Metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by fsattl, May 24, 2008.

  1. fsattl

    fsattl New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am a Viet Nam Veteran 1967-68. I am currently receiving a V.A. disability of 10% for injuries received in a jeep acciednt in Viet Nam.

    I was recently diagnosed with metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma. I underwent a radical nephrectomy on 02/05/2008. I have completed two months of chemo (Sutent), and am now receiving a series of ten radiation treatments for a spinal lesion.

    I am aware that renal cell carcenoma is not one of the presumptive cancers related to agent orange. I would appreciate any help in locating references, appeals or any information showing a connection between agent orange and renal cell carcinoma.
  2. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    The National Institutes of Medicine has studied Renal Cancer in every biennial 'Veterans and Agent Orange Update:' since 1998 and have generally found:
    Inadequate or Insufficient Evidence to Determine Whether an Association Exists

    This is what they say:
    The available studies are of insufficient quality, consistency, or statistical power to permit a conclusion regarding the presence or absence of an association. For example, studies fail to control for confounding, have inadequate exposure assessment, or fail to address latency. There is inadequate or insufficient evidence to determine whether an association exists between exposure to herbicides and the following health outcomes.

    There's a long list including Renal Cancer.

    I'm sure you can find a study showing anything you want but the problem is to find something peer reviewed and repeatable which is of sufficient quality, consistency, or statistical power to permit a conclusion regarding the presence or absence of an association.

    Presenting these to the VA is a waste of time unless you were the subject of the study. You should show them to your doctor so he might provide you with a nexus and rationale based on scientific fact.

    You say "metatastic". Did your renal cancer metastasize from somewhere else? where?
  3. SFC Ret

    SFC Ret New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It is going to be a tough one to actually pin point the cause. I will tell you why.

    I also recently (Oct 2007) had a radical right nephrectomy due to clear cell renal carcinoma and I know exactly what you are going through. My surgery took 9 hours...a bit longer than expected; due to some complications.

    I have talked with an Oncologist and from what I have gathered, usually cancers develop within a 10-15 year time span and should show some signs by then.

    I had an incident with my urinary system when I was 21 and accordingly the carcinoma and that minor hematuria was not related, or so she stated. The problem with clear cell renal carcinoma is that there is no known cause.

    In my case, having made a claim for malignant neoplasms of the genitourinary system, the VA examiner looked at my last physical and tests that were done before I got out and found that there were signs of renal carcinoma in my system at that time, so technically it was now classified as service related, lucky me I guess. The problem with that is, the tests were done and nobody said anything. Had someone said something then, my renal cell carcinoma may have been detected earlier and not at the T3 level. :(

    But never the less, they got it out before it went T4 and with that I am thankful to be here.

    If you are going through Chemo, I take it that your case may have been elevated a bit higher than mine.

    You may have to dig deeper and have one of your physicians stick his neck out and attest to the renal carcinoma caused by agent orange or some contaminant in your system; keep in mind the 10-15 year rule. If you had some sort of other agent orange after effects, then it might be a possibility to tie it in, however again, it would have to be convincing enough to show a tie-in.

    Viet Nam ending in 1975 makes it harder to relate since it has been over 33 years ago since they used Agent O.

    The key is to show service relation or a by product of a service related claim.
  4. SFC Ret

    SFC Ret New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Here is another tid bit to ponder.

    If any of you have had a service connected decision regarding renal cell carcinoma and the VA had deemed it a kidney removal 30%, I beg to differ and if I were you, should resubmit a claim to reconsider the findings.

    The Title 38 CFR regarding Malignant Neoplasms of the Genitourinay System (which categorizes renal carcinoma or kidney cancer) reads that 100% should continue with a physical exam after 6 months... it does not state that 100% should be down graded or reduced to 30% and deemed kidney removal.
    If you accept that, you might be short-changing yourself and remember you have one less kidney because of it being cancerous.
    If you read Kidney Transplant and compare the two rulings, you will see what I mean; and the VA must rule on whether it is a voiding dysfunction or renal dysfunction, not just a kidney removal. It is pretty obvious that if there is no kidney it is no longer functioning, but that is what you will need to show when you resubmit.
  5. jwatters

    jwatters New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Renal Cell Carcinoma Issue

    Any veteran with Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) who was stationed or lived on board Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune N.C. between 1955 and 1985 may have been exposed to chemicals in the drinking water that can cause RCC and a whole host of other illnesses and cancers. There is ample scientific evidence to back up these links between RCC, and other diseases. look at the web site The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten- Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Contamination TCE PCE DCE Cancer Survey Attorney. If in this situation you can 1. file a V.A. claim and 2. sue the U.S. government.

    Good luck!
  6. jwatters

    jwatters New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Renal Cell Carcinoma and Trichloroethylene

    P.S. to my previous note. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was not the only base at which Trichloroethylene was used. It is a degreaser used at many military bases and many military bases are now on the EPA superfund cleanup list. I suggest anyone with RCC check the EPA web site to see what they may say about the base(s) where you were staioned. TCE is the most common chemical water pollutant in water sources in the U.S.

    You may be able to document exposure and then because of all the medical literature available which links TCE and RCC there is your step to service connection.

    Good luck.

    Jim Watters
  7. TinCanMan

    TinCanMan Active Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    If you believe you have a claim here, all the medical literature in the world is useless unless it is about you specifically. Show this stuff to your doctor and refrain from sending it to the VA. The VA decisionmakers cannot make medical decisions. This is what your doctor does. Your doctor must opine your exposure resulted in your condition and must then justify his opinion.

    FWIW:

    For what it's worth, Every successful claim has three elements:

    1. Appropriate military service
    2. A diagnosis of a compensable disease or condition
    3. A nexus or connection between 1 & 2

    PTSD claims also require a "stressor" letter unless your stressor was caused by combat or your PTSD was diagnosed while still on Active Duty.

    1. is usually satisfied by your DD-214 or your Service Records.
    2. is usually provided by a medical professional licensed to provide a diagnosis
    3. is also usually provided by a medical professional that has examined your Service Records and can make the connection based on the evidence in your records. He cannot rely exclusively on your testimony regarding events and must provide a medically and scientifically supportable rationale for his opinion.

    The stressor letter must describe the situation that you think caused your PTSD and it must be verifiable.

Share This Page