agent orange and PCa

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caring wife
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 5/3/2010 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   
How does the VA determine if your prostate cancer was from agent orange?  Just wondering since my husband was a Vietnam vet but also has a strong family history of prostate cancer.

My husband is 60 years old.
RRP surgery April 14 2008
Gleason score 3 +4
PSA 6.8
Free PSA 6.5
Father and Grandfather had prostate cancer
Father is still alive..diagnosed with lymph node involement in 1993...He has received hormone therapy since then....just this year has bone mets.
Path report for my husband showed negative margins but extra prostatic extension.
First PSA done one month post surgery  results .04
PSA July 08 .04  Oct 08 .04  Jan 09  .04  April 09 .04


TSFFZ
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 5/3/2010 9:41 PM (GMT -6)   
If his DD214 says that he was a "boots on the ground" GI, prostate cancer is a presumptive condition. In short, if you were in country and develop PC later, it is assumed that Agent Orange is the cause. There is no evaluation to determine if there was any other cause, regardless of your husband's family history.

I've been there and done that.

Sonny3
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 2447
   Posted 5/4/2010 4:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Echo the above comments. I just got word of my approval yesterday. If your husband served "In Country" in Vietnam during the period 1962 through 1975 his PCa is presumed to be caused by exposure to Agent Orange.

It is a fairly simple procedure to file the claim for disability. Visit your local office for VA benefits and file a claim now. You can file an "Intent to File Claim" first which will lock in the filing date. Then file the complete claim as soon as you have all of the required documentation gathered together. By filing the Intent to File you establish the date that pay will be retro-active to when the claim is approved. PCa is an automatic 100% disability at first. Then you may be required for future follow up exams and if the PCa is gone further disability claims and levels of compensation are available for side effects such as incontinence and ED. These can range from 30% to 60% or more based on severity.

Important note, DO NOT FILE ONLINE. It is well know that the online claims are taking much longer to go through the process. Get together with your local VA office and fill out the forms, attach copies of all the required documentation and have them send it directly to the regional office. These claims seem to be going through the process faster. Mine took only four months from filing to approval.

Good luck, your husband served his country and now they are there to serve him. BTW, once approved, he now has access to all of the VA medical facilities and benefits should be need them. I understand that the prescription benefits alone are worth filing for disability. I plan to check that out soon.

Sonny
60 years old when diagnosed
PSA 11/07 3.0
PSA 5/09 6.4
Diagnosis confirmed July 9, 2009
12 Needle Biopsy = 9 clear , 3 postive
Gleason Score (3+4) 7 in all positive cores
da Vinci 9/17/09
Post Surgery Pathology: GS 4+3=7
Stage: T3a
Tumor Volume 12.5%
positive margin, extra-prostatic extension
30 day PSA 0.4, 50 day psa 0.53, 64 day psa 0.6
IMRT completed 1/15/10 35 treatments- 70Gy

2/24/10 FIRST POST RAD PSA 1.0---CARRRP --waiting for the next test.
3/22/10 Second Post RAD PSA 1.5 Dammmmnnn stubborn son of a gun
4/19/10 YAHOO PSA dropped to 1.2 Moving in the right direction.


60Michael
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2222
   Posted 5/4/2010 7:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Caring Wife,
Sonny said it all quite well. He should get 100% for awhile and since it appears he is once again getting HT TX that 100% should be continued. I have no history of cancer in my family at all but was around agent orange. Please do go thru your local VA rep as they are usually very good at getting claims processed. Good luck, but more importantly I hope your husbands cancer is contained.
Michael
Dx with PCA 12/08 2 out of 12 cores positive 4.5 psa
59 yo when diagnosed, 61 yo 2010
Robotic surgery 5/09 Atlanta, Ga
Catheter out after 10 days
Gleason upgraded to 3+5, volume less than 10%
2 pads per day, 1 depends but getting better,
 started ED tx 7/17, slow go
Post op dx of neuropathy
T2C left lateral and left posterior margins involved
3 months psa.01, 6 month psa.4, 6 1/2 month psa.5
Starting IMRT on 1/18/10, Completed 39 tx at 72 gys on 3/12/10
Great family and friends
Michael


Purgatory
Elite Member


Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25380
   Posted 5/4/2010 8:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I am in the middle of a VA claim for this, started it the end of last October. Sonny is right, do not attempt to file it yourself on line, even though you can. My local county VET office said that is the best way for it to get lost in the system. They handled my entire application for me at the local level. Good luck on that.

David in SC
Age: 57, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 7/08 12.3, 9/08 14.5, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 - 7/7 Positive, 40-90% Cancer, Gleason 4+3
Open RP: 11/08, Rht nerves saved, 4 days in hospt, on catheters for 63 days, 5th one out 1/09
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos margin
Incontinence:  1 Month     ED:  Non issue at any point post surgery, no problem post SRT
Post Surgery  PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, next one:  July
Latest: 7/9 met 2 rad. oncl, 7/9 cath #6 - blockage, 8/9 2nd corr surgery, 8/9 cath #7 out 38 days, 9/9 - met 3rd rad. oncl., mapped  9/9, 10/1 - 3rd corr. surgery - SP cath/hard dialation, 10/5 - 11/27 IMRT SRT 39 sess/72 gys ,cath #8 33 days, Cath #9 35 days, 12/7 - Cath #10 43 days, 1/19 - Corr Surgery #4,  Caths #11 and #12  same time, 2/8-Cath #11 out - 21 days, 3/2- Cath #12 out - 41 days, 3/2- Corr Surgery #5, 3/6 Cath #13 out - 4 days, Cath #14- 27 days, Cath #15 - 26 days, Cath #16 - 4/23 put in


caring wife
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 5/4/2010 2:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your imformation. Everyone is so smart at this site and so willing to share your knowledge.
My husband is 60 years old.
RRP surgery April 14 2008
Gleason score 3 +4
PSA 6.8
Free PSA 6.5
Father and Grandfather had prostate cancer
Father is still alive..diagnosed with lymph node involement in 1993...He has received hormone therapy since then....just this year has bone mets.
Path report for my husband showed negative margins but extra prostatic extension.
First PSA done one month post surgery  results .04
PSA July 08 .04  Oct 08 .04  Jan 09  .04  April 09 .04


John T
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4223
   Posted 5/4/2010 5:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I did it myself and it took about 9 months and a lot of follow up. go to a local Vet service and have them do it for you. You should get $1300/mo retroactive from date of application and until it is deemed cured.
JohnT

64 years old.

PSA rising for 10 years to 40, free psa 10-15. Had 5 urologists, 12 biopsies and MRIS all neg. Doctors DXed BPH and continue to get biopsies yearly. 13th biopsy positive in 10-08, 2 cores of 25, G6 less than 5%. Scheduled for surgery as recommended by Urological Oncologist.

2nd Opinion from Dr Sholtz, a Prostate Oncologist, said DX wrong, pathology shows indolant cancer, but psa history indicates large cancer or metastasis. Futher tests and Color Doppler confirmed large transition zone tumor that 13 biopsies and MRIS missed. G7, 4+3, approx 16mmX18mm.

Combidex MRI in Holland eliminated lymphnode mets. Casodex and Proscar reduced psa to 0.6 and prostate from 60mm to 32mm. Changed diet, no meat and dairy. All staging tests indicate that tumor is local and non agressive. (PAP, PCA3, MRIS, Color Doppler, Combidex, tumor reaction to diet and Casodex, and tumor location in transition zone). Surgery a poor option because tumor is located next to the urethea and positive margin is very likely; permanent incontenance is also high probability with surgery.

Seed implants on 5-19-09, 3 hours door to door, no pain, minor side affects are frequency and urgency; very controlable with Flowmax and lasted 4 weeks. Daily activities resumed day after implants with no restrictions. Gold markers implanted with seeds to guide IMRT.

25 treatments of IMRT 6 weeks after seed implants. No side affects at all.

PSA at end of treatment 0.02 mostly the result of Casodex. When I stop Casodex next week expect PSA to rise. Next PSA in November. Treatments and side affects have greatly exceeded my expectations. Glad to have this 11 year journey finally conclude.

JohnT


60Michael
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2222
   Posted 5/4/2010 6:41 PM (GMT -6)   
John
It sounds like they gave you about 60% as 100% is a lot more. Wonder why you got that rating?
Michael
Dx with PCA 12/08 2 out of 12 cores positive 4.5 psa
59 yo when diagnosed, 61 yo 2010
Robotic surgery 5/09 Atlanta, Ga
Catheter out after 10 days
Gleason upgraded to 3+5, volume less than 10%
2 pads per day, 1 depends but getting better,
 started ED tx 7/17, slow go
Post op dx of neuropathy
T2C left lateral and left posterior margins involved
3 months psa.01, 6 month psa.4, 6 1/2 month psa.5
Starting IMRT on 1/18/10, Completed 39 tx at 72 gys on 3/12/10
Great family and friends
Michael


John T
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 4223
   Posted 5/4/2010 7:02 PM (GMT -6)   
sorry, I meant $3100/mo. (Typo)
JT

64 years old.

PSA rising for 10 years to 40, free psa 10-15. Had 5 urologists, 12 biopsies and MRIS all neg. Doctors DXed BPH and continue to get biopsies yearly. 13th biopsy positive in 10-08, 2 cores of 25, G6 less than 5%. Scheduled for surgery as recommended by Urological Oncologist.

2nd Opinion from Dr Sholtz, a Prostate Oncologist, said DX wrong, pathology shows indolant cancer, but psa history indicates large cancer or metastasis. Futher tests and Color Doppler confirmed large transition zone tumor that 13 biopsies and MRIS missed. G7, 4+3, approx 16mmX18mm.

Combidex MRI in Holland eliminated lymphnode mets. Casodex and Proscar reduced psa to 0.6 and prostate from 60mm to 32mm. Changed diet, no meat and dairy. All staging tests indicate that tumor is local and non agressive. (PAP, PCA3, MRIS, Color Doppler, Combidex, tumor reaction to diet and Casodex, and tumor location in transition zone). Surgery a poor option because tumor is located next to the urethea and positive margin is very likely; permanent incontenance is also high probability with surgery.

Seed implants on 5-19-09, 3 hours door to door, no pain, minor side affects are frequency and urgency; very controlable with Flowmax and lasted 4 weeks. Daily activities resumed day after implants with no restrictions. Gold markers implanted with seeds to guide IMRT.

25 treatments of IMRT 6 weeks after seed implants. No side affects at all.

PSA at end of treatment 0.02 mostly the result of Casodex. When I stop Casodex next week expect PSA to rise. Next PSA in November. Treatments and side affects have greatly exceeded my expectations. Glad to have this 11 year journey finally conclude.

JohnT

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