Prostate Cancer, Disability and Vietnam Veterans…

While this entry may be short the benefit may be great. As many who read my blogs know, I am writing a book on Prostate Cancer (from a layman’s perspective). As part of that process I am interviewing men from all around the world – talking with them about their experiences – both physically and emotionally.prostate-cancer-cover-3d

Today in that process, while talking with a man who completed his treatment two months ago, I was introduced to something that I had not heard before. Now let me state at the outset…I am not a doctor and do not always have the time to verify everything that I am told. This, however, seemed important enough to disclose – knowing that those who would be affected by the data – either can confirm that it is correct or know it to be true.

In the interview, the following was said:

“Are you aware that anybody who was in Vietnam will be granted 100% disability for six months on this deal?” He was discussing prostate cancer and the related treatments.

“No really,” was my response.

“Make sure you pass that one. Anyone who was in Vietnam – I don’t care if you were there for a day – you will get $2,500 and some odd dollars a month for six months and then they will re-evaluate it after that.”

“Is that because of any connection with ‘Agent Orange’?”

“Yes.”

While there are many men I am talking to who are younger, the vast majority of men who are being diagnosed today with Prostate Cancer are of the Vietnam era age and potentially could receive this benefit – assuming it is accurate.

YOUR HELP NEEDED: For those who may read this, please confirm what I was told today is true. Not that I doubt my source, I just feel that it is best to have verification. If you are a Vietnam era vet and have been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer – what has been your experience?

http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0022534705660855

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080805092016.htm

http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2008/08/06/study-links-agent-orange-to-prostate-cancer-in.html

http://www.vva.org/prostate.html

http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/benefits/herbicide/aono1.htm

http://www.prostatecancerfoundation.org/site/c.itIWK2OSG/b.4415327/k.C579/Study_Links_Agent_Orange_to_Prostate_Cancer_in_Vietnam_Vets.htm

Chuck Gallagher is a business ethics and fraud prevention speaker and author. Having been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, he spends time working to help educate men and their families about the practical aspects of Prostate Cancer and how to survive.

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21 Responses to Prostate Cancer, Disability and Vietnam Veterans…

  1. Center for Prostate Disease Research
    Walter Reed Army Medical Center

    AGENT ORANGE, VIETNAM VETERANS and PROSTATE CANCER

    WHAT: Vietnam veterans diagnosed with prostate cancer may qualify for service-connected disability compensation. Veterans who served in Korea in 1968 or 1969 may also qualify.

    WHY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has determined that a positive association exists between exposure to herbicides and the development of prostate cancer (and 10 other diseases). It is presumed that veterans have been exposed to Agent Orange if they were “in country” between January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975. There is no deadline by which the
    prostate cancer must be diagnosed following Vietnam service.

    HOW: Submit a disability compensation application (VA Form 21-526) when diagnosed with prostate cancer. Veterans submitting the application before treatment starts may get a 100% disability rating for 6 months or longer. Veterans submitting the application after treatment is completed may qualify for a reduced disability rating if the treatment resulted in side effects, such as incontinence or erectile dysfunction. If prostate cancer recurs, a veteran may be eligible for 100% disability rating.

    HOW MUCH: 100% disability for following categories (see Compensation Rate Table at http://www.vba.va.gov for more information)
    · Veteran with spouse only: $2669/month
    · Veteran alone: $2527/month

    HOW TO APPLY:
    1. Go to the VA website at http://www.va.gov. Click on “Compensations”.
    Submit the application (VA Form 21-526) online.
    OR
    2. Submit a hard copy application (available at CPDR or VA website).
    Note: Veterans with an existing disability rating may apply using a Statement in Support of Claim (VA Form 21-4131). Recommend that veterans with an existing disability rating (even 100%) submit an application in case the current disability rating becomes reduced in the future.

    SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS:
    Note: Send your documents “certified mail with return receipt requested” so
    you know the VA has received them.
    1. Copy of your DD Form 214. If your DD Form 214 does not include dates of service in Vietnam, you will need additional official documentation, such as assignment orders or medal citations that verify your presence in Vietnam.
    2. Copy of biopsy report
    3. VA Form 21-4142 (Authorization and Consent to Release Information to the Department of Veterans Affairs). (Form included in CPDR Agent Orange packet or go to http://www.forms.gov.)
    4. Copy of marriage certificate, if married

    WHERE TO MAIL APPLICATION: (for DC, MD, VA)
    Note: Mail to the VA Regional Office in the state in which you reside.
    The addresses for states (other than MD, VA and DC) are listed in the Department of Veterans Affairs “Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents” booklet (www.va.gov) or call 1-800-827-1000.

    Washington DC
    Veterans Administration D.C. Regional Office
    1722 I Street, N.W.
    Washington, DC 20421
    1-800-827-1000
    Virginia
    Veterans Administration Virginia Regional Office
    210 Franklin Road, S.W.
    Roanoke, VA 24011
    1-800-827-1000
    Maryland
    Veterans Administration Maryland Regional Office
    31 Hopkins Plaza Federal Building
    Baltimore, MD 21201
    1-800-827-1000

    FOR INFORMATION:
    · Contact Ray Walsh
    o Vietnam veteran, prostate cancer survivor and Red Cross volunteer at CPDR at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC
    o 703-425-1474 or email at raywalsh34@erols.com
    · WRAMC Veterans Affairs Field Office
    o Main Hospital– Bldg 2A (MATC) Room 223
    § Appointment: Call 202-356-1012 (Ext 42116)
    § Walk-ins: Mon/Tues 0730-1130; Thur 0730-1600
    · Website http://www.va.gov/agentorange/ (Veterans Affairs)
    o Agent Orange Review” (newsletters), “Agent Orange Briefs” (Fact Sheets), and “Agent Orange Handbook”
    · Toll-free help lines
    o Dept of VA Telephone Assistance Service: 1-800-827-1000
    o Veterans Special Issue Help Line: 1-800-749-8387
    · State Veterans Affairs Departments (call state-level VA office for assistance regarding locations other than MD, VA, and DC).
    o Washington DC
    DC Department of Veteran Affairs
    Washington, DC 20002
    202-724-5454
    o Virginia
    Virginia Department of Veteran Services
    900 E. Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219
    804-786-0286; http://www.dvs.virginia.gov
    o Maryland
    Maryland Department of Veteran Affairs
    16 Francis Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
    410-260-3888 or 1-866-793-1577 (toll free)
    http://www.mdva.state.md/us
    · Veterans Service Organizations
    o American Legion: 1-800-433-3318
    o Armed Forces Services Corporation: 1-888-237-2872
    o Disabled American Veterans: 1-877-426-2838
    o Paralyzed Veterans of America: 1-800-424-8200
    o Veterans of Foreign Wars: 1-800-VFW-1988
    o Vietnam Veterans of America: 1-800-882-1316
    6/16/08

  2. Robert White says:

    The individual that stated that you will get 100% for prostate cancer is wrong. If the cancer is active, the DVA will rate you with a temporary rating of 100%. They then will make a determination for a future examination. If the cancer hasn’t been eliminated or you make a compelling arguement, they temporary 100% period will be extended.

    If the cancer has been removed, the DVA will rate you on the residuals of the cancer. Usually this is how often you urinated during the day and night. You should never give averages to the DVA. Tell them what is the most you have urinated during the day and the most you have urniated at night. If you wear adult padding, how often you change your padding during the day and night. ALWAYS tell them the most times you have changed or uniated. NEVER give averages or ranges. The DVA will rate you on the lowest range or average.

  3. A. C. kennedy says:

    I was diagnosed as having prostate cancer and have received a letter from the VA that says I have been awarded 100% disability for six(6)months. I recently had prostate surgery and can find no information on what percent of disability I will be awarded after the initial six month period. Any help would be appreciated. I have read the comment posted by Robert White on Nov 14, 2008.

  4. Jim Sievers says:

    A.C.

    Refer to va publication..38 CFR Book C Schedule for Rating Disabilities and go to 4.115/4.115b..
    This will answer your question.

    • Israel Guadalupe says:

      Hi Jim

      Since you refer to va publication, why can you have at least give him a simple answer. I know this and that, but, common on, you dont have to commit your answer, just say, if still have cancer he will get this or if no cancer maybe this! But something is something. I dont think Ken will sue you, if is not what he wants to hear. I do not know the va regs as you do, but I willing to bet if your cancer is removed and no sign of it after they evaluate, your va benefits will be change. Also, read erecteral dysfunction does no longer qualify for va benefits.

      Also, to those who claim leakeage, I do not know about that. I had my prostrate removed through what I called rotor rutter otherwise through my penis (and it hurt) and no leakage.

  5. F. Ratta says:

    My husband started the paperwork to be evaluated for disability due to PCa/Vietnam the week before his brachytherapy. One month after the procedure, he went to a local VA hospital for evaluation. Following 6 or so months of gathering paperwork from various doctors, we received notification that he would receive 100% disability for 1 year – to be reevaluated at the 1 year anniversary of his first eval. So for whatever reason, he received a full year initially. His first check included the past 6 months.

    I don’t know why it was a year vs. 6 months. I don’t know what to expect after 1 year. His symptoms are minor, mainly needs ED meds for a full erection, although at the time of his exam, he was urinating frequently at night.

    BTW: the VA regional office was extremely helpful through all this. Definitely use that resource if needed.

    Hope this helps others.

    • Israel Guadalupe says:

      F Ratta

      I feel for your husband and you. Getting up in the middle of the night to urinate frequently is very frustrating. I had the experienced. It was due to an enlarge prostrate. It has been removed and do not have the frequent urge to get up and urinate anymore. Before surgery flow of urine was minimal now is normal.

      In present day seems that most of the male generation from the 60s have ED, including me. I had prostrate removed, had ED before it was and still have ED. ED meds sometime works. Have friend that was in Vietnam in 1965 Since had been checked for PC count with negative results, but in 2011 PC count went up and diagnose as cancer, I told friend to get second opinion, friend refuse second opinion. Prostrate removed. Now getting 100% from VA. VA will evaluate in six months will not find cancer (I hope) and reduce disability.

      My question is (not blaming friend) was he diagnose by doctor just to operate?

      In 1991 doctor had my gall bladder removed, cause had sharp pain in my right side of back. Gall bladder removed over 20 years ago and still have sharp pain in my right side of back.

      Point being, always get second opinion.

      You husband has a radioactive inplant seed in his prostrate. Therefore, he will always have urination problem and still have cancer, sorry to say. Outcome, more than likely he will retain his 100% disability, cause he still have the cancer, it just being minimize or contain by the radiation. Just watch sign of unusual behavior or mood change. I have relative that has the same radiation treatment and his younger then me but looks like his my father. God bless you and husband.

  6. Robert White says:

    After the six months, you will be rated on the residuals of your issue. How much do you pee? You should not report a range 3-5 times a day. Instead, report the worst case. If you went to a party and drank allot. Then you had to pee 15 times during the day, report that. If you have to wear adult padding (diapers), how often do you change them (five times a day) and you need to report how often you pee at night (five times or change your padding 3 times). If you report that, you could be looking at a 60% rating. Do not report anything that isn’t true. Never give a range. The DVA will go with the smaller number. After you give your number say “more or less!” Since you can’t exactly say how much, say this means your giving an estimate. It could be less or it could be more. Fact is the DVA goes by a scale to rate you. The less you urninate, the less your going to get. Also report is you have ED. You can get Special Monthly Compensation K (which pays $96 this year).

  7. K Johnston says:

    Diagnosed with prostate cancer over 3 years ago. Have had exposure to agent orange in Vietnam so rating was presumptive. Rated 100% for 1 year along with previous PTSD rating of 100% and tinnitus rating of 10%. My PSA was the marker that led to an examiniation and biopsy. I had no urinary problems prior to the biopsy that would indicate a problem with my prostate. I chose radiation seed implants over surgery and my PSA dropped to .01 over the past 3 years.
    After one year my rating for prostate cancer was reduced to “0″ and I was awarded monthly compensation for erectyle disfunction. The basis for the reduction of the prostate cancer rating was described that I am now “cured” of prostate cancer and have no urinary problems. I had no urinary problems prior to diagnosis of prostate cancer. However, other problems have surfaced since the radiation seed implant procedure. I have had frequent blood in my stool over the past three years and blood in the urin numerous times. The most recent blood in the urine occurred in late August, 2009. The fear of reocurrence and/or spread of the cancer to other areas of my body is always on my mind. Long term erectile dysfunction is also occuring. By any definition I feel as though my prostate cancer is in remission, not cured. I have appealed the reduction of my prostate cancer rating and have asked that special monthly compensation be reinstated.

  8. Benjamin Sims says:

    I was in Vietnam nov 67 to nov 68. I was in the US Air Force, stationed at Cam Rayn Bay.

    I do not have prostate cancer, but my prostrate was so large it effected my ability to urinate and was continually bleeding.
    My doctor said it was one of largest prostate he had seen in his career.

    September 28, 2010, 43 grams of prostate was removed. I am now recovering for the operation and don’t know what the results are.

    Do you think, I qualify for remuneration?

    • Bob G says:

      No…. They do not cover enlarged Prostate. BUT, check every 3-4 months as this can lead to CANCER, as with me. I had three TURPS done. It took 3-4 years to get Cancer. Gleason Score 8 and Stage 3..It came on fast, If I had not insisted on a check up I would not be here today. I was not scheduled for another 2 months. File your VA Clam for Agent Orange now It will take a long time, but get into the System, they will pay backpay once Cancer or anything else pops up medically. Good Luck

  9. R Townsend says:

    I left the war behind me in 1972 and did talk about for 30 years. I went to my doctor in aug of 2008 and psa was 6.8, The cancer was bad and prostate was gone. After radiation with little hope, but now the cancer in my lymph nodes. I found out in april of 2010 about agent orange and that it could be reason I have heart problem’s and Type II diabetes. I file in april and started the process with VA. Their process is very very slow! It is Dec of 2010 and now what i know about AO. There is other problem’s i have that i will not mention until i get my claim done. I do not understand why they didnt contacts us? The cancer is stable right now and will hope that i will not be casuality of the War or this great country I love.

  10. Roland Beard says:

    I have been diagnosed with cancer, after completing 36 year in the Air Force Reserves (I retired Jan.20,2010). I was diagnosed in Oct. 2010 after going to my personal doctor.Presently, I am 60 years old. Will I be eligibility for a veteran disability claim?

  11. John Burkett says:

    I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and have had it removed. I have little if any erection function and go to the bathroom at least 10 times a day. I also have problems stopping my urine flow and I stuff toilet paper in my briefs. I filled for VA disability 5 months ago . What are my chances for getting anything from the government for what has happened to me and how much do you think I might get?

    • Ralph townsend says:

      You seen to have alot of my problem’s. You will proably get a 100 % dis ability which is about 2,800 to 3,400 a month. It will take about 12 to 14 months, but they will back pay you. Have you had any other problem’s like DMII, or heart condition’s this is also connected with agent orange.

      • Israel Guadalupe says:

        John

        Although prostrate removed, your bladder has been damaged due to prolonge or delay treatment of prostrate. I assume you were in Vietnam. If not, you will not be entitle to Agent Orange benefits. If you did not serve time in Vietnam, then I assume you are claiming non combat disability, If you are, it has to be documented in your military medical records to indicate your medical issue was due to military service. Good luck!

  12. Ralph townsend says:

    Yes , if you were in Vietnam, some places in korea, or a brown water Navy, and there is other place’s. You could receive up to 100% disability.

  13. I was diagnosed with prostrate cancer about a year and a half ago and was rated at a Gleason 6 stage (which is the very beginning of cancer) and of the 12 biopsys taken, only one showed cancer. I am 64 now but the doctor said if I was 70 or older they would not do anything because I would most likely die from something else before the cancer could. I am recieving 100% temp disability and have been for well over a year now and have not heard anyrhing from the VA about it since. I had another Biopsy done a couple of months ago and it hasent changed any in the past year so will continue to watch it. I guess as long as I have the cancer they will continue to pay the disability. I guess the question is, is there a time limit for temp disability.

  14. Tom Hagadone says:

    I am the only cousin out of about 30 men to have developed Prostate cancer. I served aboard the Saint Paul from 1966-69 when we were bombing in North Vietnam and the DMZ. I also served on the Long Beach a nuclear powered guided missile cruiser. I have often wondered why my prostate went bad because of never having been a smoker and being the only one to get prostate cancer in a family with four uncles and my father having developed either lung or stomach cancer. Does anyone know if the VA has any exceptions on the “in country” thing? Thanks.

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