Monday, April 7, 2014

Agent Orange Exposure Appears to Double Risk of Invasive Skin Cancer
(HOUSTON) - (note: last year, Portland VAMC cancer researcher Dr. Mark Garzotto published in Cancer his dramatic findings which also used the word, "double." In that case, published in the journal Cancer, Agent Orange exposure doubled risks for highly aggressive prostate cancer. This is a remarkable piece of research.)
Even four decades later, veterans exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War have twice the risk of developing unusually invasive nonmelanotic skin cancers compared with the general population, according to a recent study.
“We noticed a lot of veterans coming into our clinic had very aggressive squamous and basal cell carcinomas, and it seemed like there was a connection to Agent Orange exposure, but a literature search failed to find any studies that showed an association in humans,” said Mark Clemens, MD, assistant professor of plastic surgery, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Previous studies have demonstrated a positive correlation between 2-, 3-, 7-, 8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD), the highly toxic contaminant in Agent Orange and nonmelanotic invasive skin in animals.
As of 2009, more than 485,000 veterans with Agent Orange exposure had registered with the VA. DoD and the VA recognize and provide benefits for many TCDD exposure-associated diseases, including peripheral neuropathy, amyloidosis, B-cell leukemia, birth defects, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, ischemic heart disease, multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, porphyria cutanea tarda, prostate cancer, respiratory cancers, soft-tissue sarcomas and chloracne.
Currently, however, skin cancer is not presumptively associated with Agent Orange exposure. The latest Institute of Medicine update to the Veterans and Agent Orange report concluded that there is “inadequate and insufficient information to determine whether there is an association between exposure to Agent Orange and basal cell or squamous cell cancer.”1

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