In Long Island last week, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer revealed that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is about to launch a major study on ‘toxins.’ But what Schumer pointed out is that Long Island’s own Northport VA already did a 2017 study on a rare, cancer-causing parasitic toxin,liver-fluke that is—more or less—sitting on a shelf, and that cannot simply stay there without the larger VA seeing what might be of use.
“In the Spring of 2017, our local VA in Northport conducted a study on a rare, toxic cancer-causing parasite—and environmental exposures—known as liver fluke,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “Now, it was just a pilot study, but Northport examined nearly 100 veterans who may add value to the larger medical questions so many have related to bile duct cancer and Vietnam vets. We have samples, antigen markers, and more; there’s good stuff here from this smaller study, but it is largely sitting on a shelf, and we are here today to say: use what’s useful.”
Schumer says there must, and should, be some use for even aspects of the Northport data as part of the VA’s newly-announced large-scale research effort on toxins and environmental exposures, and he is urging the agency to act. The Senator demanded that as part of this new study, the VA incorporate Long Island’s data, or some of the information from its participants, in hopes to speed the new effort and give local vets the answers –and the care—they deserve. Schumer made the case that the VA should not advance another big study on toxic or environmental exposures without considering the incorporation of Long Island veterans’ data on Liver-Fluke, and the rare cancer that this exposure might deliver.