Vietnam veterans have high rates of cancer related to Agent Orange (dioxin) exposure. Further, they are not getting the service-related benefits they deserve, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), has failed to continuously report the numbers reflecting how many veterans have specific cancers. This has made it impossible to follow cancer rates in Vietnam veterans.
The rate at which veterans exposed to dioxin suffer from various forms of cancer is shocking. Veterans have contracted brain and pancreatic cancer at rates “5-7 times higher than the civilian populations.” Those same veterans test positive for lung cancer twice as much as other veterans who served in country.
There are no cancer registries specific to veterans, even with the VA. The VA is not required to report such instances of cancer to the national registry, and they do not report such numbers. This makes it impossible to accurately follow what types of cancer Vietnam veterans are developing, and which ones are related to Agent Orange exposure. Further, when the VA does report to the registry, those reports are often miscoded.
According to the VA, the miscoding as well as the underreporting are done to protect the privacy of the veteran-patients. The veterans are the ones suffering, however, as the VA’s actions likely end up preventing veterans from receiving their earned, service-related benefits.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.