Thursday, July 20, 2017

Agent Orange’s Possible Link to Rare Cancer Type Sparks Advocacy Efforts

Exposure to Agent Orange — a toxic chemical combination used for deforestation during the Vietnam War — may be the cause of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) for hundreds of war veterans, according to MPN Advocacy and Education International.
“There was evidence very early that its use to exfoliate the jungle in Vietnam and other parts of the territory was having a grave impact on the health and safety of those exposed, including civilians,” Ann Brazeau, CEO of MPN Advocacy Network and Education International said in an interview with CURE.
Currently, MPNs are not on the Veterans Health Administration’s presumptive list, which means that veterans with MPNs such as essential thrombocytopenia (ET), polycythemia vera (PV) or myelofibrosis do not get disability benefits from the VA because it does not see those conditions as a direct result of their wartime service. Brazeau and her team are working to add MPNs to this list to help people like Barry Halem, of the Tampa Bay area — one of more than 500 veterans who contacted MPN Advocacy and Education International after developing an MPN.

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