It’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Talk to your health care provider about your risk and the pros and cons of screening. Were you exposed to Agent Orange during military service and have prostate cancer? You may qualify for VA benefits.
About prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate, a small gland in the male reproductive system.
Some men may have urinary problems, but some men don’t have symptoms early on. If you have any health concerns, talk with your health care provider.
The greatest risk factor for prostate cancer is increasing age. Other risk factors include having a father or brother with the disease and being African American.
Prostate cancer is often first detected with a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test or digital rectal exam. Talk with your health care provider about your risk and the pros and cons of screening.
Visit Medline Plus to learn about treatment for prostate cancer, the latest medical research, and more from the National Institutes of Health.
Reduce your risk for cancers and other diseases
Here’s how: Follow a healthy diet. Don’t have more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day. Get help to quit smoking. Go to the VA’s National Center for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention to learn more about healthy living. Editor’s note: This is one of the best webpages the VA has published. I use it often and recommend that you do to.
VA benefits for prostate cancer
Veterans with prostate cancer who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service may be eligible for disability compensation and health care.
Vietnam Veterans may apply for disability compensation for prostate cancer using VA’s Fast Track Claims Processing System.
Veterans who served in Vietnam, the Korean demilitarized zone or another area where Agent Orange was sprayed may be eligible for an Agent Orange registry health exam, a free, comprehensive exam.
Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to herbicides during military service and died as the result of prostate cancer may be eligible for survivors’ benefits.
Research on prostate cancer and herbicides used in Vietnam
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences concluded in its 1996 report Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1996 and in future updates that there is limited/suggestive evidence of a positive association between prostate cancer and exposure to herbicides used in Vietnam.
A 2013 study conducted at the Portland VA Medical Center and Oregon Health and Science University found that Veterans exposed to Agent Orange are not only at higher risk for prostate cancer, but they are more likely to have aggressive forms of the disease. Read the abstract for the publication, Agent Orange as a risk factor for high-grade prostate cancer.
Editor’s note: If you, a Veteran you love, care for or know has been exposed to Agent Orange, PLEASE seek help. Use the links on this page for more information concerning Agent Orange and to register with the VA. Veterans may also find more information and help at the VA’s Agent Orange webpage.
I am here for you too! If you have questions or concerns please email me at: [email protected]