Help requested - brain cancer (glioblastoma multiforme - Connection?

Discussion in 'Agent Orange' started by seadog76, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. seadog76

    seadog76 New Member

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    Hoping to process a post-mortem claim for Agent Orange related brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme. Does anyone have any experience or advice with this?

    Thanks

    Paul F.
  2. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Paul:

    I'm not a doctor but I can't see how "Brain Cancer" is a presumptive condition for AO exposure as defined by the VA unless it is one of the soft tissue sarcoma's that I don't know about See here: http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/benefits/herbicide/#bm05 or even here: http://www.onlinelawyersource.com/agent_orange/diseases.html
    for an expanded list of soft-tissue sarcoma. Am I missing something here? Do you have evidence that this veterans cancer is caused by AO despite NIH studies to the contrary?

    Secondly, you say post-mortem. If the veteran has passed on he no longer has a claim for compensation. Are you thinking about a DIC claim?
  3. seadog76

    seadog76 New Member

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    This is, I'll admit, a long shot inquiry. Hoping someone had new information. Yes, it's for a DIC claim, if possible. The widow is certain this is Agent Orange related, I said I would do some research, but it doesn't look good for a connection right now. Appreciate the web links. I'll check them out. Thank you.
  4. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Hasn't been any new conditions added to the AO presumptive list in 4 years or so and FWIW most families and or veterans are convinced their condition is somehow someone else's fault. Just part of human nature and our inability to accept that sometimes stuff happens. Some folks get a longer ride on this life and others don't. It's not anyones fault.

    My searches seems to indicate there is little or no medical/scientific evidence that this form of brain cancer is caused by AO. As a matter of fact, the cause of most brain cancers appears to be unknown. The only well-established environmental risk factor for brain tumors is exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation. Other environmental factors are unproven. You might get copies of his Service and medical records and see if he was part of any radiation tests. Do a web search on "Atomic Vets"

    Exposure to dioxin is certainly a big problem in our society and is much larger than anyone believes. Recent studies show high dioxin levels in just about every adult in the U.S., most of whom never served a day. It's in the grain we harvest, the meat we eat and the milk we drink. You'll also find it in the weed killers we spray on our lawns and gardens after which we allow our children and pets to roll around in it. ...and that's just dioxin. What about all the other chemical and environmental exposures we endure. It's in our homes and our workplace. Who's responsible? We could give up the lifestyle and return to the way things were in 1800, then we'd just die at 45.
  5. pugsdad

    pugsdad New Member

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    Brain Cancer (glioblastoma)

    My husband, a Vietnam Veteran, was recently diagnosed with brain cancer (astrocytoma/glioblastoma). He is on the Agent Orange Registry having been exposed to agent orange in Vietnam. We have filed for VA compensation but have been told that this is not a presumptive condition recognized by the VA as having been service-related. We are told to provide proof that his exposure to agent orange caused his brain cancer. Are there others out there that have had this problem? How do we prove it? We know it to be the truth.

    Thanks, any help will be greatly appreciated.
  6. Vike17

    Vike17 New Member

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    pugsdad,

    In order to show a relationship between AO exposure and your husbands brain cancer, you'll need to ask a qualified doctor to make this assesment. That doctor will need to write a IMO (independent Medical Opinion) stating his rational as to why he/she came to such a conclusion.

    How do you Know this to be the truth?? Are you a qualified health profession that can make this determination?

    Vike 17
  7. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    pugsdad:



    I have to agree with Vike on this but I'd like to take a bit to explain how things work so you know what you have to do and why.

    There are three things every successful claim has:

    1. Military Service
    2. A diagnosis of a compensable disease or condition
    3. A nexus or connection between 1 & 2

    It is the veterans responsibility to prove each of them.

    1 is satisfied by your DD-214
    2 is satisfied by either a physician or C&P examiners statement that you have the compensable condition. (a current diagnosis)
    3 is satisfied by either a physician or C&P examiners statement that he has examined you and your Service Medical Records and your Service Personnel Record and finds "at least as likely as not" that your condition is a result of your service.

    Note: That "at least as likely as not" or an equivalent statement is extremely important.

    Note: Your physician must support his claim by a rationale that is scientifically acceptable. IOW, he can't just make it up and he can't rely on your testimony exclusively to support his opinion.

    Now on item 3, in the case of presumptive conditions, you get a free ride as the VA will concede service connection as it already knows of the connection.

    In the case of Agent Orange, how does the VA know this? Well, they were told by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Here's how that came to be:

    Public Law 102-4, the Agent Orange Act of 1991, established the procedure that VA follows in determining whether a condition should be recognized for service connection. Specifically, that legislation directed VA to enter an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review and summarize the scientific evidence concerning the association between exposure to herbicides used in Vietnam and each disease suspected to be associated with such exposure.

    The law mandated that NAS determine, to the extent possible: 1) whether there is a statistical association between the suspect diseases and herbicide, taking into consideration the strength of the evidence and the appropriateness of the methods used to detect an association, 2) the increased risk of disease among individuals exposed to herbicides during military service in Vietnam, and 3) whether there is a plausible biological mechanism or other evidence of a causal relationship.

    In the 16 or so years since 1991 the NAS has found no such link between AO exposure and various forms of brain cancer.

    OK, so you don't have a claim based on presumption but, you have the option of basing your claim on a direct link to AO which is why the VA asked for proof. Most claims are direct claims and require proof of service connection.

    Don't know, to date I haven't seen anyone come up with evidence showing a positive link between AO and brain cancer. Perhaps some research institution is finding a link or has already done so. It's up to you and/or your physician to find it. In the alternative, there are IMO's that specialize in this sort of thing. One such individual is Dr Craig Bash. He's quite spendy, though. Can cost you $2k or more easily. He's good, works on contingency and won't take your case if there's no hope of making a connection. Go here: http://www.veteransmedadvisor.com/

    Sure, both wrt brain cancer and a host of other issues. Some have been successful, others not. I haven't seen anyone prevail for brain cancer but that doesn't mean it's not possible, just unlikely/
  8. pugsdad

    pugsdad New Member

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    Reply to Vike 17

    Vike 17,

    Obviously, I am not a qualified professional. I am seeking information. I should have said we "think" it to be the truth. We are talking about a 64 year old man who has never been sick a day in his life. He has had no other exposure to anything else and we believe it must be agent orange.

    This man fought for our country as a Canadian citizen (registered alien in the US since his parents moved here when he was 12) who could have gone across the border legally but chose to fight for this country. Now he suffers from PTSD and hearing loss from the artillery. He did become a US Citizen--had to apply like everyone else even having served during war time in the military.

    This man fought for my freedom so I am fighting for his rights. If, as I believe agent orange was responsible for the horror he is now going through, I will fight to see him get compensated. There is nothing else I can do for him--it is incurable and inoperable so it is a death sentence. After 35 years loving this man, it's the least I can do.

    Thanks for your opinion. And for your information, there have been several other veterans who have been compensated for this same disease. I have discovered them online.

    pugsdad
  9. pugsdad

    pugsdad New Member

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    Reply to TinCanMan

    Thanks for the information. You have been very helpful and I am very grateful. I found several veterans (some now deceased) online who suffer from this same brain cancer and who were compensated at 100%. I am trying to find out more information on them also.

    Thanks again.

    pugsdad
  10. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    pugsdad:

    Can you provide a link to some of them, I'd like to examine those and may be able to explain why they succeeded.
  11. ramonaquimby

    ramonaquimby New Member

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    glioblastoma

    My understanding is that Glioblastoma brain cancer is not compensated. It isn't one of the diseases connected with Agent Orange. The VSO said, that it may be some day, but not currently. I would be interested to find out how someone was compensated 100% for it.
  12. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Brain Cancers are compensated if they are service connected. They cannot be service connected as presumptive of exposure to Agent Orange. They can be service connected if they occurred while still serving and can even be directly service connected as a result of exposure to AO providing .YOUR. physician will state he has examined you and your Service Medical Records and your Personnel Records and has determined .YOUR. Brain Cancer is "more likely than not" the result of your military service. He must then provide a scientifically supportable rationale for his opinion.

    The emphasis on .YOUR. is intended to mean you, and you alone. It cannot refer to someone else and infer you by extension.
  13. rainvet

    rainvet New Member

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    I believe that if a or more than one Doctor state that your health is from a service-connected diseases , then it will be up to the VA to determent if wasn't from it and not you. If you have any Doctors writing this down on paper, get a copy and file it with your claim and let the VA make the decision on it because it will fall under there reason to prove beyond a reasonable of a doth that it didn't. RainVet
  14. pugsdad

    pugsdad New Member

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    Glioblastoma Brain Cancer

    This is pugswife writing this because pugsdad died on June 24, 2007 of this horrible disease. He asked before he died that I have his brain extracted and have it autopsied for dioxin levels and other toxins to try and find out what caused the tumor. I did what he asked as awful as it sounds and sent it to UCSF (University of California at San Francisco) Medical Center because they agreed to do the autopsy. After it arrived, I got a call telling me that they are not set up to do the toxicology tests that I want done. I think they should have told me that before I spent $2000 to have it sent to them. When I threatened to go public, they suddenly are reimbursing me the $2000 and will send the brain to any toxicology lab that I want. Problem is that I haven't been able to locate a toxicology lab that does this. Does anyone out there know where I can have this brain autopsy done and where they can do toxicology tests for dioxin and any other toxins that may be present. And maybe there are none present and there is some other cause. My husband just wanted to do what he could so that maybe one person would benefit from the results.

    Thanks.

    pugswife
  15. rainvet

    rainvet New Member

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    pugsdad, have you called the DAV or American Legion and ask them. Also I'll call your US Congressmen and ask them to get you the place you need to sent off for the test. I do know that there a place that does fatty tissues for Agent Orange some where and it used to cost about 1200.00 or more for those test. Call the VA 1-800-827-1000 and ask them to help you also.

    I'm sorry for you lost and may GOD Bless you and your Family during your short period of recover. You husband is a great hero to our Nation. RainVet
  16. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

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    Pugswife:

    I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. It's always sad to hear of another veteran passing away. I just heard from a former shipmate that he has a tumor in his throat. He's in the hospital today for a biopsy. I hope it isn't cancerous.

    As far as dioxin testing goes, I don't believe it is necessary to perform an autopsy on the brain to test for dioxin. My understanding is a simple blood test will suffice. FWIW, every man, woman and child has some level of dioxin exposure

    Dioxin is generated by the heating of chlorinated hydrocarbons. Forrest Fires cause the release of dioxin. The rapid industrialization of the U.S. in the 20th century accelerated the release of dioxin into the atmosphere due to chemical heating processes. This stuff settles in pastureland and our dairy and beef stock eat it. It accumulates in fatty tissue which we consume as milk and that well marbled steak we roast on the BBQ every summer. The search to find dioxin in your husbands remains is pointless. If you don't need the money, donate it in your husbands name to brain cancer research. It will do much more good there.

    If you insist at tilting at windmills, here's a link to a lab that claims to do dioxin testing. Make sure they are certified to test dioxin:
    http://www.pacelabs.com/services/an...ialty-analytical-services/dioxins-furans.html

    Here's what the FDA has to say about this:
    http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/dioxinqa.html

    Here's a Google search I did on dioxin testing. Some good info.
    http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1T4GZHZ_enUS226US227&hl=en&q=dioxin testing

    Please don't hesitate to post when you have questions.
  17. Grandmom

    Grandmom New Member

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    GBM-4,/VietNam Vet

    My husband has Glioblastoma Multiforme Stage 4 Brain Cancer also, he's 58 years old and had never been sick before.

    VA is not helping us with this either. I'm finding alot of GBM-4 Nam Vets, there's got to be a tie to military service in Viet Nam.
  18. Eileen Whitacre

    Eileen Whitacre New Member

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    veterans with glioblastoma

    With veterans dying from brain cancer at a higher rate than the civilian population it is the goal of www.vietnamveteranswives.org to expand the Agent Orange registry to include glioblastoma. Home will present their case before The National Institute of Medicine in Albuquerque NM 16 Dec. 2010. We are encouraging wives and family members to attend for a show of force and support. Contact Eileen Whitacre Perkins at [email protected]. for more information.
    Eileen Whitacre Perkins
    Las Cruces, NM
    Agent Orange Liaison
    www.vietnamvetranswives.org
  19. Grandmom

    Grandmom New Member

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    VA keeps turning Nam Vets down with GBM-4. I'm trying to compile a list of as many Nam Vets that have been diagnosed with GBM-4.
  20. Grandmom

    Grandmom New Member

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    GBM-4 and Agent Orange in Nam Vets

    My husband was diagnosed March 2010 with GBM-4. The doctors have stopped all treatments and we're just waiting for nature to take it's course.

    I'm collecting names and information on Nam Vets that have developed this.

    Thank you,

    Margee'

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