Skip to main content
Adjust Font Size:
For Immediate Help: 800-544-9144
Agent Orange

Does Agent Orange Cause Cancer?

Agent Orange was a defoliant herbicide sprayed to strip leaves from trees in densely forested areas, mostly in Vietnam during the war.

Multiple studies have identified a strong association between Agent Orange and several cancers. With certain types of cancer, there is sufficient evidence to conclude that Agent Orange is the cause. Since more than 1.5 million veterans served in the Vietnam War during the 13 years Agent Orange was used, it is possible that thousands of people or more developed cancer as a direct result of their exposure to the herbicide.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a service connection on a presumptive basis to veterans with qualifying service who were exposed and later developed a condition associated with the herbicide.

If you were denied service connection for a condition due to Agent Orange exposure, a veterans lawyer from Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to help you appeal. Call 800-544-9144 for a free case evaluation.

What Agent Orange Was and Why It Was So Dangerous

Agent Orange was a defoliant herbicide sprayed to strip leaves from trees in densely forested areas, mostly in Vietnam during the war. By defoliating the area, the U.S. military deprived enemy fighters of both cover and crops for food. While the chemical may have served its purpose of defoliation, many of servicemembers developed severe, and in some cases even fatal, health problems after the war.

Its danger stems from dioxin – a chemical byproduct associated with a wide range of medical issues. Unfortunately, scientists and the military were not aware of this at the time Agent Orange was being used. Even now, much remains to be learned about Agent Orange, and research is ongoing.

What Cancers Are Associated With Agent Orange Exposure

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has studied the relationship between Agent Orange and a long list of cancers. Based on its research, it grouped the list into three categories: sufficient evidence of an association; limited/suggestive evidence of an association; and inadequate/insufficient evidence of an association.

Sufficient Evidence of an Association

  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)
  • Hodgkin disease
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) (including hairy cell leukemia and other chronic B-cell leukemias)

Limited/Suggestive Evidence of an Association

  • Respiratory cancers (lung, bronchus, trachea, larynx)
  • Prostate cancer
  • Multiple myelomas
  • Bladder cancer

Insufficient Evidence of an Association

  • Cancer of the mouth, throat, and sinus
  • Gastrointestinal cancers
  • Liver, gallbladder, and bile duct cancers
  • Bone and joint cancers
  • Skin cancers (including melanoma)
  • Breast cancer
  • Cancers of the female reproductive system (cervical, ovarian, endometrial, uterine sarcoma)
  • Testicular and penile cancers
  • Kidney cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Thyroid and other endocrine cancers
  • Leukemia (other than CLL and hairy cell leukemia)
  • All other cancers not mentioned in the first two lists

If you are concerned about the reproductive consequences of exposure to Agent Orange, the evidence available to date is insufficient to link Agent Orange exposure to any cancer found in the child of an exposed male veteran.

If You Suffered Exposure and later Developed Cancer, You Can Receive VA Disability

Receiving a grant of VA disability benefits for cancer requires you to establish a service connection. If you have qualifying military service, VA will presume service connection for several forms of cancer, including:

  • Chronic B-cell leukemias
  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Multiple myelomas
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Prostate cancer
  • Respiratory cancers (lung, larynx, trachea, and bronchus)
  • Soft tissue sarcomas

How You Can Get Approved for Disability for Cancer From Agent Orange Exposure

If you were exposed to Agent Orange during military service and later received a diagnosis of any of the cancers that the VA considers presumptive, consider applying for VA disability benefits.

To establish service connection, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a current, diagnosed medical condition considered disabling by VA; An event, injury, or illness occurred during your military service;
  • A nexus between the event and your condition.

If you have a qualifying service that places you in a location where VA acknowledges that herbicides were used, VA will presume that you were exposed during service.  If you have a diagnosis of a condition that is on VA’s list of recognized conditions, you do not need to provide a nexus between exposure and your condition; VA will presume your condition is service connected.

If you applied for VA disability benefits for a condition due to Agent Orange exposure but were denied, a VA disability attorney can help you gather the documentation you need to appeal that denial.

For a Free Case Evaluation With the VA Disability Team at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD, Call 800-544-9144 Today

The veterans advocates at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD may be able to help you receive VA disability benefits for a health condition caused by Agent Orange exposure. We are committed to helping veterans receive the benefits they deserve. For a free case evaluation, call us today at 800-544-9144.