(AML) Caused by Agent Orange Exposure

(AML) Caused by Agent Orange Exposure

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Caused by Agent Orange Exposure

Is Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) caused by Agent Orange Exposure? Most forms of cancer involve cells that divide in an out-of-control fashion. These cells collect in the body and are extremely harmful. That is also why chemotherapy patients often lose their hair. The drug attacks all fast-dividing cells in the body, including hair cells. Temporary alopecia usually goes away once the patient stops taking chemotherapy drugs.

Sometimes, the patient’s cells have a defective genetic code that causes rapid cell division. That is why family history is so important. Certain toxic substances, such as cigarette smoke, nuclear radiation, and dioxin, may also cause this problem. People who were in Southeast Asia between 1960 and 1970 were probably exposed to dioxin. Agent Orange, the defoliant that the U.S. military used, contained traces of this chemical, and only a few molecules of dioxin are sufficient to alter a person’s genetic code.

What is AML?

Acute Myeloid Leukemia is one of the most aggressive types of blood cancer. It usually starts in the bone marrow and then spreads quickly via the bloodstream to the patient’s vital organs. Instead of forming mature white blood cells that fight infection, the marrow produces immature myeloid cells that lack this ability.

Moreover, AML often affects red blood cells. The diseased cells crowd out the healthy ones, producing a number of serious symptoms. These symptoms vary significantly, because there are eight different types of AML. Many patients are easily bruised, prone to infections, and chronically tired.

Because AML spreads so quickly, chemotherapy treatment must be aggressive. Doctors must use both induction and consolidation chemotherapy. Doctors also need to use aggressive radiation therapy. Other treatments, such as stem cell transplants, show considerable promise but are not yet perfected.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Caused By Agent Orange Exposure?

Although AML caused by Agent Orange Exposure is not on the Veterans Administration list of presumed Agent Orange illnesses, it is still possible to obtain significant benefits in these cases.

To establish a claim, the veteran, or the veteran’s survivor, must show both of the following:

  • Service Connection: If you or your loved one was boots-on-the-ground and/or feet dry during Operation Ranch Hand in Vietnam, there is a service connection. Service in an offshore naval vessel is a little harder, but still possible, to establish.
  • Specific Cause: Generally, veterans disability attorneys partner with doctors who review records and make a diagnosis. This diagnosis does not have to be absolute. In fact, an absolute connection is probably questionable because cancer usually has different causes. A probable connection is sufficient, especially if there is more than one such diagnosis in the file.

At the administrative hearing, the officer must resolve any doubts in favor of the claimant. So, if your AML claim is at all evidenced-based, your odds of success are quite high.

Veterans Disability Claims Procedure

The disability claims process is often frustrating for many people. At the initial phase, which is a paper review, most claimants are denied. Furthermore, many claimants must wait months for an appeal hearing. Essentially, the Veterans Administration hopes that disabled veterans either abandon their claims or settle them for less than they are worth. So, it is important to persevere.

The appeal hearing is very much like a trial without a jury. An attorney can make legal arguments and introduce evidence. If your claim is successful, you may be entitled to retroactive benefits going back to the filing date.

Work with Dedicated Attorneys

There is a probable link between Agent Orange and one of the most serious forms of leukemia. For a free consultation with an experienced veterans disability lawyer, contact Cameron Firm, PC at 800-861-7262 or fill out the contact box to your right. We are here to successfully represent veterans nationwide.

This article is for educational and marketing purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.