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Dioxin and Glioblastoma in the Vietnam Veteran PopulationEileen Whitacre Special to Salem-News.com
Summary and recommendations for IOM open session Albuquerque NM 2010.
(LAS CRUCES, N.M.) - The tracking of glioblastomas in the aging population of Vietnam veterans exposed to dioxin has been neglected. The poorly researched and nonsensical U.S. AIR FORCE RANCH HAND study has been sighted as evidence. The Seveso Italy incident is also used as evidence.
The TEN YEAR MORTALITY STUDY OF THE POPULATION INVOLVED IN THE SEVSO INCIDENT IN 1976 reported by the American Journal of Epidemiology Vol. 129 No.6 states “a significant increased relative risks were noted for peritoneum, pleura, melanoma and brain cancer in the first study period.”
The significant report by Admiral Zumwalt Jr. has been squashed.
There are many reports from reputable researchers stating a connection of glioblastoma to TCDD. I have included a small sampling today in this open session with the IOM. The VA has been slow the report cancer cases seen at their treatment facilities and hospitals to SEER.
The VA has also misclassified cancers when those reports have been made. Poor tracking of glioblastoma in the Korean and Vietnam veteran populations makes it difficult to gather accurate statistics. The Institute of Medicine has recommended continued research for this area of concern given to the increasing incident of glioblastoma in this population of veterans.
During my phone conversation with VA Research Director Raye Ann Dorn, she stated “there is no brain cancer registry for veterans, it is impossible to track that information.” Sadly little has been done by the VA or the statistical communities to follow the IOM’s recommendation. With the recognized latency associated with brain cancer, a specific glioblastoma registry is needed for veterans. A simple way to gather this much needed information is through social security numbers.
The Central Brain Tumor registry of the United States recognizes a glioblastoma rate of five cases pre one hundred thousand nationwide. I believe the small amount of information I have provided will show a service connection between dioxin and glioblastomas. As, noted in an email I received form Dr. Aaron Schneiderman director of the VA’s Epidemiology department the VA is not tracking the rate of glioblastoma in Vietnam veterans.
Although, the VA has established a registry for brain trauma for Gulf War veterans. One thousand five hundred and two veterans were treated for brain cancer at VA hospitals in the last five years.
I was not able to determine how many of these cases were Vietnam veterans and how many were glioblastomas. Clearer statistics and tracking is needed. This does not included the veterans treated in private hospitals.
Two hundred seventy-nine glioblastoma claims have been denied by the VA. The number of unfiled cases has not been documented. Three million four hundred three thousand one hundred personnel served in the boarder Southeast Asia Theater, subtract the non-hostile deaths of ten thousand eight hundred and the fifty eight thousand two hundred and two casualties from the total severed.
One can see that the very conservative numbers I have brought forward shows a greater rate of glioblastoma in the Vietnam veteran population than in the civilian population.
VietnamVeteranWives.org asks on behalf of the widows and family members that have lost their loved ones to this rare and very deadly cancer to establish a registry and to track the rate of this cancer in the Vietnam veteran population.
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