On May 7, 2019, Representative Lee Zeldin (NY) introduced H.R. 2568, the Vietnam Veterans Liver Fluke Cancer Study Act.
This bill would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in consultation with the Director of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention of the Department of Health and Human Services, to conduct an epidemiological study on the prevalence of cholangiocarcinoma in veterans of the Vietnam era. H.R. 2568 would require the Secretary to provide a report of the study within one year of completion.
Bile duct cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) is a cancer of the biliary duct system, which includes the gallbladder, bile ducts, and certain cells inside the liver. One risk factor for bile duct cancer is past infection with tiny parasitic worms called liver flukes, which are found in the fresh waters of Southeast Asia. Veterans who ate raw or undercooked freshwater fish during their service in Southeast Asia, such as Vietnam veterans, might have been infected. Once eaten, the liver flukes grow to adulthood inside the human biliary duct system. The irritation and scarring caused by liver fluke infection can lead to bile duct cancer. Currently, there are no available studies to show that bile duct cancer occurs more often in Vietnam veterans than in other groups.
DAV strongly supports H.R. 2568 as it will help determine if this Vietnam veteran environmental exposure can be linked to bile duct cancer. This legislation is in accord with DAV Resolution No. 090.
Please use the prepared electronic letter or draft your own to urge your Representative to support and cosponsor H.R. 2568. As always, we appreciate your support for DAV and your grassroots activism in participating in DAV CAN. Thank you for all you do for America's veterans and their families.