Author Topic: Agent Orange and AN  (Read 5450 times)

clm714

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Agent Orange and AN
« on: July 10, 2011, 05:47:29 pm »
Is there any one who has had an AN that was exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam?  We are talking with VA about a possible connection for my husband.  I would appreciate any response if you were.  Thanks, clm714

Jim Scott

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Re: Agent Orange and AN
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2011, 10:47:11 pm »
To the best of my knowledge, the actual cause of acoustic neuroma development is unknown at this time.  I'm also unaware of any scientifically proven link between exposure to Agent Orange and acoustic neuroma development.  However, I'm not a doctor or scientist and I could be mistaken.  I wish your husband success in pursuing his claim. 

Jim
4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.

ppearl214

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Re: Agent Orange and AN
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 04:02:11 am »
Jim is absolutely correct as there are no known causes of AN's at this time.  There will be research going on, announced at this summer's ANA symposium, trying to understand the genetics of AN's, which was shared with us by Dr. Elizabeth Claus from Yale University/Brigham and Woman's Hospital (Boston).  This will be a 5-yr study and has yet to begin.  Many of us anxiously await its outcome as many of us have questioned over the years as to "how the heck did I develop this thing in our head?".

Best wishes to you both.
Phyl
"Gentlemen, I wash my hands of this weirdness", Capt Jack Sparrow - Davy Jones Locker, "Pirates of the Carribbean - At World's End"

nomadin

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Re: Agent Orange and AN
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 09:10:27 am »
 I am a Vietnam vet and registered with the VA for Agent Orange. I was diagnosed within 2 years of my discharge. It is interesting to me to find other vets with the same problem. I was told there was no connection to AN and agent Orange. It would be good to find out if there are other vets with AR so we could petition for a  reconsideration.  I wish you the besyt and please let me know if I can help

arizonajack

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Re: Agent Orange and AN
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 11:36:53 am »
Aren't you Viet Nam vets eligible for VA health care benefits?

I signed up in 2011. I have no service connected health issues so I pay small co-pays but the VA covered my Gamma Knife procedure last month.

3/23/15 12mm x 5.5mm x 4mm
3/13/14 12mm x 6mm x 4mm
8/1/13 14mm x 5mm x 4mm (Expected Swelling)
1/22/13 12mm x 3mm (Date of Gamma Knife)
10/10/12 11mm x 4mm x 5mm
4/4/12 9mm x 4mm x 3mm (Date Diagnosed).

My story at: http://www.anausa.org/smf/index.php?topic=18287.0

mikechinnock

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Re: Agent Orange and AN
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2013, 09:09:24 pm »
The only recognized cause of an AN is ionizing radiation. I was contaminated in service with a hot acidic solution of radioisotopes that resulted in 'Limited direct absorption' in my body of a full spectrum of alpha, beta and gamma emitters. The VA denied AN caused by ionizing radiation exposure. I seriously doubt VA will recognize AO as cause. Good luck if you choose to proceed, but be prepared to spend lots of time and money.
In the valley of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

TJ

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Re: Agent Orange and AN
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 09:11:20 pm »
I just went the the process of signing up and yes if you are a Viet Nam vet, you automatically are accepted for health benefits.  I was told to apply for disability because of agent orange.  When I talked with the VA, they only except 14 very defined illnesses for agent orange.  If you don't have one of the 14 you can not claim agent orange caused it.

You can find the list of the 14 on the web by doing a search on VA and agent orange.

TJ

nftwoed

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Re: Agent Orange and AN
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2013, 11:03:23 am »
Hi;  For an AN to develop, brain protein "Merlin" ( schwannomin ) must be temporarily interrupted. The protein is a schwannoma cell overproduction inhibitor. I don't know what causes Merlin to temporarily be absent or insufficient. Neither do researchers. The VA? "Pph" ... One might think $ help is coming straight from politicians pockets!

annamaria

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Re: Agent Orange and AN
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 07:29:42 pm »
Something from the 2010s versus the 1960s... (cell phones and cordless phones -- not info from Apple or AT&T!!)

An OR=1.81 (see below) is high!

Annamaria

= = = = =

Pathophysiology. 2012 Dec 20. pii: S0928-4680(12)00110-1. doi: 10.1016/j.pathophys.2012.11.001. [Epub ahead of print]

Use of mobile phones and cordless phones is associated with increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma.

Hardell L, Carlberg M, Hansson Mild K.


Source

Department of Oncology, University Hospital, SE-701 85 Örebro, Sweden. Electronic address: lennart.hardell@orebroll.se.


Abstract


The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) at WHO evaluation of the carcinogenic effect of RF-EMF on humans took place during a 24-31 May 2011 meeting at Lyon in France. The Working Group consisted of 30 scientists and categorised the radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from mobile phones, and from other devices that emit similar non-ionising electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF), as Group 2B, i.e., a 'possible', human carcinogen. The decision on mobile phones was based mainly on the Hardell group of studies from Sweden and the IARC Interphone study.

We give an overview of current epidemiological evidence for an increased risk for brain tumours including a meta-analysis of the Hardell group and Interphone results for mobile phone use.

Results for cordless phones are lacking in Interphone. The meta-analysis gave for glioma in the most exposed part of the brain, the temporal lobe, odds ratio (OR)=1.71, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.04-2.81 in the ≥10 years (>10 years in the Hardell group) latency group. Ipsilateral mobile phone use ≥1640h in total gave OR=2.29, 95% CI=1.56-3.37.

The results for meningioma were OR=1.25, 95% CI=0.31-4.98 and OR=1.35, 95% CI=0.81-2.23, respectively.

Regarding acoustic neuroma ipsilateral mobile phone use in the latency group ≥10 years gave OR=1.81, 95% CI=0.73-4.45. For ipsilateral cumulative use ≥1640h OR=2.55, 95% CI=1.50-4.40 was obtained.

Also use of cordless phones increased the risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma in the Hardell group studies. Survival of patients with glioma was analysed in the Hardell group studies yielding in the >10 years latency period hazard ratio (HR)=1.2, 95% CI=1.002-1.5 for use of wireless phones. This increased HR was based on results for astrocytoma WHO grade IV (glioblastoma multiforme). Decreased HR was found for low-grade astrocytoma, WHO grades I-II, which might be caused by RF-EMF exposure leading to tumour-associated symptoms and earlier detection and surgery with better prognosis. Some studies show increasing incidence of brain tumours whereas other studies do not.

It is concluded that one should be careful using incidence data to dismiss results in analytical epidemiology!!

The IARC carcinogenic classification does not seem to have had any significant impact on governments' perceptions of their responsibilities to protect public health from this widespread source of radiation!!

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Jim Scott

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Re: Agent Orange and AN
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2013, 05:07:57 pm »
Something from the 2010s versus the 1960s... (cell phones and cordless phones -- not info from Apple or AT&T!!)

An OR=1.81 (see below) is high!

Annamaria

= = = = =

Pathophysiology. 2012 Dec 20. pii: S0928-4680(12)00110-1. doi: 10.1016/j.pathophys.2012.11.001. [Epub ahead of print]

Use of mobile phones and cordless phones is associated with increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma.

Hardell L, Carlberg M, Hansson Mild K.


Source

Department of Oncology, University Hospital, SE-701 85 Örebro, Sweden. Electronic address: lennart.hardell@orebroll.se.


Abstract


The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) at WHO evaluation of the carcinogenic effect of RF-EMF on humans took place during a 24-31 May 2011 meeting at Lyon in France. The Working Group consisted of 30 scientists and categorised the radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from mobile phones, and from other devices that emit similar non-ionising electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF), as Group 2B, i.e., a 'possible', human carcinogen. The decision on mobile phones was based mainly on the Hardell group of studies from Sweden and the IARC Interphone study.

We give an overview of current epidemiological evidence for an increased risk for brain tumours including a meta-analysis of the Hardell group and Interphone results for mobile phone use.

Results for cordless phones are lacking in Interphone. The meta-analysis gave for glioma in the most exposed part of the brain, the temporal lobe, odds ratio (OR)=1.71, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.04-2.81 in the ≥10 years (>10 years in the Hardell group) latency group. Ipsilateral mobile phone use ≥1640h in total gave OR=2.29, 95% CI=1.56-3.37.

The results for meningioma were OR=1.25, 95% CI=0.31-4.98 and OR=1.35, 95% CI=0.81-2.23, respectively.

Regarding acoustic neuroma ipsilateral mobile phone use in the latency group ≥10 years gave OR=1.81, 95% CI=0.73-4.45. For ipsilateral cumulative use ≥1640h OR=2.55, 95% CI=1.50-4.40 was obtained.

Also use of cordless phones increased the risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma in the Hardell group studies. Survival of patients with glioma was analysed in the Hardell group studies yielding in the >10 years latency period hazard ratio (HR)=1.2, 95% CI=1.002-1.5 for use of wireless phones. This increased HR was based on results for astrocytoma WHO grade IV (glioblastoma multiforme). Decreased HR was found for low-grade astrocytoma, WHO grades I-II, which might be caused by RF-EMF exposure leading to tumour-associated symptoms and earlier detection and surgery with better prognosis. Some studies show increasing incidence of brain tumours whereas other studies do not.

It is concluded that one should be careful using incidence data to dismiss results in analytical epidemiology!!

The IARC carcinogenic classification does not seem to have had any significant impact on governments' perceptions of their responsibilities to protect public health from this widespread source of radiation!!

Annamaria ~

Over the years, the 'cell phones cause AN' premise has been discussed numerous times on these forums.  Because acoustic neuromas were first discovered over a century ago and many AN patients in modern times never used a cell phone. the supposed link between cell phones and acoustic neuromas appears tenuous, at best.  Added to that basis for skepticism is the fact that despite scientific studies, statistics can and often are manipulated by those who desire a specific outcome.  The phrase 'garbage in, garbage out' applies to all studies that reach a conclusion not easily verified. The CDC, FDA, FCC and the American Cancer Society have, in effect, stated that the weight of the current scientific evidence has not conclusively linked cell phone use with any adverse health problems, but more research is needed.

However, for those who are convinced, for whatever reason, that their cell phone 'caused' their AN to develop, they are certainly entitled to believe that, discard their cell phone and make their opinion know to all who care to listen.  Those who accept that point of view are, of course, free to do so.  Others are equally free to reject it.  Until more long range empirical evidence is presented by a wide variety of scientists and doctors proving that the regular use of a cell phone is a causal link to developing an acoustic neuroma, some of us will withhold making a judgement on this issue and continue to use a cell phone.

As for the government 'protecting' citizens from allegedly harmful cell phone radiation that is not substantially proven to exist and is subject to a host of variables e.g. type of phone, extent of usage, etc., I am not at all concerned.  Our U.S. government already intrudes far too much on the decisions and choices of its citizens.  We don't need more government interference that is always presented as, 'for our own good', of course.  This condescending attitude by politicians and government bureaucrats assumes that ordinary citizens like us are somehow mentally incapable of making sound choices, as in whether to cease using a cell phone - or not - based on often skewed and/or ambiguous evidence.  While this debate churns on and people who are interested take sides, most of us will quietly make our own choices whether to use or not use a cell phone, without the heavy hand of government imposing a decision on us. 

In time, should more conclusive scientific evidence come to light that proves a distinct connection between cell phone use and the development of an acoustic neuroma or any other brain tumor, most people will rapidly abandon using a cell phone while cell phone companies will scramble to find a way to protect users of their product and government will, quite likely, ban the use of cell phones unless they can be proven not to emit the weak radio waves that are currently accused of 'causing' cancer, ANs and other unpleasant things.     

Jim
4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.

ARCW2RVN70

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Re: Agent Orange and AN
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2013, 06:15:18 am »
I was Army pilot in Southern I-Corp, Chu Lai, Duc Pho, in 1970-71. Flew 5-10 Agent Orange spray missions.

Had AN surgery 5 1/2 years ago for good sized AN. Went well, lost rt sided hearing and balance nerve. And facial trigeminal weakness now on right side.

Thought I would approach VA for help with hearing aid, specifically my $4K BAHA, and maybe left regular, and was blown off as being "Category 8".  To much income.

Purple Heart, two Air Medals (one with V), Bronze Star be damned. I never asked for anything from VA before.

The VA is means testing since 2009, and assistance is no longer all that easy it appears. Looks like they will fight tooth and nail to avoid liability.

Further, found official AN claim for AO to VA in 2003 which they blew off. Said no connection.

suprahome

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Re: Agent Orange and AN
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2013, 10:01:13 am »
I was pilot viet nam and developed AN 13 years later surgical removal filed with VA turned down, since then have skin melanoma still VA says no guess we wait until we see what kills me then VA will not have any liability anyway, but feel there might be some connection with agent orange

fdaniel3

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Re: Agent Orange and AN
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2015, 08:03:27 pm »
I was also posted in Chu Lai and have had a large AN removed in 2006.  I have been watching the appeals to the VA and have noticed the following new one.  Here it is:
Citation Nr: 1435039   
Decision Date: 08/06/14    Archive Date: 08/20/14

DOCKET NO.  13-13 724   )   DATE
   )
   )

On appeal from the
Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office in Nashville, Tennessee


THE ISSUES

1.  Entitlement to service connection for a lung tumor, claimed as lung disease, to include as secondary to Agent Orange exposure. 

2.  Entitlement to service connection for a brain tumor, characterized as acoustic neuroma, to include as secondary to Agent Orange exposure. 


REPRESENTATION

Appellant represented by:   Disabled American Veterans


ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD

Mary-Caitlin Ray, Associate Counsel




INTRODUCTION

The Veteran served on active duty from June 1956 until March 1975. 

These claims come before the Board of Veterans' Appeals (Board) on appeal from a November 2011 rating decision of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Regional Office (RO) in Nashville, Tennessee. 

During the course of his appeal, the Veteran requested a hearing before the Board in Washington, DC.  In June 2014, the Veteran indicated that he wished to cancel his hearing request.  Thus, the hearing request is withdrawn.  See 38 C.F.R. § 20.704 (2013).

This appeal has been advanced on the Board's docket pursuant to 38 C.F.R. § 20.900(c).  38 U.S.C.A. § 7107(a)(2) (West 2002).

The appeal is REMANDED to the Agency of Original Jurisdiction (AOJ).  VA will notify the appellant if further action is required.


REMAND

Regrettably, the Board finds that further development is needed to adjudicate these claims. 

The Veteran contends that his brain and lung tumors are related to his active service, specifically to Agent Orange exposure during service in Vietnam. 

Service treatment records show that the Veteran was treated repeatedly for numbness of the hands and arms.  An August 2011 Agent Orange Memo indicates that the Veteran is presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange during active service.  Post-service treatment records show a diagnosis of an acoustic neuroma in July 1999.  Private treatment records from August 2002 show that the Veteran has a history of lung tumors, and a January 2006 private treatment record shows a left lung resection due to a fungal tumor.  As the Veteran has not been afforded VA examinations for these claimed disorders, the Board finds that he should be afforded a VA examination to determine whether these disorders are due to active service, to include exposure to Agent Orange.  McLendon v. Nicholson, 20 Vet. App. 79 (2006) (VA must provide a medical examination when it is necessary to decide the claim). 

Accordingly, the case is REMANDED for the following actions:

(Please note, this appeal has been advanced on the Board's docket pursuant to 38 C.F.R. § 20.900(c).  Expedited handling is requested.)

1.  Request that the Veteran provide sufficient information, and authorization, to enable VA to obtain any additional evidence (both VA and non-VA medical records), not already of record, which pertains to the claims on appeal. 

2.  Then, schedule the Veteran for a VA examination with the appropriate clinician to determine the nature and etiology of any brain tumors, to include an acoustic neuroma.  The claims file and a copy of this remand must be made available to the examiner in conjunction with the examination.  All appropriate tests and studies should be accomplished.  The examiner is requested to opine:

Whether it is at least as likely as not (i.e. a 50 percent or greater probability) that any brain tumors, to include acoustic neuroma were incurred in or as a result of the Veteran's active service, to include exposure to Agent Orange.  The examiner is requested to comment on findings of numbness and tingling in the Veteran's service treatment records. 

In rendering the requested opinion, the examiner should note that the Veteran's exposure to Agent Orange has been conceded.  The examiner should specifically consider and discuss the Veteran's contentions, the lay history of symptomatology, and all relevant medical evidence of record.  The clinician should explain the basis for any opinion and base the opinion on sufficient facts or data with reference to medical literature, if possible.
 
If the examiner cannot provide the requested opinions without resorting to speculation, it must be so stated, and the examiner must provide the reasons why an opinion would require speculation.  He/she should comment on whether an opinion could not be provided because the limits of medical knowledge have been exhausted or whether additional testing or information could be obtained that would lead to a conclusive opinion.  Jones v. Shinseki, 23 Vet. App. 382, 389 (2010). (The AOJ should ensure that any additional evidentiary development suggested by the examiner be undertaken so that a definite opinion can be obtained.)
 
3.  Schedule the Veteran for a VA examination with the appropriate clinician to determine the nature and etiology of his claimed lung disorder.  The claims file and a copy of this remand must be made available to the examiner in conjunction with the examination.  All appropriate tests and studies should be accomplished. The examiner is requested to opine:

a) Whether the Veteran has a current lung disorder;

b) and if so, whether it is at least as likely as not (i.e. a 50 percent or greater probability) that a lung disorder was incurred in or as a result of the Veteran's active duty service, to include exposure to Agent Orange.  In providing the requested opinions, the examiner should comment on medical records noting that the Veteran underwent a lung resection due to a fungus/fungal tumor. 

In rendering the requested opinion, the examiner should note that the Veteran's exposure to Agent Orange has been conceded.  The examiner should specifically consider and discuss the Veteran's contentions, the lay history of symptomatology, and all relevant medical evidence of record.  The clinician should explain the basis for any opinion and base the opinion on sufficient facts or data with reference to medical literature, if possible.

If the examiner cannot provide the requested opinions without resorting to speculation, it must be so stated, and the examiner must provide the reasons why an opinion would require speculation.  He/she should comment on whether an opinion could not be provided because the limits of medical knowledge have been exhausted or whether additional testing or information could be obtained that would lead to a conclusive opinion.  Jones v. Shinseki, 23 Vet. App. 382, 389 (2010). (The AOJ should ensure that any additional evidentiary development suggested by the examiner be undertaken so that a definite opinion can be obtained.)

4.  Then, readjudicate the claims.  If any decision remains adverse to the Veteran, issue a supplemental statement of the case and allow the appropriate time for response. Then, return the case to the Board.

No action is required of the Veteran until he is notified by the AOJ; however, the Veteran is advised that failure to report for any scheduled examination may result in the denial of his claims.  38 C.F.R. § 3.655 (2013).  He has the right to submit additional evidence and argument on the matter or matters the Board has remanded.  Kutscherousky v. West, 12 Vet. App. 369 (1999).

This claim must be afforded expeditious treatment.  The law requires that all claims that are remanded by the Board of Veterans' Appeals or by the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims for additional development or other appropriate action must be handled in an expeditious manner.  See 38 U.S.C.A. §§ 5109B, 7112 (West Supp. 2013).



_________________________________________________
Lesley A. Rein
Acting Veterans Law Judge, Board of Veterans' Appeals

Under 38 U.S.C.A. § 7252 (West 2002), only a decision of the Board of Veterans' Appeals is appealable to the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.  This remand is in the nature of a preliminary order and does not constitute a decision of the Board on the merits of your appeal.  38 C.F.R. § 20.1100(b) (2013).




james e

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Re: Agent Orange and AN
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2015, 02:17:12 pm »
I am a 69-70 Viet Nam vet. Never exposed to agent orange that  I know of. I flew in C123s and C7s that may transported it but that is also unknown.

I had radiation treatment on my head and throat as a young child for swollen adnoids. Had a  tumor on my thyroid removed about 15 years ago. When the Russian nuke power exploded, lots of people there developed thyroid tumors. I believe a recent study links a higher level of ANs to people who were exposed to radiation like I was at a young age. That may be where my thyroid tumor came from.

James

 


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