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To all Vietnam Veterans with eye cancers:
I've won my case against the VA.
Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences’ comprehensive evaluation of scientific and medical information regarding the health effects of exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used in Vietnam
This is the VA's primary document used to determine Agent Orange related claims.
The study makes the case that herbicide exposure is NOT the cause of eye cancers. In doing so, it supplies the evidence I needed to defeat the VA’s denials of my Ocular Melanoma claim.
This “smoking gun” evidence is one sentence long and has been in plain sight since the report on Agent Orange, under the direction of Congress in 1991, was first published:
Under “Cancers of the Eye and Orbit”- page 423:
“Some analyses of the Australian Vietnam veterans showed excess risk, but it was probably due to excess exposure to UV radiation, which was not adjusted for.”
Four important points about this statement that will help you win your case:
1. The word “probably” more than satisfies the VA’s “at least as likely as not” requirement.
2. Ultra Violet radiation is the only known risk for eye cancers. No other risk has been discovered, proposed or assumed. The VA has no room to argue other possible causes.
3. The Australian study cited is one of the largest and most comprehensive studies ever made on Vietnam Veteran health issues. Any factors not accounted for, such as cancer victims being farmers (who are also at increased risk) are insignificant due to the huge sample size, exceeding 100,000 individuals.
4. If you served in Vietnam, complained of headaches or other UV related symptoms while in country, you have the same proof I had. In my case, our CO refused to let us wear sunglasses. For whatever reason, this "Hollywood Marine" phobia was common among the upper ranks.
This single sentence, a letter from my physician and the order from an obsessive sunglass fearing Colonel was all the evidence I needed to win my case. It will work for you as well.
But I have 2 questions as the AO issue has been the most important one of my life, long before I had any dogs in the fight.......
1. I assume melanoma was the only diagnosis and your eye cancer was not one of the Presumptive Soft Tissue cancers under AO regulations: right?
Types of Soft Tissue Sarcoma
No time requirement (veteran qualifies no
Alveolar Soft Part
matter when this disease first appears).
Clear Cell Sarcoma of Aponeuroses
Clear Cell Sarco
ma of Tendons and
Epithelioid and Glandular Malignant
Malignant Fibrous Histiocytom
"2.”Under “Cancers of the Eye and Orbit”- page 423:
The word “probably” more than satisfies the VA’s “at least as likely as not” requirement. “
You succeeded very well on that point but many veterans ,who provide VA with an Independent medical opinion that uses the word “probably”, get denied because VA can consider that word as too speculative....unless the opinion contains a very strong medical rationale.
Question 2 :so I assume and could be wrong that
“This single sentence, a letter from my physician and the order from an obsessive sunglass fearing Colonel was all the evidence I needed to win my case. It will work for you as well.”
I assume that your physician gave a very strong rationale in their opinion for the LV cause without stating as likely as not ???? am I getting this correctly?
WOW Veteran ..... you did your homework on this!!!!!!
This is the type of endeavor our member Kurt Priessman did, to become the very first AO Thailand vet and his extensive research not only has helped many more AO Thailand vets but also the VA had to define an AO Thailand criteria that many Thailand vets can prove they fall under to receive AO comp. He went through every report from Operation Ranch Hand to the Alvin Young stuff on AO....many times....and he even won at a RO level.....
GOOD for you! Highly Commendable.!
Hard work pays off.
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