What are the Presumptive Agent Orange Cancers? | South Portland, ME

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What are the Presumptive Agent Orange Cancers?

Published on December 21st, 2019

When you apply for veterans disability compensation, you need to show that your medical condition was caused or made worse by your military service–unless the VA considers your condition to be presumptive. This means that the VA presumes that your illness was caused by your military service. If you served in an area where you may have been exposed to Agent Orange, having a presumptive condition will make it easier to obtain disability compensation.

The List of Presumptive Cancers May Get Longer Soon

For now, the VA lists the following types of cancers as presumed to be caused by exposure to Agent Orange:

  • Chronic B-cell leukemia–This cancer targets white blood cells, which are at the front line of your body’s immune system.
  • Hodgkin’s disease–A cancer that causes anemia and an inflammation of your lymph nodes, liver, and spleen.
  • Multiple myeloma–This cancer affects your plasma cells in your blood.
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma–This is a group of cancers that targets your lymph glands
  • Prostate cancer–A common type of cancer that affects the gland that produces semen
  • Respiratory cancers–These cancers can occur in the larynx, trachea, lungs, and bronchi.
  • Soft tissue sarcomas–Does not include osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma.

This year a bill was introduced in Congress that could add presumptive conditions for Agent Orange exposure. If the Keeping Our Promises Act becomes law, then bladder cancer and other conditions such as hypothyroidism, hypertension, and stroke will be considered presumptive. It’s important to note, however, that just because your condition isn’t presumptive, it doesn’t mean you don’t qualify for disability compensation. It just means that you will need to provide medical evidence that suggests that your condition was caused by Agent Orange.

It’s difficult to determine exactly if an individual was exposed to Agent Orange, so the VA assumes that anyone who served under the following circumstances was probably exposed to the chemical:

  • Vietnam or its territorial waters at any time between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975
  • On Thailand bases between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975
  • Any storage or testing facility for herbicides
  • C-123 transport aircraft
  • Korean Demilitarized Zone at any time  between September 1, 1967, and August 31, 1971

If you served in one of these areas during these periods during your military service, and you are suffering from cancer or a chronic illness–even one that is not presumptive–you may qualify for veterans disability compensation. The key is to collect solid medical evidence about your condition, and to get the assistance of an experienced veterans benefits lawyer if your initial application gets denied.

We Can Help You Get Compensation for Agent Orange Related Illnesses

The United States military willfully put thousands of its members at risk by exposing them to dangerous herbicides. And now it’s time for the government to give them the compensation they deserve. At Jackson and MacNichol, we will fight for your right to get compensated for your Agent Orange exposure. If you’ve been denied access to your veterans benefits, call us today at 1(800) 524-3339 for a free consultation.

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