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Susan Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:54 PM

MDS, Chemical Exposures and the VA
There is ongoing research linking smoking (benzene and other toxins in cigarettes) to MDS. If I were applying for VA benefits I would deny being a past or current smoker. If this info is in your chart ask your doctor submitting history not to include anything about smoking.

I'm concerned a claim could be denied by smoking history being blamed for MDS or blood cancers. At this point I haven't heard of this being the case but why chance it.

bailie Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:56 AM

suz, I disagree with your statement, " If I were applying for VA benefits I would deny being a past or current smoker."

I have a problem in that I know so many Vietnam vets who have suggested to me how delete or rephrase health history so as to maximize health benefits. At some point it seems very dishonest. I was in Vietnam but I feel any short term exposure to anything there wouldn't compare with all the years after.

Susan Wed Dec 31, 2014 03:16 AM

I just don't think mentioning it is necessary. It's not like a life insurance form where one needed to check yes or no. In any case most people if they ever smoked quit long ago.

triumphe64 Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:43 AM

There are discussions on here regarding Agent Orange in Viet Nam and chemical exposure at the Marine base in Carolina. They may help.

bailie Wed Dec 31, 2014 03:42 PM

Interesting that I just took a pulmonary test this morning and the very first question they asked me was "Have you ever smoked?"

Data Wed Dec 31, 2014 04:00 PM

Smoking question
I was in the US Air Force for 25 years and am receiving treatment now from the Veterans' Administration. In almost every visit there is a health survey and it asks 1) do you smoke; 2) have you ever smoked; 3) If you have quit, how long ago. I can honestly say I have never smoked - anything! I have to agree with Bailie. I don't think my integrity is worth lying about smoking or encouraging someone else to lie.

Chirley Wed Dec 31, 2014 07:09 PM

The strange thing is, my uncle served in Borneo, the occupation forces in Japan (in Hiroshima, post bomb) and Korea. They used exfoliating agents in Borneo, presumably the precursersnto AO. He was wounded in Korea and spent a year in a Vet hospital recuperating.

When he developed stomach cancer they were not going to cover him for his medical costs or issue a war pension because he had never smoked in his life. They said if he had smoked it would have been a form of stress relief due to the combat situations and he would have been eligible.

Different countries...different ways of getting out of paying their dues to the servicemen and women who deserve our support.

My uncle appealed and was awarded everything he was entitled to.

julielucas Sun Jan 4, 2015 10:05 PM

My husband, Jeff, is retired Air Force, Vietnam vet and had boots on the ground in 69-70. He was dx with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in 2008. CLL is a presumed Agent Orange disease. He did not apply for VA compensation at the time because his CLL was not life-threatening. He had chemo and went into complete remission! He never suffered more than fatique, which went away when he was done with chemo. He also was able to continue working and was covered by 2 health policies. So he did not feel the need for VA disability comp. Now, he's facing a terminal disease-MDS- which was most likely caused by his previous chemo. We have filed for VA comp now. Hopefully they'll process his application before he dies. We know lots of vets, young and old who are trying to beat the system by lying or withholding info to increase their rating. And I must say that really pisses me off! I know one guy who never saw a day of combat and he gets 100% for who knows what- hangnails?? So, yeah. I agree with Baile et al, that it's downright dishonest to withhold info to qualify for more bennies than you deserve.

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