Prostate Cancer and Agent Orange Exposure – Is There A Link?

July 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer

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Agent Orange; you have heard the term before, and you know that it has something to do with the military, and with the war in Iraq (or is it Afghanistan?), but you sincerely don’t have a clue what exactly is it all about.

I’ll tell you: Agent Orange is actually just the name given to a chemical herbicide ? the thing simply just kills unwanted plants and weeds, and little more. It just so happens that Agent Orange turns out to be the most effective chemical herbicide that was sprayed by United States armed forces in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War all those years ago. The chemical substance, created from an equal combination of 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acids and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acids, penetrated the waxy covering of leaves to poison the entire plant. It contained extremely toxic byproducts (dioxins), exposure to which has been associated with severe birth defects and (cancers in humans.

Dioxins contain chlorine, carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen bonded to each other in a special way to become what some scientists believe to be the most toxic compounds made by humans. Humans may appear to be in the middle range of sensitivity to the chemical, but dioxins last for a long time and do not break down, so that even small daily doses can accumulate into levels that may be dangerous. They can disrupt the body’s normal growth and functions, thereby causing the potential birth defects, cancer, and other problems. For a fact they cause severe acnes, headaches, weight loss, liver and nerve damage and hinder reproduction, the immune system, enzymes, and genes.

But there are those who believe that Agent Orange was never all that dangerous, and even purport to be able prove that with scientific evidence. This is hard to swallow, especially when all around you can see the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) taking very strict measures to control the amount of dioxins that are released into the atmosphere even when in small quantities as byproducts of chemical production processes. And again there are the Vietnam War veterans who claim that the chemical substances in Agent Orange have long-term cancer effects that they are still living with at this time.

Ok, Agent Orange may be responsible for all kinds of diseases and disability ? that much has been admitted ? but sincerely there is only the fear that it causes cancers, and no shred of evidence to prove it. It is understandable how one can live in the fear of the shadow of a disease when one has been exposed to toxic levels of what they would believe to be a major risk factor of it, but then again, veterans that fought in the Vietnam war must be in their fifties to eighties at this time, the perfect age range in which prostate cancer happens to all men.

The evidence that Agent Orange causes prostate cancer, even if there may be truth to the claim, is inconclusive. Until there is such fact, it may be wiser to look to other potential causes in the environment and plug them.

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