The Link Between Agent Orange and Colon Cancer
This article will detail the link between Agent Orange and Colon Cancer.
The VA has recognized that several cancers can be linked to Agent Orange. For these cancers, the VA will provide presumptive benefits for veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and suffer from a cancer on the VA’s list. However, the VA has yet to acknowledge a link between colon cancer with Agent Orange exposure to allow presumptive benefits.
Nevertheless, disability compensation may be available for Vietnam veterans who need it. Agent Orange causes cancer – period. Simply because it is not a presumptive condition due to Agent Orange does not mean you cannot win your claim for this issue.
Agent Orange Background
If you served in Vietnam or Thailand during the Vietnam War, you were probably exposed to this powerful defoliant. Agent Orange, so named because it came in drums with orange stripes,came in many forms. Most of them contained 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid. 2,4,5 T contained traces of dioxin, one of the most potent, and most harmful, chemicals to ever come out of a laboratory.
What Causes Colon Cancer?
Dioxin subtly changes cell DNA. These changes lead to a wide array of serious health problems. These genetic changes can certainly cause colon cancer. Cells divide at an abnormally high rate and cause tumors which, in many cases, are malignant. Since the colon is in the digestive tract,the cancer can metastasize quickly if not caught early. Diabetes, which is another known complication of Agent Orange, can play a factor as well. The Dioxin itself, or complications due to another recognized service-connected disability, makes winning a case for colon cancer possible.
When diagnosing cancer, doctors almost always look at family history and lifestyle. Nine times out of ten, one of these things caused the disease, at least in substantial part. If the patient has no family history of colon cancer, that leaves lifestyle. A service record that includes time in Vietnam should set off alarm bells.
What Studies Link Colon Cancer?
Both human and laboratory studies have been done by the American Cancer Society to link Agent Orange to the development of various cancers. Their research concludes that exposure to Agent Orange may increase the risk of many different cancers, including colon cancer. Also, type II Diabetes (a presumptive disability for Agent Orange) is known to complicate colon cancer.
So, if you served in Vietnam January 9, 1962 and May 7, 1975 and are now suffering from a rare illness, there is a good chance that your illness may be connected to this dioxin-containing defoliant. As experienced veteran appeal attorneys, we can help prove that your illness is service-connected and get you the benefits you deserve. Every case is different, but many appeals for colon cancer due to Agent Orange have been successful in court. For example, in a 2015 appeal made at the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in St. Petersburg, Florida, the BVA found that the weight of the evidence supported the Veteran’s claims for service connection for colon cancer and kidney cancer.
Legal Issues in Agent Orange/Colon Cancer Cases
As mentioned, colon cancer is not on the presumptive Agent Orange condition list. However, compensation may still be available. Essentially, victims simply need to establish:
- Service Connection: Although there is no Agent Orange/colon cancer presumption, there is a presumption that service in Vietnam and related Agent Orange exposure could cause a serious illness.
- Specific Cause: The claimant must prove that Agent Orange exposure caused his/her colon cancer. Generally, to establish this link, we provide research to the VA, and when appropriate, partner with a medical expert who will render a scientific opinion based on the facts and research.
Even if you were only recently diagnosed with colon cancer, you may still be eligible to file a claim. If you previously applied for your VA disability benefits and you were denied, we are here to help you with your appeal.
Count on Dedicated Attorneys
If you served in Vietnam and have developed colon cancer, you may be entitled to VA disability compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced veterans disability lawyer contact Cameron Firm, PC at 800-861-7262 or fill in the contact form to the right.