Prostate Cancer and Your Claim for VA Benefits
Prostate cancer is an abnormal cell growth in a man’s prostate gland. It often grows slowly and remains confined to the prostate gland, where it may require minimal or no treatment. However, some cases of prostate cancer can spread more quickly, requiring treatment.
Prostate cancer may cause no symptoms in its early stages, but later stages of prostate cancer can result in trouble urinating, decreased force in the urine stream, or erectile dysfunction. Some men may never have these urinary issues. The cause of prostate cancer is not known, but older age and a family history of the disease are both risk factors.
Research by the VA has determined that veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, and that they are also more likely to have aggressive forms of the disease. The VA has found that prostate cancer is a presumptive disease for veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange during service in Vietnam or other locations. These veterans will not be required to provide proof of a medical nexus between service and their diagnosis when filing a claim for disability benefits for prostate cancer.
Depending on the stage and severity of the prostate cancer, different treatment methods may be used. Doctors may recommend active surveillance in some cases, where the prostate cancer is regularly evaluated to see how it is progressing. Other cases may require treatment, using radiation, surgical removal, hormone therapy, or immunotherapy.
Malignant prostate cancer is rated as 100% disabling while it is active and for six months after the last treatment. At that point, the condition is reevaluated and if the cancer is no longer present, a rating is assigned based on residual symptoms or complications.
Complications such as frequent urination may be rated between 10% and 40%, depending on how frequently you urinate during the day, or how often you awake during the night to urinate. Ratings may also be given for obstructed urination.
If you need assistance with a disability compensation appeal, contact Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick. Our veterans law practitioners have over 25 years of experience assisting veterans with their disability compensation cases. Call us at 401-331-6300 for a no-cost case evaluation.
Category: Veterans Law