To all Vietnam Veterans with eye cancers:
I've won my case against the VA.
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
This is the VA's primary document used to determine Agent Orange related claims.
The study makes the case that herbicide exposure is NOT the cause of eye cancers. In doing so, it supplies the evidence I needed to defeat the VA’s denials of my Ocular Melanoma claim.
This “smoking gun” evidence is one sentence long and has been in plain sight since the report on Agent Orange, under the direction of Congress in 1991, was first published:
Under “Cancers of the Eye and Orbit”- page 423:
“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.”
Four important points about this statement that will help you win your case:
1. The word “probably” more than satisfies the VA’s “at least as likely as not” requirement.
2. Ultra Violet radiation is the only known risk for eye cancers. No other risk has been discovered, proposed or assumed. The VA has no room to argue other possible causes.
3. The Australian study cited 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 risk) are insignificant due to the huge sample size, exceeding 100,000 individuals.
4. If you served in Vietnam, complained of headaches or other UV related symptoms while in country, you have the same proof I had. In my case, our CO refused to let us wear sunglasses. For whatever reason, this "Hollywood Marine" phobia was common among the upper ranks.
This single sentence, a letter from my physician and the order from an obsessive sunglass fearing Colonel was all the evidence I needed to win my case. It will work for you as well.