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Agent Orange Linked to Kidney Cancer: Study

May 16, 2011

Agent Orange Linked to Kidney Cancer: Study

There appears to be a link between Agent Orange and kidney cancer in U.S. veterans exposed to the herbicide in Vietnam, a new study suggests. Researchers at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Shreveport, La. examined the records of 297 patients diagnosed with kidney cancer between 1987 and 2009. Thirteen of the patients, aged 39 to 63 when they were diagnosed, said they had been exposed to Agent Orange.

Documented exposure to the herbicide and pathology reports were available for 10 of the patients.

The researchers reviewed these patients' age at diagnosis, tumor size, side of lesion, pathology and survival. Nine of the 10 patients had clear-cell cancers, which typically have worse outcomes than papillary tumors, which appeared in one patient. One patient had both clear-cell and papillary cancers.

During the average follow-up of 54 months, four patients developed metastatic cancer and one patient died from his cancer.

The findings were presented Saturday during a special news conference at the American Urological Association (AUA) annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Research presented at meetings should be viewed as preliminary because it has not been subjected to the peer review that typically accompanies publication in a medical journal.

"We know that the chemicals in Agent Orange were extremely toxic, and are known to cause cancer," press conference moderator Dr. Anthony Y. Smith said in an AUA news release.  "These data indicate that we may need to better determine whether exposure to these chemicals should be considered a risk factor for kidney cancer."


Legacy of Our Veterans' Military Exposures
  1. Dominic J Mega Reply

    I served in 69 and 70 and I Corps with the hundred first airborne 3rd Brigade air Cav. I had my right kidney removed due to renal carcinoma and 2015. I suspect Agent Orange as the cause but have been denied compensation by the VA. I am appealing.

  2. Robert Kauffman Reply

    Vietnam 67/68 clear cell rcc 2011
    Left kidney removed . Stage 3
    2012 rcc left lung. On forth denial.
    Have other problems as well.

  3. Bobbie Reply

    Can it cause kidney cancer in Vietnam vets kids?

    • admin Reply

      Bobbie, the only cancer in the children of male Vietnam veterans linked to Agent Orange is childhood leukemia. Later there was a study that did not support this finding so I am not sure if it is even true any longer. As for birth defects in the children of male Vietnam veterans, spina bifida is the only one linked to exposure to Agent Orange. Currently there is legislation before Congress would establish within the Department of Veterans Affairs a national center for the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions of the descendants of veterans exposed to toxic substances during service in the Armed Forces. You can find links to ACT NOW here>>>

  4. Robert youngberg Reply

    I was in Lai Khe Vietnam with the 1st Infantry Division RECON from 6/67 to 6/68 and 5 bro’s of our platoon from that time period of 67-68 have had a Kidney removed & the 6th now reports Kidney problems. Mine was removed in August 2000 and the Urologist who removed mine said that when I was coming out of anesthesia that I was Wild and it was like I was in Combat. Then when we discussed this and the Agent Orange issue came up, it dawned on him that there were a lot of Vietnam Veterans who had a Cancerous Kidney Removed by him. He wrote twice to the VA for my claim stating the facts and Just Now 1/2013 after all these years, the Appeals board has C&P appointments for the Remanded decision of the Washington DC Board. < Jupp, it went that far and I was "Drilled" before the Judge. Wish me Luck Bro's as to get Renal Cancer permanently listed on the A O List. All the Best, Bob

    • Robert youngberg Reply

      I just reviewed my Data Base of RECON and 4 others have kidney problems & some others have Bladder Cancer not forgetting those with prostate Cancer.

    • admin Reply

      Dear Robert,

      Thank you for your comment. Good Luck!!
      Our Best – Sharon & Dee, Founders of Agent Orange Legacy

    • Ed Myers Reply

      What was the outcome of your appeal? I served with the 2/2 out of Lai Khe at the same time. Lost my kidney in 2007 to clear cell cancer, and just submitted a claim.

  5. alvin thomas Reply

    MICHAEL put in a claim to VA for your condition>

  6. Micheal Sion Reply

    I am a 63 year veteran stationed in Viet Nam in 1970.  I was assigned to the 14th Areal Port at Cam Rahn Bay as a transportation specialist.  On September  of this year I was diagnosed with kidney cancer, clear cell carcinoma.  I have also been diagnosed a diabetic. I have perifial neuropathy in my lower legs and hands.  Agent Orange was widely used during my stay and I believe is solely responsible for the conditions I suffer.  Any advise will be appreciated.

    • admin Reply

      Dear Michael,

      Thank you for your service and sacrifice to our country. I’m sorry to hear you have so many health issues but at the same time it is not unusual. I lost my husband to AO in 2005. He has many different illnesses also. We have a closed support group on facebook if you are interested you are welcome to join us. Here is the link: There also is a great group on Yahoo for veterans where you can get advice about benefits and claims as well as other AO related issues. Here is a link to that group: Be sure to get copies of your medical records from the VA so you know exactly what is really in your file. There is a discussion in our support group now about peripheral neuropathy you might find useful. If you get stuck and don’t know where to turn writing your Senator or Representative usually is helpful. I had to do this for my husband on many different occasions. Sincerely, Sharon L. Perry, Founder

  7. Edward Lucas Reply

    I'am a Vietnam Veteran- diagnosed and had a kidney removed in September 2010. Served between 1965 – 1966, 1st Infantry Division- combat in the III Corps and various other locations.

    • Robert Youngberg Reply

      Hey Lukas Welcome Home, I Have had an appeal in for 2 years now for kidney Cancer. I am the last alive of the 4 of us who had our kidney removed and served together in the 1st division in LaiKhe. One other is struggling the after effects of Chemo but not removal to the Renal organs.

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