Agent Orange Prostate Cancer – The Role It Plays In The Disease

July 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer

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There have been claims and there have been denials, but what exactly is the health backlash from the infamous Agent Orange after all these years? You’d be surprised how many Americans really want to know the response to that question, and how many of them are not aware that all they really need to do is just ask.

Agent Orange is the name given to the most effective chemical plant killer by far that the United States armed forces sprayed in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War in order to penetrate the waxy covering of leaves and poison entire plants because they contained extremely toxic byproducts known as dioxins, which have been associated with severe birth defects and certain rare cancers in humans. Today, it is believed that the same Agent Orange exposure increased the risk on veterans of an aggressive recurrence of prostate cancer, although until recently there was no evidence to corroborate that.

And so, Chief of Urology, Dr. Martha Terris, at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, and professor of urology at the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine, took it upon themselves to establish the fact or refute it once and for all. They found that exposure to Agent Orange gave a 50 percent increased risk of recurring prostate cancer to all veterans who had undergone a previous radical prostatectomy to remove their cancerous prostates. This was in spite of the fact that their cancers had seemed relatively nonaggressive at the time of surgery.

Not only that, the cancer becomes more aggressive, with PSA doubling times slashing by more than half its normal expected rate. It was not immediately clear what may have caused that to happen, but there obviously has to have been a relation between the sudden more aggressive relapse of their disease and the previous exposure to the chemical? and it probably was the dioxin in the substance. Under normal circumstances, prostate cancer patients would have their PSA levels tested again as often as every three months for a two year period after a surgery. Even after that time has lapsed, the patient will have to come in at six month intervals for the rest of his life just so as to be certain that a recurrence of the carcinoma would be caught on time.

The PSA (prostate specific antigen) level really should remain at 0 for someone who had had a prostatectomy, but this was not the case for such patients, establishing the fact that additional therapy was needed. As such, it was found that added radiation or hormone treatment had to be administered to such patients sooner rather than later. The thing is that Agent Orange does not just increase the risk of prostate cancer relapse, but also for a host of other health problems. Most workers through their various disciplines that have been exposed to the dioxin have showed increased cancer risk, but what remains unclear is whether the veterans’ degree of exposure is related to the severity of their cancer? like anyone really wants to know that! What really counts is the mere knowing of the increased risk of prostate type of cancer dealing from Agent Orange by exposure? now you know how to keep away.

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