Episode 1002 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will focus on another vulnerability Vietnam Veterans must face resulting from their service in the Vietnam War. A story in The Health Line website titled: Senator McCain’s Cancer Spurs Congress, Advocates to Action on Agent Orange Claims and written by Jamie Reno exposes the danger of coming down with another cancer caused by exposure to that old nemesis Agent Orange.
Glioblastoma is a deadly type of fast acting brain cancer. ProPublica reported that more than 500 Vietnam-era veterans have been diagnosed with glioblastoma at Veterans Administration (VA) health facilities since 2000, but noted that “this does not include the unknown number diagnosed at private facilities.”
Rick Weidman, co-founder and primary spokesperson in Washington for Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) told Healthline there is “new energy surrounding the glioblastoma issue, as more Vietnam veterans come down with this cancer and the media attention increases.”
Today thousands of Vietnam War veterans and their families are fighting both glioblastoma and the VA. There are now more than a dozen diseases presumed by the VA to be linked to exposure to Agent Orange, but glioblastoma, with which Vietnam veterans are now being diagnosed at a rapid rate, is still not on the presumptive list.
When Senator John McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, suddenly the plight of many Vietnam Veterans who are also suffering from the cancer gained a powerful and well know fellow advocate.
Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, and Rep. Louise Slaughter, the 30-year congressional member from New York, held a joint press conference urging David Shulkin, the head of the Veterans Administration to take a closer look at Vietnam veterans diagnosed with glioblastoma.
Representative Slaughter said it right when she uttered: “Veterans belong to us. Veterans are our responsibility.”
Discover more about the glioblastoma situation and its effect on Vietnam Veterans in episode 1002.