SEP 28, 2017 7:43 PM PDT

Veterans Suffer More Often From This Rare Cancer


A rare eye cancer called Choroidal Melanoma strikes about six out of a million people each year. As a result of a Freedom of Information Act request to the Veterans Administration, it was discovered that veterans who had been exposed to Agent Orange were more than 17 times more likely to develop the disease than those from the general population. If the numbers were the same, there would be about 126 cases of this cancer a year among veterans. The actual number is over 2,000.

The numbers are tapering off. However that trend might be because many Vietnam era veterans are dying, and therefore new cases are decreasing. Choroidal Melanoma is very aggressive and most patients who have it wind up dying when it spreads to other parts of the body. Liver cancer is the most common complication when the disease spreads. While Agent Orange was deemed safe as an herbicide to clear the brush in the jungles of Vietnam, it was later discovered that it was high carcinogenic and that thousands of veterans would go on to suffer cancer and other health problems as a result of being exposed to it.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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