Agent Orange is usually the first thing veterans with prostate cancer ask about. Indeed, way back in 1998, Malecare was an early advocate for men exposed to Agent Orange. Military veterans as well as Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian civilians were exposed to Agent Orange, and many of those who are men are now diagnosed, dying or have died from prostate cancer.
Few institutions beside the US military are as comprehensive about research and training regarding all aspects of human exposure and military life. And, many military institutions besides the US military are equally as good regarding protecting the soldier from environmental harm. I imagine that many ad hoc and insurgent military units read and follow US military handbooks and trainings from public access, too. But, there remain many toxic qualities to materials and methods, which are yet to be researched.
For example, depleted, discarded and exploded ordinance continues to effect military and civilian personal in ways we do not wholly understand. Long term exposures to simple things like paint, detergent, lubricants and fuel in formulations that may be unique to the military have yet to be fully understood. The impact on humans by military generated product and ordinance exposures to livestock, foodstuffs and vegetation are insufficiently investigated. And we haven’t touched on health issues from seemingly mundane issues such as conflict zone dust, drinking water and soil exposure, both for military and civilian populations.
Malecare is a patient focused organization, helping tens of thousands of men, in military service and post military service, world wide, during the last twenty years. We’ve come to believe that Agent Orange may not be the only significant military related environmental issue that is related to prostate cancer.
Much more research about all environmental associations with prostate cancer is needed before we can state anything with certainty. Indeed, we may eventually learn that prostate cancer is actually caused by few if any environmental exposures. But, for now, let’s keep stirring the kettle and advocating for better protection and care, both for our military members and the civilians we effect. We’re all brothers and peace can be found in caring about everyone’s health.