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    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

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Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Larynx


I had biopsies done last Thurs at the VAMC in Iowa City. The vocal chords was negative but what they call the false vocal chord in the fold was Squamous-Cell Carcinoma of the Larynx.

They are going to call me tomorrow for arrangements for me to get there and get a CT scan to determine the size and whether it has spread to my lymph node glands or lungs.

The question I have is whether or not this falls in to the Presumptive AO conditions.

I see where they have one that is "Respiratory Cancers (cancer of the lung, bronchus, larynx, or trachea)" and also "Soft Tissue Sarcoma (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi's Sarcoma, or mesothelioma)."

Does the cancer I have fit in the Respiratory Cancer or Soft Tissue Sarcoma?

Is the type of cancer I have presumptive condition for AO claim?

After the CT scan they will know more about what type of treatment I will need. I plan to get a copy of the diagnosis and submit a claim but my claims have taken so long to get to the rating board where they are currently pending. If I do submit the AO claim under presumptive, will it delay my claims that have been pending for almost three years and with the rater as I was told yesterday?

The diagnosis from the VA in Iowa City is all I should need to file claim for it right?

Where do I find this type cancer diagnostic codes in the 38CFR4 that will show the rating percentage for it?

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Rocky, I am currently in remission from cancer of the throat whitch involved my larynx.

I'm currently rated at 30% for hoarness ! You do have a good A/O claim!

If you get radation be sure and file for hyprothyriodism also.

I was in treatment for over a year before i found out I was eligable to file . My initial claim took nine months. I have filed for the residules . Started that claim in june 05 ! The delay is my on dumb fault for not under standing the system and a vso that was just as dumb ! Do the research. Become the most knowlegable person about your claim . No one is going to care more about your claim than you .

Here is some title 38 codes that i felt related to my case:

6516 Laryngitis, chronic: Hoarseness, with thickening or nodules of cords, polyps, 30 submucous infiltration, or pre-malignant changes on biopsy Hoarseness, with inflammation of cords or mucous membrane.. 10

6520 Larynx, stenosis of, including residuals of laryngeal trauma (unilateral or bilateral): Forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV-1) less than 40 100 percent of predicted value, with Flow-Volume Loop compatible with upper airway obstruction, or; permanent tracheostomy.............................................. FEV-1 of 40- to 55-percent predicted, with Flow-Volume Loop 60 compatible with upper airway obstruction.................. FEV-1 of 56- to 70-percent predicted, with Flow-Volume Loop 30 compatible with upper airway obstruction.................. FEV-1 of 71- to 80-percent predicted, with Flow-Volume Loop 10 compatible with upper airway obstruction.................. Note: Or evaluate as aphonia (DC 6519

6521 Pharynx, injuries to: Stricture or obstruction of pharynx or nasopharynx, or; 50 absence of soft palate secondary to trauma, chemical burn, or granulomatous disease, or; paralysis of soft palate with swallowing difficulty (nasal regurgitation) and speech impairment.........................................

7203 Esophagus, stricture of: Permitting passage of liquids only, with marked impairment of 80 general health............................................... Severe, permitting liquids only............................... 50 Moderate...................................................... 30

7903 Hypothyroidism Cold intolerance, muscular weakness, cardiovascular 100 involvement, mental disturbance (dementia, slowing of thought, depression), bradycardia (less than 60 beats per minute), and sleepiness...................................... Muscular weakness, mental disturbance, and weight gain........ 60 Fatigability, constipation, and mental sluggishness........... 30 Fatigability, or; continuous medication required for control.. 10

7346 Hernia hiatal: Symptoms of pain, vomiting, material weight loss and 60 hematemesis or melena with moderate anemia; or other symptom combinations productive of severe impairment of health....... Persistently recurrent epigastric distress with dysphagia, 30 pyrosis, and regurgitation, accompanied by substernal or arm or shoulder pain, productive of considerable impairment of health....................................................... With two or more of the symptoms for the 30 percent evaluation 10 of less severity.............................................

Each case is very different so don't let these scare you. Just follow your medical records closely.

I'm afraid that if you currently have a claim in for something else it can be delayed !

I'm sure i forgot something and i know you still have lots of questions that i'll try to help you answer.The people on this board are very knowledgeable about the claims system , so mkeep asking.

I hope this helps.

I'm told that I should have my new rating by mid nov.


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Hi again -since you asked, I will try to explain - I am no expert and won't go into alot of details. I just reply by my experience - I had vocal cord squamous cell cancer - I was diagnosed in late Dec 05 - I had no idea about filing a claim. By early Jan, I just was surfing the web and found info on presumptive AO conditions. I saw respiratory cancer with larynx listed so I decided to go ahead and file - found the e-file Vonapp and just did it mid Jan. No help just my decision. If I had known better, would have filed immediately in Dec and got anonther month in, but it was okay - anyway just lucky to find info.

Claim was awarded 100% Aug 07 - I got retro pay from Jan thru JuJy quickly - one thing I would advise, if you have dependents make sure to file forms for them to be included - it took along time to get the additional for my dependent daughter whom attends university full time.

I had radiation treatments - 36 in all - late Jan thru early March - 5 days a week - the initial fitting of a mask was a bummer - after that its just short and quick radiation of neck every weekday. Hope you have nice technicians like I did - they were always friendly and understanding.

Thats about all I can tell you - I just want you to know that I am okay now (hopefully). But there are residuals - I have some hoarseness and dysphagia - those are now rated 10% each - hated to lose the 100% but hope no more cancer - overall, received 100% for a year and half.

BTW as far as I know your cancer is in larynx so thats the slam-dunk ha ha. Take care and good luck to you.

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Hey Berta!

We must be connected at the HIP. I downloaded the very same BVA case last night. I was up practically all night researching everything I could on Squamous-Cell Carcinoma and VA entitlements.

Here's what I found out.

1) All Larynx cancer is Squamous-Cell Carcinoma and is not considered "Soft Tissue Sarcoma" Both Basal Cell and Squamous-Cell Carcinomas do not fall in the Soft Tissue Sarcoma categories as other skin cancers do such as melanoma.

2. The 38CFR3.307 list the presumtive conditions for AO. Larynx Cancer which is non other than Squamous-Cell Carcinoma in the larynx in lieu of the out skin, head, face, or neck. Therefore under presumtive diseases, larynx cancer is listed in () under Presumtive Respiratory Conditions.

3. The leading causes (highest incidence) of the SC Carcinoma is due to being over 55 yrs old, male, smoker, alcohol, sun exposure, UV exposer, and exposure to herbicides, nickel, and asbestos.

4. I doubt very seriously the VAMC would make a statement as to the exact cause. But I do feel the Onocologist will make a statement that it is "At least as likely as not" the the Carcinoma is due to military exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam. I also spent two 6 month tours aboard old Navy Ships of the Gator Fleet back in 1966 and 1967, namely very old AKAs and APAs. So there is also a chance I could have gotten it from asbestos exposure as well as AO, or smoking, being over 55, I do not drink alcohol at all, and my throat close to my voice box definitely has not been in a tanning bed or exposed to UV rays. To me, I should win my presumptive claim in the least under the "reasonable doubt rule", meaning "As likely as not contracted the SC Carcinoma from AO.

5. From what I understand with VA and cancer is they award you 100% for a couple years and then reduce the amount of compensation after remission and treatment for the cancer to just the residuals......normally 10% as the BVA decision shows, or if one of the residuals is hoarsness, then 30%. But from what I gather as long as you have cancer of the larynx and it is being treated and you still have it, you still get 100% until it goes into remission... Am I correct about that?

Ronn, Thanks for all the good info buddy. I really would love to be in remission myself and I really don't know what's ahead of me at this stage of the game since I just found out yesterday that I had larynx cancer. The VA is supposed to contact me the doctor said and give me and appointment and set everything up for CT and PET scans so they can provide a plan of treatment based on the density, size, and whether it has spread to other parts of my body.

What I saw in my throat was just a small spot, that was a lot lighter color on my vocal fold. It was smooth just like the rest of the flesh in the back of my throat, just a small circle smaller than a dime that was a whitish yellow in color. That's the spot that had the Squamous-Cell Carcinoma. I am hoping they can just freeze it off and that it is just at the top of the outer skin and hasn't traveled.

Wish me luck all and pray for me please too!

Thanks everybody.

Oh Berta...PS: Since I've been told that the VARO has made decision on my claims currently at the rating board on 19 July 2007, but was then given to a second rater on 24 August, 2007 for second opinion.....will the VA rescend their decision and put my claims and folder back in the develpment stage because of larynx cancer claim. The second rater has had my claim for a second opinion for almost 60 days and is close I feel to finishing up my claims that have been pending for almost 3 years.

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