Single Judge Application; “[e]ven though a disease is not included on the list of presumptive diseases, a nexus between the disease and service may nevertheless be established on the basis of direct service connection.” Polovick v. Shinseki, 23 Vet.App. 48, 52–53 (2009); factors such as “whether a medical professional finds studies persuasive, whether there are other risk factors that might be the cause of the condition for which benefits are sought, and whether the condition has manifested itself in an unusual manner” may affect the analysis. Polovick, 23 Vet.App. at 53;

Designated for electronic publication only
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR VETERANS CLAIMS
No. 20-4275
REUBEN D. HINOJOSA , APPELLANT,
V.
DENIS MCDONOUGH,
SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS, APPELLEE.
Before BARTLEY, Chief Judge.
MEMORANDUM DECISION
Note: Pursuant to U.S. Vet. App. R. 30(a), this action may not be cited as precedent.
BARTLEY, Chief Judge: Self-represented veteran Reuben D. Hinojosa appeals a February
20, 2020, Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) decision denying service connection for colon
cancer and thyroid cancer. Record (R.) at 5-12. For the reasons that follow, the Court will set
aside the February 2020 Board decision and remand these matters for further development and
readjudication consistent with this decision.
I. FACTS
Mr. Hinojosa served on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps from July 1985 to July 1989
and was stationed at Camp LeJeune from February 1986 to July 1989. R. at 67, 454.
In March 2016, Mr. Hinojosa filed a claim for service connection for colon and thyroid
cancers due to contaminated water at Camp LeJeune. R. at 414. December 2015 private treatment
records showed a diagnosis of sigmoid adenocarcinoma, R. at 419-20, and January 2016 private
treatment records included PET scan results revealing a thyroid nodule suspicious for follicular
neoplasm, R. at 450-51. In February 2016, the veteran underwent left hemicolectomy and right
thyroidlobectomy, R. at 392-95, and postoperative treatment notes indicated diagnoses of papillary
thyroid cancer and stage III colon cancer, R. at 402. Mr. Hinojosa had genetic testing performed
2
in September 2016, which showed no genetic mutation that would be associated with hereditary
colon cancer. R. at 201-11.
In March 2017, the RO denied service connection. R. at 201-04. Mr. Hinojosa