In-country Vietnam War Veterans were exposed to the defoliant Agent Orange during the war and this exposure puts you at a high risk for developing prostate cancer. Veterans who have not been tested for prostate cancer need to be evaluated as soon as possible as early detection allows for better medical treatment.
The development of prostate cancer associated with Agent Orange can often be delayed over 30 years after exposure. It is important to note that Vietnam Veterans who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are eligible for disability benefits from the Veterans Administration. The United State Veterans Administration has officially determined that there is “presumptive cause” that prostate cancer is a service related disability because of the positive association that exists between exposure to Agent Orange and development of the cancer.
Veterans who served on land, air or sea during the Vietnam War are considered to be eligible for these benefits if cancer is diagnosed. If you have prostate cancer, you can go to the official web site www.vva.org (Vietnam Veterans Association) to learn more about the available benefits. Benefits are on a sliding scale and will depend on whether your cancer is active or inactive. Please note that benefits will not begin until your filing is made and will not be retroactive to the date of your diagnosis. There is no deadline by which the prostate cancer must be diagnosed following service in Vietnam.
The Veterans Administration advises prostate cancer patients to work with a representative to help negotiate the claim process. These representatives are available by calling your local offices for either the Disabled American Veterans Association or the New York State Department of Veterans Affairs. Once you are assigned a representative, you will be required to provide your doctor’s written medical diagnosis of prostate cancer as well as a copy of your military record of your service in Vietnam.
If you do not have health care insurance, the Veterans Administration will handle your testing and treatments. If you do have health care insurance, you can opt to obtain medications and treatment from the VA (with a co-pay.)