Veterans who struggle with cancer may be eligible for compensation from the VA

By Michael Bartlett

Posted on January 28th, 2021

It is important to know that numerous malignant diseases occur in veterans as a consequence of exposure to toxic agents during active duty. This category of veterans is eligible for disability compensation from the VA, which they can obtain by filing a claim with the assistance of a law firm specializing in this area of practice.

Every year, approximately 40,000 veterans receive a cancer diagnosis, but the prevalence of malignant diseases among this demographic may be higher, since these are only the veterans who are in the VA healthcare system. However, it is important to know that numerous malignant diseases occur in veterans as a consequence of exposure to toxic agents during active duty. This category of veterans is eligible for disability compensation from the VA, which they can obtain by filing a claim. Nevertheless, because the process is complex and tedious, requesting the assistance of a law firm that specializes in toxic exposure cases is strongly recommended. Since pertinent evidence supporting the causal relation between toxic exposure and cancer must accompany the disability claim, the help of a lawyer who has vast experience and knowledge in this area of practice is necessary to obtain the maximum compensation available from the VA.

What toxic agents present in the military are responsible for cancer among veterans?

There were numerous harmful substances members of the military were exposed to during the last century, whether when they were fighting in a war or when they were stationed at a military base. It is worthy of note that only in rare cases toxic exposure results in a malignant disease immediately, since cancer that occurs as a consequence of inhalation or ingestion of one or multiple harmful chemicals is insidious and usually takes several decades to develop. For instance, asbestos exposure is known to lead to cancer within 20 to 50 years following the first contact of the person in question with this carcinogenic mineral. Nonetheless, asbestos is just one of the many toxic agents members of the military would frequently come in contact with during active duty. The following are some of the most common dangerous agents, exposure to which may result in cancer, present in the U.S. military during the last century:

  • silica dust
  • depleted uranium
  • benzene
  • polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Agent Orange
  • mustard gas
  • trichloroethylene
  • industrial solvents
  • lewisite
  • perchlorate
  • lead
  • tabun
  • atropine
  • PFOS and PFOA
  • chromium
  • ionizing radiation
  • vinyl chloride
  • soman

Because of the large number of toxic agents present in the military during the last century, it is nearly impossible that a veteran has not been exposed to at least one. Thereby, veterans who came to struggle with cancer are strongly encouraged to contact a law firm that specializes in toxic exposure cases, which will provide legal assistance in filing a VA disability claim, as well as a personal injury claim, if applicable. Eventually, the liable parties will be held accountable for their negligent or purposefully harmful actions. The legal experts of the law firm will determine which hazardous substances the veteran was exposed to while on active duty, depending on factors such as the time period they served in, the locations they were stationed at and the military ships or submarines they were present on, in the case of U.S. Navy veterans.

What are the most common malignant diseases in veterans?

According to the VA, there are some cancers that are more prevalent among veterans, since exposure to certain toxic agents is very likely to result in a malignant disease over the years. The median age of diagnosis is 65, which confirms that harmful chemicals take several decades to cause a malignant disease. Once the toxic agent enters the body, it may travel to various organs and tissues through the bloodstream, where it will gradually cause inflammation and irritation, symptoms which will ultimately lead to the development of cancer. The following are the most prevalent cancers in veterans:

  • prostate cancer (29%)
  • lung cancer (18%)
  • bronchial cancer (18%)
  • colorectal cancer (8%)
  • melanoma (4%)
  • kidney cancer (4%)
  • bladder cancer (3%)
  • liver cancer (3%)
  • bile duct cancer (3%)

It is worthy of note that veterans account for 30% of mesothelioma patients, a cancer that develops on the outer lining of the lungs. However, it can also occur on the outer lining of the heart, abdomen and testicles. The only known cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is a very aggressive cancer, as the average life expectancy of the sufferer is 19 to 21 months when the disease affects the lungs. While mesothelioma can be kept under control with treatment such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, it is often found in advanced stages, when treatment is no longer a viable option.

If you are a veteran who suffers from cancer, please contact our law firm

In the unfortunate event that you received a cancer diagnosis as a veteran, we strongly encourage you to reach out to our legal team, as we specialize in toxic exposure cases and our experts will be able to pinpoint the hazardous substances that are responsible for your suffering. With over 25 years of experience in providing quality legal assistance to victims of toxic exposure, including thousands of veterans, our law firm will help you recover the financial compensation you deserve from the VA, as well as from any other liable party. Our attorneys will file a personal injury claim on your behalf and a VA disability claim so that you can benefit from the maximum compensation available for your diagnosis. If you are a veteran who struggles with cancer, chances are that your disease is the result of toxic exposure. Therefore, we advise you to contact our legal team at your earliest convenience for a free of charge case review. Eventually, you will obtain the financial compensation you deserve for your physical and emotional distress. For additional information, do not hesitate to contact our law firm and we will gladly answer your questions and address your concerns.