Thursday, April 28, 2016

Armed with new research, Vietnam vets push VA to link bladder cancer to Agent Orange

Each time, even as he found additional doctors to vouch for the link between his cancer and his service, the VA rejected Eller’s claim, arguing there was no proof.
Alan Eller has spent more than a decade trying to convince the Department of Veterans Affairs that his bladder cancer was the result of exposure to Agent Orange almost 50 years ago in Vietnam.

The Army vet has filed three claims with the agency, most recently in 2014, since a doctor told him the cancer was likely tied to the toxic herbicide.
But a report last month by a prominent committee of scientists said there’s now research suggesting otherwise. As a result, the VA is studying whether it should reverse its position and add the condition to the list of illnesses it presumes to be linked to Agent Orange, which the U.S. sprayed across Vietnam during the war.
The VA has no legal obligation to do this and has previously declined to cover other conditions despite research supporting a connection. But if it does this time, the shift could mean thousands of dollars a year for some vets, and even more for those like Eller, who filed claims years ago. In such cases, the agency is required to pay disability benefits retroactively, dating back to the day a veteran first applied.
Eller, a retired welder from Indiana, could receive up to 13 years of back payments. Depending on how severe the VA rated his disability, that lump sum could reach six figures.
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” said Eller, 69, who recalled nights in Vietnam spent sleeping in shallow tidal water that he believes was doused with Agent Orange. “I don’t have a lot of confidence in the VA.”

1 comment:

  1. Please get this right!! It is the IOM / Institute of Medicine who has recommended Bladder Cancer be added to the pesumptive list. They have always done research requested by the VA regarding Agent Orange. The chemical in question was not agent orange. There are other agents used including agent Blue and White. Agent Blue is the cause of Bladder Cancer. cadolytic acid converts to arsenic in the body. This was the research gathered by IOM. It was also gathered independently in a Forum for Bladder Cancer called BCAN .. Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network. There is a thread for " Vietnam Vetrans with Bladder Cancer" whose participants have gathered thi info previous to IOM. They particitated in gathering of info with the IOM during the study. They deserve much credit for thier research. Mr.McDonald will soon be making a descision for adding this to the presumptive list. But there has been little or no public knowledge, or press... and in the current enviorment Vietnam Veterans will be slighted again. Is there anyone that can help? I have not seen or heard much from any of the Veterans Organizations including VVA.. Most of of will be dead soon anyway.