Dear Dr. Motola,
In 1971 I boarded a ship that had sailed and anchored in Viet Nam waters that had been heavily sprayed with agent orange. I lived aboard the ship for three years, eating food and drinking water that was processed from those waters.
It has been proven that agent orange causes many cancers and that ships that sailed in those waters was contaminated. In 2000 I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, had my prostate removed and received 30 days of radiation treatments. I found other shipmates who were onboard with me that also have cancers that are listed as caused by agent orange.
Could my cancer have been caused from agent orange?
In May 1996 President Clinton announced that Vietnam veterans afflicted with prostate cancer were entitled to disability payments based on their exposure to Agent Orange.
The details surrounding this can be viewed on the Department of Veteran Affairs:
This is a presumptive payment policy which simplifies the process of receiving benefits by not having to prove that the illness occurred as a result of the exposure.
The overall evidence for the association between the development of prostate cancer and exposure is not strong (according to the American Cancer Society). There is conflicting evidence that both support and repute the link, but the VA does provide benefits.