Veterans who develop multiple myeloma and were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service do not have to prove a connection between their disease and service to be eligible to receive VA health care and disability compensation.
About multiple myeloma
Multiple myeloma is a cancer caused by an overproduction of certain proteins from white blood cells. It is called multiple myeloma because it is characterized by plasma cell tumors in bones in multiple parts of the body.
There are often no symptoms until the disease progresses. Symptoms include bone pain, unexplained bone fractures, repeated infections, weakness or numbness in the legs, abnormal proteins in the blood or urine, anemia, fatigue, and high level of calcium in the blood.
Visit Medline Plus to learn more about treatment of multiple myeloma, the latest research and more from the National Institutes of Health.
VA benefits for multiple myeloma
Veterans with multiple myeloma who were exposed to herbicides during service may be eligible for disability compensation and health care.
Veterans who served in Vietnam, the Korean demilitarized zone or another area where Agent Orange was sprayed may be eligible for a free Agent Orange registry health exam.
Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to herbicides during military service and died as the result of multiple myeloma may be eligible for survivors' benefits.
Research on multiple myeloma and herbicides
The Health and Medicine Division (formally known as the Institute of Medicine) of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concluded in its 1994 report on "Veterans and Agent Orange: Health Effects of Herbicides Used in Vietnam" and in 1996, 1998, 2002, and 2004 updates, that there is limited/suggestive evidence of an association between exposure to the herbicides used in Vietnam and the development of multiple myeloma.
View more research on health effects of Agent Orange.