Multiple Myeloma and Agent Orange

Multiple Myeloma and Agent Orange

Is There A Link Between Multiple Myeloma and Agent Orange

Scientists discovered the link between Multiple Myeloma (MM) and Agent Orange in 1964.   Nevertheless, the government continued using this dangerous defoliant for almost a decade thereafter.  For this reason, Multiple Myeloma is on the presumptive list of Agent Orange-related conditions.  But denials of claims for this disease are still common.

Multiple Myeloma is one of the most treatable forms of cancer.  Victims still face extremely high medical bills.  They are usually unable to work as consistently as they did before the disease became symptomatic.  So, substantial compensation may be available for victims and their families.

What is Multiple Myeloma?

MM is basically a form of leukemia.  Gradually over time, cancer cells build up inside the victim’s bone marrow.  Once they become entrenched, cancer cells multiply rapidly.  Eventually, these cells crowd out healthy blood cells.

Since this kind of cancer begins so subtly, many patients experience no symptoms for many years.  Even when symptoms appear, they are rather vague and general. Prominent ones include:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Back pain
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Confusion and
  • Frequent infections

If you see the doctor about persistent symptoms like these, bring up your service record straightaway.  Do not assume that the doctor reviewed your file before the consultation.  And do not assume that the doctor will give you time to express your symptoms.

MM usually involves a precursor condition, which is the amorphous monoclonal gammopathy of  undetermined significance.  About a third of patients who are diagnosed with MGUS, which is usually not treated very aggressively, later develop MM.

Multiple Myeloma has a number of complications, such as brittle bones, frequent infections, and serious liver problems.  Like any other cancer, doctors usually treat MM with a combination of radiation therapy to shrink the tumor.  As well as surgery to remove the tumor, and chemotherapy drugs to kill remaining cancer cells.  If the disease is caught early enough, these treatments are usually extremely effective.

Benefits Available

These treatments are quite expensive.  Cancer survival rates have increased substantially since the 1990s.  Te cost of therapy has increased commensurately.  Cancer medical bills usually amount to at least $10,000 per month.

Agent Orange exposure victims are entitled to free VA medical care.  Not all facilities are created equally.  Some VA hospitals are very good cancer centers, and others are not.  Your attorney can help ensure that you receive the treatment you need.  Not just the treatment the VA randomly decides to give you.

For many people, cancer also means extreme pain and fatigue.  Most common cancer treatments make these symptoms worse.  As a result, working regularly is usually not an option, even if the patient is otherwise healthy.   So, VA Agent Orange benefits usually also include financial compensation.  This compensation could be a lump-sum payment or a monthly income stream.

Legally, the MM-Agent Orange link is only a presumption. Denials are commonplace.  At a subsequent disability hearing, an attorney can introduce additional evidence and cross-examine witnesses.  As a result, victims and their families have a much better chance of obtaining the benefits they deserve.

Partner with Experienced Attorneys

If you served in Southeast Asia between 1961 and 1971, you were probably exposed to Agent Orange.  For a free consultation with an experienced veterans disability lawyercontact 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.