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VA Follow-Up Question on A.O. Prostate Cancer

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Max Rommel

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Hey everyone, first time here with HadIt under new management. I wish them the  best running this important veteran resource.

I was diagnosed with Agent Orange prostate cancer three years ago. I was approved almost immediately by the VA for a 100% disability rating. My cancer has not been treated yet because my doctor (private practice) is following me with "active surveillance." He runs periodic tests (biopsies, MRI's, etc.) but treatment, such as surgery or radiation is postponed because my cancer is growing so slowly. The VA recognizes active surveillance and is ok with it. During this active surveillance phase of care the VA continues to pay me at the 100% rating.

My question is: The VA has not been in touch with me for three years. I was under the impression that they would be checking my lab PSA numbers and periodically following up on the status of my cancer. But I have heard nothing. I am 77 years old and wonder if my age has something to do with it. I have read that the VA begins to back off once a veteran reaches 75. I am aware that if and when my cancer is treated and the PSA numbers return to normal, that the VA may reduce my disability percentage. If that's their policy I'm fine with it. But I just think it's strange that I don't hear a thing from them.

Any thoughts? Thanks for your interest and help.

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Its not unusual for VA to neglect this.  My advice?

Begin saving up a good portion of your VA disability check, because they could call for a reexam any time, and, if your cancer is asymptomatic, (no symptoms) then you could be reduced.  I agree that at 77 you are fairly safe, and that is likely the reason you have not been called in for a (possible reduction) re exam.  

The regulations suggest, when you have been rated 5 years, without changes, your condition is considered "stable", and you benefit from https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/38/3.344

Note, Item C, in the regulation cited above.  VA treats "permanent and total" differently than. a temp rating, and 5 years is an important milestone (5 years from your effective date of rating).  

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To Answer some of you questions. The VA considers the fact that you 70 in determining to review you. If you are 55 or older they will probably not review you. Because you are an Agent Orange vet with  prostate cancer you are assumed to be service connected. What this means is you do not have to prove your case to the VA for your prostate cancer. The new PACT ACT has expanded it. They will probably not reviewed you unless you get better. You're approaching the 5 year rule mark that will make it harder for them to review you. (5,10, & 20 year rule) unless something really coms up with some other services connected injuries or illness associated with your prostate cancer I would do nothing. 

 

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