Brain Cancer and Agent Orange

Is There A Link Between Brain Cancer and Agent Orange

The connection between Brain Cancer and Agent Orange are covered in this article. Senator and former Vietnam POW John McCain passed away in August, 2018. His passing led to scrutiny about the link between brain cancer and Agent Orange.

Currently, the Veterans Administration has only acknowledged a link between Agent Orange and 14 illnesses, and brain cancer is not on this list. Nevertheless, compensation may be available to anyone who spent any time in-country between 1961 and 1971. Although Sen. McCain spent most of his time in the air, in a North Vietnamese POW camp, and on offshore aircraft carriers, he did serve a brief stint in Saigon. That brief period would be enough to qualify for compensation. His survivors would then have to establish that Agent Orange “as likely as not” caused his brain cancer.

Since brain cancer is not a presumptive illness, the Veterans Administration deals with these claims in various ways, largely depending on the strength of the evidence and the attorney’s tenacity.

About Brain Cancer

Toxic substances, like the dioxin in the defoliant Agent Orange, can alter cellular DNA. As a result, cells multiply faster than they should. These cells often collect into tumors. The tumors siphon nutrients from healthy cells. So, many brain cancer victims experience symptoms like:

  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Clumsiness
  • Seizures
  • Vision problems and
  • Changes in emotional or logical responses.

These symptoms are quite vague and often associated with many other conditions. So, if you experience them, it is important to get a blood test straightaway to determine the source of the problem.

Cancer survival rates have increased significantly since the 1990s, mostly due to better treatments. For example, today’s chemotherapy drugs have fewer side effects, so most people can tolerate larger doses. To take full advantage of these improvements, early diagnosis is critical.

Brain cancer treatment usually involves a combination of targeted radiation to shrink the tumor, surgery to remove it, and chemotherapy to kill cancer cells. Some treatment protocols emphasize one point, and some protocols emphasize another one. It all depends on the patient’s illness. Patients can also expect support from dietitians, personal trainers, and other professionals.

This treatment sounds expensive, and it is expensive. Fortunately, disability compensation may be available, as well as direct payment of medical bills.

The Link Between Agent Orange and Brain Cancer

As mentioned, to obtain compensation, veterans must establish a service connection and a diagnostic connection. Since the burden of proof is rather low (“as likely as not”), a generalized diagnosis is usually sufficient.

Brain cancer, like most other forms of this disease, is almost always either a genetic or lifestyle condition. If the victim has no family history of cancer and has not been exposed to other toxic substances, then the dioxin in Agent Orange is probably the culprit. “Probably” exceeds the standard of proof.

Moreover, even if Agent Orange exposure only contributed to the victim’s brain cancer, compensation may still be available. At the administrative hearing, an attorney can use a variation of the eggshell skull rule. This negligence doctrine states that, even if the victim had a pre-existing condition, the tortfeasor (negligent actor) is still fully responsible for damages.

In this case, the tortfeasor is the United States government. The government knew that Agent Orange was harmful, but continued using it anyway.

Rely on Experienced Attorneys

People who served in Vietnam in the 60s and subsequently developed brain cancer may be eligible for compensation. 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.