Protecting our veterans' children
Legacy of Our Veterans' Military Exposures
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Protecting our veterans' children™

High Cancer Rates for Vietnam Veterans

May 13, 2011

High Cancer Rates for Vietnam Veterans

Our nation’s veterans not getting the service connected benefits rightfully due to them when they are diagnosed with cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange.

With pancreatic and brain cancer rates 5 to 7 times higher than the civilian populations and lung cancer twice the rate in veterans that served in country according to the mortality study issued by The Department of Veterans’ Affairs Canberra Nov. 1997.

The VA and statistical communities do not track or have registries specific to the veteran population. In fact the VA is not required to report cancer to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance Epidemiology End Result or SEER, the nation’s statistical tracking program for cancer.

This under reporting and miscoding results in our nation’s veterans not getting the service connected benefits rightfully due to them when they are diagnosed with cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange. An easy and inexpensive way to track cancer in veterans is through social security numbers.

In an email I received form Aaron Schneiderman director of the VA’s epidemiology department, the VA is not tracking the rate of brain cancer in Vietnam Veterans. The widows and families of are asking the Veteran’s Affairs to track and report all cancers to the SEER and to service connect all cancers that are a result of Agent Orange exposure.


Image created by Danielle Reyes for AO Legacy

Legacy of Our Veterans' Military Exposures
  1. Shari Reply

    My dad was diagnosed with metastatic liver cancer on November 29, 2012. He died on March 11, 2013. Official cause of death on his death certificate was pancreatic cancer. He had diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease (double by-pass surgery in 2007). He was in Da Nang, Vietnam from 1966-67. I know his exposure to Agent Orange has everything to do with this. The VA paid for all of his diabetic care so they admitted the Agent Orange was the cause. The pancreas is directly related to the diabetes so I’m thinking the cancer must be related to the Agent Orange. I’m learning so much about this as I read on the Internet. My daddy was a Marine and he NEVER bad-mouthed his country even though he knew he was dying as result of his service. He exemplified the Marine motto- SEMPER FI!!

  2. Mary Reply

    A google search "agent orange" "pancreatic cancer" brought me to this website…..I am on the and the question keeps coming up from family members of Vietnam vets – is there a correlation with pancreatic cancer and their service in Vietnam?  We are at a loss on WHY there are so many of us seeking answers as we watch our love ones suffer to the end.  Please someone respond and give me some websites with answers.

  3. Saul Barrocas Reply

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  4. Tricia L Perkins Reply

    My father fought for our country just like many others, I can relate to all these posts.  I'm fighting to keep my father alive and now I'm being told by his Dr that he has lived his life expectancy!  WHAT, if it wasn't for our government he would be running circles around our 18 year olds at 75.  He hasn't out lived his life, he served a government that was ruthless.  Damn those men that ordered the Agent Orange.  GRRRRRR & TEARS but still fighting

    • admin Reply

      Tricia, I certainly understand your frustration. I know what your going through because I’ve been through it with my husband. He died in 2005 at the age of 56. We have a support community where you can connect with other adult children of Vietnam veterans, Viet vets, wives, widows, etc.

  5. Debra Lowery Reply

    sorry I typed too fast in emotion & anger…please correct my spelling errors!!

  6. Debra Lowery Reply

    My dad's proudest moments was his service and when he married and had his girls…meanwhile…THEY took him away froom his girls!! I hate them!! ANd they do not even admit all illnesses then agent orgage caused the kids of the Viet Vets…so we suffer and suffer over and over..and get lies to..over and over again!!! GRRRR!!! but more tears than anger…

    • admin Reply

      I know Debra how awful this has all been on the adult children/grandchildren who have been effected. Remember there are others on the support community go through what you are and many willing to be supportive when you need a helping hand. We will be there for you in anyway we can. It’s okay to be angry too. I know I have been. I keep trying to resolve it best I can and move forward and turn it into something positive. xox

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