Linking Eye Cancer to Service In Vietnam


My Ocular Melanoma has been service connected.   And this is the unimpeachable evidence I used to prove my case:


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


You read that correctly.  It’s the primary document the VA uses to determine the validity of Agent Orange claims.


Before I get to the evidence, I'll need to explain something about the Veterans and Agent Orange study. The VA has eliminated the evidence I used by removing all data specific to cancers of the eye and orbit and combining them with brain cancer.

It’s natural for Veterans to use the latest update available when attempting to link herbicides with their cancer.


That's the bad news...


The good news is, it took the VA over 20 years to discover and eliminate the evidence.  The data specific to cancers of the eye and orbit are still in every update between 1991 and 2006.  And every word of it is still valid.

Unless the VA publishes new, valid, scientific data, contradicting the earlier evidence, the older data are as legally acceptable today as they were twenty years ago.  


So Download the 2006 update and go to page 423.  Your evidence is there, hiding in plain sight.


The Synthesis, half way down the page, states that (eye cancer) did not indicate significant increases in risk associated with herbicide exposure"


Agent Orange was not the cause of your cancer. However, the very next statement provides the "smoking gun" evidence proving service in Vietnam is in fact, the most likely cause of your eye cancer:

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.


The Australian Vietnam veteran study 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 eye cancer risk) are insignificant due to the study's huge sample size of over 100,000 individuals.  The words Probably due to equates to the VA's "more likely than not requirement and the fact that it's the VAs own data only makes it more legally binding.


You will get arguments, but as I write this (2015) Ultra Violet radiation is still the ONLY known risk for eye cancers. No other cause, probable or not, has been discovered, proposed or assumed.  The VA has no room to argue other possible causes.  If you have eye cancer, spent a year on the ground in Vietnam and you’re not a farmer by trade, your case is solid.


I submitted evidence of headaches relating to excessive sunlight while I was in Vietnam (Our CO had a no sunglasses allowed  "Hollywood Marine phobia, which I hear was common in the upper ranks).  However, my medical evidence was not considered in the VA's determination, so don’t assume you won’t win your case if you don’t have documented evidence.


A paranoid Colonel, the 2006 Veterans and Agent Orange update, an "as likely as not" letter from my physician and easily obtained data proving Ultra Violet Radiation is the ONLY known cause of eye cancer is what I used to win my case.


You’ll have no control over the absurd responses the VA will be sending you, but they won’t be able to make their case. All you have to do is stay strong, stand by your evidence and have fun responding to their unsupported and often side-splitting reasoning.  It’ll take time, but you WILL win.

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