Please see below for new Veteran Medical Links for medical information from various resources; none listed are to be considered an endorsement and this list will refrain from commercial listings remaining with veteran service organizations and government health agencies.
Prostate Cancer Threat to Veterans
FRA, a member of the Toxic Exposures in the American Military (TEAM) Coalition, has signed onto a joint letter supporting, the Veterans’ Prostate Cancer Treatment and Research Act (H.R.4880). The letter notes that prostate cancer is the number one cancer diagnosed in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Recent studies have reported more than 500,000 veterans are living with prostate cancer and are receiving treatment within VHA. Over 16,000 of those have metastatic disease with more than 15,000 new diagnoses annually. The need to standardize treatment across the VHA by implementing a comprehensive system-wide prostate cancer clinical pathway.
Studies have shown that prostate cancer develops more frequently in men exposed to Agent Orange. The VHA has established it is a presumptive condition thus qualifying exposed veterans for full disability benefits. New data supports a link between prostate cancer and exposure to jet fuel (JP-8), cadmium, and aircraft component cleaning solvents.
The need to enhance research for this disease is clear as the number of diagnosed veterans continues to rise. The legislation requires the VHA to establish a clinical pathway for prostate cancer and to expand VHA research efforts related to screening, diagnosis and treatment options. The VHA must promote veteran prostate cancer awareness, standardization of diagnosis and treatment, expanded educational resources and continued research.
Members are urged to go to the FRA Action center to ask their Representative to support this legislation.
Blue Water Navy – Nehmer
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will readjudicate claims for Veterans who served in the offshore waters of the Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
This review is part of the Veterans Benefits Administration’s implementation of the November 5, 2020, U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California decision to readjudicate previously denied claims as applied in Nehmer vs. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Veterans who were previously denied service connection for an herbicide related presumptive condition due to lack of in-country Vietnam service will automatically have their claims readjudicated.
Readjudication means VA will review the evidence of record and provide replacement decisions in the cases of Veterans who were previously denied service connection for one or more herbicide related conditions on the basis that military service was not performed on the landmass of the Republic of Vietnam or on its inland waterways. This review will also apply to eligible survivors of deceased Vietnam era Veterans.VA is dedicated to ensuring all Veterans receive the benefits they have earned.
VA ensures that we have the proper resources in place to meet the needs of the Veteran community. Eligible survivors of deceased Veterans may also benefit from the policy and may be eligible for benefits based on the Veterans’ service.
Veterans who have a condition caused by herbicide exposure during military service can learn more about Agent Orange exposure at this website.
VA Extends Gulf War Presumption
The Department of Veterans Affairs has extended the presumptive period to Dec. 31, 2026, for qualifying chronic disabilities rated 10 percent or more, resulting from undiagnosed illnesses in veterans from the Persian Gulf War. This is meant to ensure the benefits established by Congress are fairly administered.
If an extension of the current presumptive period was not implemented, service members whose conditions arise after Dec. 31, 2021, would be substantially disadvantaged compared to service members whose conditions manifested at an earlier date.
Limiting entitlement to benefits due to the expiration of the presumptive period would be premature given that current studies remain inconclusive as to the cause and time of onset of illnesses suffered by Persian Gulf War veterans.
The VA presumes certain medically unexplained illnesses are related to Persian Gulf War service without regard to cause, including, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, functional gastrointestinal disorders. Also included are undiagnosed illnesses with symptoms that may include but are not limited to abnormal weight loss, cardiovascular disease, muscle and joint pain, headache, menstrual disorders, neurological and psychological problems, skin conditions, respiratory disorders, and sleep disturbances.
Persian Gulf War veterans who are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and other unexplained medical issues are encouraged to file a claim.