AFRICAN AMERICANS, PROSTATE CANCER AND AGENT ORANGE
FACT: Veterans who develop prostate cancer and were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service do not have to prove a connection between their prostate cancer and service to be eligible to receive VA health care and disability compensation.
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.
To learn more about your rights as a veteran and to learn more about treatment, visit a local Veterans Administration medical facility or call the National Association for Black Veterans (NABVETS) at 1-877-NABVETS or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. VA Benefits Available to veterans and their family members:
- Veterans with prostate cancer who were exposed to herbicides during service may be eligible for disability compensation and health care. Veterans who served in Vietnam, the Korean demilitarized zone or another area where Agent Orange was sprayed may be eligible for a free Agent Orange registry health 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.
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. View more research on health effects of Agent Orange. – See more at: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/conditions/prostate_cancer.asp#sthash.nNuThXQY.dpuf