It is a fact, Vietnam Veterans exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War are more likely to develop prostate cancer than the rest of the population. If you are a Vietnam Vet and develop prostate cancer you are entitled to compensation and medical treatment from the Veterans Administration.
If you served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962 and May 5, 1975 and developed prostate cancer at any time, you are presumed to have been affected by Agent Orange and are entitled to compensation from the VA.
To submit an Application for Compensation or Pension (VA Form 21-526) you should immediately after being diagnosed with prostate cancer – prior to any treatment – to initially qualify for 100 percent disability rating for at least six months. Applications filed after treatment may not be approved due to a presumption that the cancer is cured, though those individuals may qualify for a reduced disability rating if treatment resulted in side effects.
Effective December 1, 2006, 100 percent disability compensation rates are as follows (see Compensation Rate Table at www.vba.va.gov for additional rates):
Veteran (individual): $2,471/month
Veteran (with spouse): $2,610/month
You must provide a copy of your DD Form 214 verifying that you served in Vietnam, and a copy of your prostate biopsy pathology report, which you can obtain from your urologist. If needed, you can contact the Department of Veterans Affairs for assistance with locating your DD Form 214 or other documentation which maybe required.
You can apply for your benefits online at www.va.gov, or by mailing applications directly to the office of Veterans Affairs. You can obtain free assistance in filing your VA Claims from:
American Legion: http://www.legion.org/ (202) 861-2700
Armed Forces Services Corporation: , (888) 237-2872
Services are for members only.
Disabled American Veterans: http://www.dav.org/, (859) 441-7300
Veterans of Foreign Wars: www.vfw.org (405) 270-0501, ext. 5476
Vietnam Veterans of America: www.vva.org (800) VVA-1316
Click on “Benefits” on the home page to locate a local service representative.
Joel T Nowak MA, MSW
The VA found an elevated PSA in May 2007. Biopsy in October and surgery in December. The Resident Physician cut into the cancer and said it was unfortunate. I’ve been waiting over five months to hear from the VA about compensation. I now have terminal cancer and no one in the VA seems concerned. Hopefully I’ll live long enough for an answer.
HAVE YOU HEARD ANYTHING FROM THE VA YET? I AM IN A SIMILIAR POSITION AND WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU THANKS
I just found out they haven’t started my claim.After refusing further treatment the VA said they would look into my claim starting this week. The delay was blamed on a TORT claim and they were waiting to settle it first. I told them that could take years and they said the claim would be done now. I have progressive cancer and explained I might not have time to wait on their decision. No one cares in the VA or my Congressmans office. Good luck to you.
E-mail me at email@example.com The VA has done nothing.
Dr. Timothy Wilt of the Veterans Affairs Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research in Minneapolis is conducting a 20 million $, 15 year study to determine if surgery extends overall survival. To be completed next year. It does not appear that surgery works at all.
If anyone knows the answer to this, it would be appreciated. I have recently been found to have prostate cancer, related to Agent Orange in Vietnam. My question is if the VA will require me to have cancer treatment or if I will be allowed to do the “watchful waiting” thing.
My cancer does not seem to be aggressive and I fear that treatment might do more damage than the disease.
I have never heard of the VA requiring anyone to have treatment. I know a number of men who get most of their health care from the VA and they are on active surveillance (watchful waiting). Depending upon your numbers, active surveillance might be your best approach to dealing with this disease. However, I urge you to think of it as a treatment modality which requires you to take an active role in monitoring the disease. – Joel
I am a widow of a Vietnam Veterans that served in the navy during our time of need in Vietnam without complaining. Lose his job and wasn’t treated like a hero of the United States when he returned home. My husband has passed away this year and I have been trying so hard to talk to someone about benefits and all I get is alot more papers to fill out,same as I filled out before. I do believe that the United States should take time for the spouses of these veterans, They took thier time for you so you could live FREE in this great land. My husband died of cancer and was never the same man before he entered the serve. Please try to take time to help make things better for all us. Thank You for your time, Charlene Eastis spouse of William Lee Eastis Jr. USN
I along with all of my readers do appreciate the sacrifices that your late husband and you have made to keep the rest of us free. We salute all of our vets, we will always be in your debt.
i have waiting for 18 months have prostate cancer the VA will not give an answer
Lawton, OK 73505
I submitted a claim for Prostate Cancer in 2007 and was denied any disability. IN January 2007 I had one operation and again in December 2007 another operation. My claim came back Service Connected but zero disability. In October 2010 my PSA was high and my doctor conducted a BIPSY and the cancer have returned. I fell the VA is waiting until all Vietnam Veterans pass away and the VA will not have to pay the claim. We are still being treated the same way when we came back home
Were you feet down in Vietnam? If you had been my understanding that prostate cancer claims are now automatically honored.
I was just awarded 100 percent disability from the VA for prostate cancer associated with my service in Vietnam. I plan to use “watchful waiting” as my treatment. However, my award does not mention “watchful waiting” as a treatment. The treatments they list are surgical, X-ray, antineoplastic chemotherapy and other therapeutic procedures. Does the VA no longer recognize “watchful waiting” as a treatment?
My husband just died last week of advanced prostate cancer after being diagnosed for five years. He became androgen resistant last Dec, and died on the 28th. I am devastated, because my benefits are gone…all except 1,150 dollars. The VA doesnt take care of the spouses of veterans, so pls do not do what I did. After the VA did all they could do to help him, I tried many alternate treatments, and spent so much money. Now, I am 60, left with a small pension, and have to move in with family members. I will get ChampVA, thank God, but all the money is gone. Please be prepared…And, pls, about watchful waiting..be careful…that is what they did for my husband, and it grew within a year…it was all in his bones very fast. Please be aware of this dreadful disease..and NO MORE WATCHFUL waiting, OK..
Jeannie, My condolences on your loss. – Joel
Horace Whetstone, are you the e-7 who was in Korea 68/69 apart of the 7th Inf. Div. HHB Artillery Metero?????
You know, 43 years ago a lot of us vets took off our uniforms and never looked back. Some never joined parades, protested nor joined veterans organizations but instead
immersed ourselves into school or the work place and continued with our lives.
There was not mention on exiting the service interview that we may of been poisoned during our one or two tours in Nam, so be aware in the future years and contact the VA if you have any
problem…no mention of this at all. I remember in the early 90’s that there was an AO lawsuit going around and somehow, someone contacted me to be part of of the class action. The biggest reported
problem at that time were problems involving birth defects. Both my boys were grown by then and had no known effects from AO so I declined to try and squeeze the government of any money
I didn’t feel I deserved.
Fast forward to 2007 and a report from my urologist that I had a very aggressive prostate cancer that needed to be removed. My only real option was radical prostatectomy so in Feb. 2008
the prostate and limp nodes were removed just in time as the cancer had erupted from the prostate. Still no connection whatsoever to Nam for me. Apparently somewhere in the late 90’s there were newspaper articles associating prostate cancer with the VA and AO that was now covered as a service connected disability. Well, unless you actually had it in the 90’s or maybe ‘total recall” I believe the majority of us would not of connect our prostate cancer 10 years down the road to Nam or some obscure newspaper article 10 years earlier.
Two years after my operation every newsprint that mentioned prostate cancer now draws my eye and I happened to view a newspaper article about this very subject that basically informed us to seek out compensation from the VA, which I did and it is still on someone’s desk waiting for approval.
I don’t fault the VA for the time it is taking to reach any decision because apparently they are buried in paperwork, my complaint is that they will not back up your claim to the date of the operation. They admit AO caused the problem but the VA is hiding behind the fact that somehow we should of known? I don’t get it. They pay 100% if somehow you knew in advance of the problem but not if you were unaware that the VA owes you money?
If all the vets that have had this same problem were to somehow come together (and there seems to be many) maybe we could petition the VA to back up our illness and paper work to the date of our surgeries? Just saying!
Was diagnosed with prostate cancer in November 2010. Not realizing the VA approves 100% on diagnosis, I chose the radiated seed implant procedure that was done in February of 2011 (this year). Have not had a follow up PSA test but I have applied for compensation from the V.A. I do have ED problems and some leakage not requiring diapers. I am sure I will have to appeal the usual decision of 0% when it comes. I go through the Providence VA Hospital. Any one have good results with follow up with the same treatment I have had?
Jim- Why haven’t you had a follow up PSA test yet?
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer on 24 March 2011. I will have seed implants on 7 July 2011. I think it is ridiculous that my treatment will be over before I get an evaluation. I have made 2 trips to Brooklyn NY VA Hospital and have to go twice more. I live 230 miles from Brooklyn. I have been to Wilkes-Barre VA all without nay travel pay because I don’t have an award yet. Hurry up and wait. Ralph Moerschbacher, Captain, USAF Retired Vietnam Veteran
I watched my PSA levels creep up for almost 2 years when my family Doc asked if I had ever seen a urologist. No Well you better. April 2010 had biopsy done, week later results were in—3 of 6 samples showed cancer—good luck! Before I told wife–went to VA Director at Court House and filed a claim. Came back and told wife–we went to Pittsburgh to see specialist in field–of Prostate Cancer. In August had it totally removed. Was home from Hospital not even a week and received first of many checks from VA. I am blessed that I had done paperwork and have been getting my monthly check. Others have not been so fortunate. God Bless all our fellow Veterans and current troops. Jim
Failed to mention —wear pads (VA Provided) due to incontinent and have ED problems. At least not seeing daisy roots yet and it has been a year since surgery.
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer by surgical pathology on 2/1/2011 after years of elevated (10-15) PSA. Have been on watchful waiting since; claim submitted through VFW Service Office on 8/22/2011.
Does anyone know how long the claim process will take? Thanks!
Larry As I stated— Iwas blessed. My claim only took 4 months to clear. Hope all goes well with you. Every claim somehow is different???
I was just diagnosed yesterday – trying to get more information re benefits, ratings, treatment protocols, etc. I’ll post any information I get to help others speed through the process.
Sorry to hear the news Doug. I dealt with the VA Director of Veterans Affairs at our local courthouse. He handled all the paperwork for me. Hope ur is just as easy. I had taken copy of biopsy from urologist office and he attached that with my claim. Just days before my surgery local VA hospital called wanting me in for interview.I would recommend having interview before any procedure—u may get turned down otherwise from what I have heard. Every case is different. Right now I have a sinus infection brought by cleaning up my leaves—-has that raised havoc with my incontinence—every cough just shoots urine out—going thru many pads a day right now.
I consider myself extremely lucky. I was diagnosed in Sept, filed a claim with the VA, and received my letter granting me disability in late Oct. The entire claim process took only 5 weeks.
Haven’t decided how to treat it yet, but am inclined to wait. Tomorrow is a consult for a second opinion, so may know more then.
Hello Mike D Glad to hear the system worked so well for you!!! I know I took a few months to make my decision—sometimes I wonder I if it was the correct one. Incontinence was my biggest fear—well I got it. Had prostate removed by DiVince Robotic Surgery. Hope u do well. When were u in country and where at. I was there Dec67 to Thanksgiving day 68 in Southern I Corps.
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer on 24 March 2011. I filed my claim with the county Vet Rep on 25 March 2011. I had brachy surgery on 21 July 2011 (seed implants). I haven’t heard a word from the VA concerning my claim as of yet. I would hope the delay is a positive sign on my claim. Ralph Moerschbacher, Captain, USAF Retired Vietnam Veteran
I submitted claim for PC in January 2009. Took 18 months to receive denial from VA which said they did not beleive my Prostate cancer was caused by AO, but instead my Bladder cancer caused the Prostate cancer. I have talked to many Doctors whom have stated that there is no way a Doctor would be able to say that either Prostate cancer caused Bladder cancer or vise versa. Has anyone gone through this cenerial with the VA?
Had C&P exam on Sept 9, 2011 (see my original post above dated August 25.) Notified today (12/16) that VA lost my C&P exam and had to re-submit.
Anyone else have this problem?
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in May of 2010. I applied for compensation to the VA and was turned down because I did not have “boots on the ground”. I did have Agent Orange in the face and covering my body during transfers at sea when the drums broke open, or when we had to swab the decks after spills. But because I was a “Blue Water” sailor, that does not count!
Have metastic prostate cancer and am getting ready to start hormonal theraphy. VA just had me go for an evaluation. Their own study says average survival is 2.88 years. NIH says rare for anyone to make it past five years.
Question I have is why am I being re-evaluated when I am going to die? Am I not dying fast enough? So now they are going to decrease my benefits at the same time I am going through radiation again.
I feel sorry for these young vets. They see this crap on TV and think the VA cares. The only thing they care about is vets dying.
I had high blood pressure for years and the VA never said a word. When I got prostate cancer I went for our insurance and civilian doctors. My new GP said he wanted to send me to a heart doctor. That doctor scheduled me for the operating table with no tests at all. I had what they call a LAD blockage. I ended up with a stent and heart disease. First one in my family.
Good luck to all of you, but don’t count onthe VA.
How does the VA determine if your prostate cancer is cured?
I can not answer hoe the VA makes this determination. One never really knows that one is cured since a recurrence can happen many years after what seems to be a successful primary treatment. In my personal opinion nobody is ever cured since we must be vigilant to watch for a recurrence until we die from whatever. – Joel
It is not a question of being cured. It is a question of how much it has impacted your life. They rate you on ED, incontinence, loss of an organ, or according to my state VA reps when you move into a hospice, and are ready ro die. Then , she said, they make it permanent disability. So when people say “dying to get it”. They mean it. The good thing, if you are going down, is that your wife will get benefits.
My last posting was on October 14, 2010 when I was first diagnosed after a biopsy. I was admitted to the Loma Linda VA on December 16th and had the radical prostectomy. This is the one where they make a large incision from just above the navel all the way down to the pubic bone. The removed the entire prostate, reattached the urethera to the bladder and stapled me back together. I was in the hospital for four days. Two weeks later I had the first post-op exam to make sure the wound was healing right. Two weeks after that I had the staples and catheter removed. There is some leakage so I have to wear Depends (at least for awhile). The VA diapers are awful although they mailed me 8 dozen of them!
Went back today for PSA test results – 0.03! Good news. Doc says they’ll be checking my blood every couple of months for a year, then every 6 months for 5 years then once a year for the following 15 years.
Now I’ve been told I qualify for 100% disability (Agent Orange, VietNam, etc). The claim was filed in October, but all I’ve heard thus far is, “we’re working on it. Don’t call us – we’ll call you.”
I’ve been told by the docs that by the time men reach their 70s or so, they will all have prostate cancer to some degree. He said that most men die with the disease, but some die from the disease.
My suggestion is that EVERY man should be tested, then follow the advise of the urologist – whether it be a VA doc or a civilian doc. Don’t postpone the biopsy (painfull) because the possible outcomes are much worse.
Good luck to all!
The dates should have been October 14, 2011 for the first posting and December 16, 2011 for the surgery. Sorry about that!
I was in Viet Nam 70-71. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in April 2011. I had my prostate removed in late April. After surgery the Dr. recommended 8 weeks of radiation. I filed my claim with the VA in Nov. 2011 a few weeks before completing the treatments. I recently received a letter from the VA saying they were processing my claim. I am now concerned after reading some of the posts here that I may not receive retro pay because I started treatment before I filed. Anyone have any thoughts?
Rick, my VA claim in South Carolina took 143 days. It is my understanding that the length of time in part depends on the location of the claim. Best Wishes!
I live in NY and was diagnosed with PC on 02/16/12. I am considering my options, and leaning towards the Cyber Knife. I have already filed with the VA and recived a letter saying they were working on my case. Anyone have any Cyber Knife experience? I served with the 4th Infanty Division 10/67-09/68.
Are you in or near NYC? If you are we have a terrific support group that meets weekly. We have many men who come for help in deciding an appropriate “next step” after diagnosis. If you are interested let me know and I will get you the information about the group.
Have not heard about “Cyberknife expeience”? I had the Robotic Surgery and can speak to that if your interested.
Hey guys I am still in the deciding phase. I meet next week with a bunch of doctors to figure out my best options. I live on Long Island in Nassau County. I am leaning toward Cyberknife. Treatment is completed in 5 days, and the side effects seem to be easier to deal with. Of course everyone responds differently. Unfortunatly there is no way to know for sure which is the best option. So I am relying on the Lord and my gut.
This is the first time I have seen this website. I had prostate cancer in 1997. I spent Dec 68 through November 69 in Vietnam and filed a claim in 2004 after a buddy told me about Agent Orange compensation. It only took about 6 months or so to get my first check with back pay. My problem now is that I only get about 10% or $225 that includes loss of use of a reproductive organ. I hear about a lot of guys getting 30 or 40 percent or more and it would come in handy. Does anyone know if the amount of compensation is based on income? My prostate was removed with no radiation or chemo and it hasn’t returned.
Where was this site 11 years ago. Like one of the earlier posts I left the service (Navy) in 1976 after 8.5 years and never looked back. I never associated AO with my time in the service because I was on a ship. I had 3 deployments to Nam dropping anchor in Da Nang harbor. So I hit Medicare age and decided to get my paperwork filed with the VA. In my interview with the county VSO I found out that my prostate cancer, tinnitus, and hearing loss are service related. Three tidbits I have found in my research may be of interest to others out there. Search on “Da Nang Harbor inland waterway”, also “Agent Orange Guam”. A Vet recently won a case for DM II because of exposure to AO at Anderson AFB. I was home ported and did shore duty on Guam for 4.5 years. While not related to the general thread here on PC I did find a report on hearing loss which stated that a positive indicator of noise induced loss is a notched audiogram with significant loss around the 6000Hz range. Love working with the benefits side of the VA – NOT! Received my elegibility rating before they had even received my paperwork. Of course it was NSC but because of Viet Nam I was put in Group 6. Good luck to all of you out there in your struggles to receive the care and consideration you deserve for your service.