Agent Orange and Bladder Cancer

Agent Orange And Bladder Cancer

The Link Between Agent Orange And Bladder Cancer

Many veterans were exposed to Agent Orange and bladder cancer has been infecting their bodies since.  If you served in the Republic of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, or certain areas of Thailand, you were probably exposed to Agent Orange.  The U.S. sprayed tons of this defoliant on Southeast Asian jungles.

The government discontinued use after it became clear that Agent Orange contained traces of dioxin.  This chemical is one of the most hazardous ones known to man.  It has been linked with a number of chronic diseases, including cancer.

If you were exposed to Agent Orange and later developed cancer, it is natural to link the two events.  In fact, a 2016 study seemed to show that Agent Orange doubled the risk of bladder cancer.  Unfortunately, the National Academy of Sciences later backed off this claim, so bladder cancer never made it onto the Veterans Administration list of presumptive Agent Orange conditions.

However, an experienced attorney may still be able to obtain substantial disability compensation for Operation Ranch Hand-era Vietnam veterans who later developed bladder cancer.

How Bladder Cancer Develops

Chemical exposure very often causes bladder cancer.  These chemicals usually come from cigarette smoke.  The body processes most cigarette smoke through the urine.  The smoke contains chemicals which damage the lining of the bladder. Age and gender are also key factors.

Most bladder cancer victims are white males over 40.  This same profile fits Vietnam veteran exposed to Agent Orange.

Cigarette smoke contains traces of dioxin.  Generally, this chemical appears during the manufacturing process when certain substances are combined in certain ways.  That was certainly the case with Agent Orange. Additionally, most Vietnam veterans are white men over 40.

Hematuria (blood in one’s urine) is the classic telltale sign of bladder cancer. Some other symptoms include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Back pain
  • Discomfort during urination, and
  • Pelvic pain

Do not be afraid to see the doctor if you experience these symptoms. There may be a cause other than bladder cancer. Moreover, bladder cancer is one of the most treatable kinds of cancer if it is caught early enough.

Your Claim for Compensation

Even if an Agent Orange claim is not on the presumptive list, substantial financial benefits may still be available.

First, claimants must establish a service connection.  According to the VA, anyone who was boots on the ground and feet dry in Vietnam or certain parts of Southeast Asia have been exposed to Agent Orange.  Probable exposure is all that is required.

Second, claimants must establish a link between Agent Orange and their condition.  With regard to bladder cancer, this link is a little easier to establish than it is in some other cancer claims.  As mentioned, bladder cancer is almost always a chemical exposure disease.  If the victim was not a smoker, these chemicals had to come from somewhere.  A medical expert can review the file and testify that the “somewhere” was Vietnam.

Also, studies show bladder cancer in smokers and those exposed to Agent Orange and other chemicals is caused by a multiplicative effect rather than two or more additives effects.

There is more good news.  In 2016, the Institutes of Medicine changed its position on the Agent Orange/bladder cancer link from not at all likely to “limited or suggested evidence.”  That is nowhere close to a presumption, but the finding does make a one-time link easier to prove.

Contact VA Disability Attorneys

The link between Agent Orange exposure and bladder cancer can be proved.  For a free consultation with an experienced veterans disability lawyer, contact Cameron Firm, PC.  We do not charge upfront legal fees in disability appeals.

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