of veterans with wartime services. This is separate from a VA claim.

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Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2011

yesterday I noticed a dark brown irregular shaped area on my husbands lower leg, he does not remember specifically when it started. I have called our doctor and am awaiting an appointment for him to be seen. He was a Marine and served in vietnam from 1967 until March of 1969. Can this be linked to agent orange?

MarineE5's picture
Posts: 914
Joined: Dec 2005

iukijh 1

<<<<<<< The Secretary of VA has not specifically determined that
there is a positive association between herbicide exposure
and colon cancer or skin cancer/melanoma. >>>>>>>>>>

I read over several Appeals and the results were pretty much the same, all denied for Agent Orange relation to skin cancer/ Melanoma. I did not read all the cases.

You can go to the VA.Gov site and search in the Board of Appeals for several different years of their rulings. Read the cases and find what is related to your husband's situation. From there, you would want to speak with a Service Officer that is working with a Military Organization, such as the DAV, Vietnam Veterans of America, VFW,etc. They will help you file the paperwork as they are trained by the VA to make the paperwork correct and the process move along. The Service Officer works with you and explains allot.

My Best to Both of You and Everyone Here

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