Agent Orange linked to cancer precursor

Veterans exposed to the powerful and toxic defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War have a significantly increased risk of the precursor state for multiple myeloma, a prospective cohort study now shows.

Exposure to Agent Orange doubled the risk of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), as compared with veterans who were not exposed.

The herbicide was used from 1962 to 1972 to destroy vast stretches of jungle canopy, missions known collectively as Operation Ranch Hand…

Agent Orange contained several herbicides, including 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), a known human carcinogen, as reported online in JAMA Oncology by Ola Landgren, MD, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center…

“To our knowledge, our findings provide the first direct scientific evidence for an association between the multiple myeloma precursor, MGUS, and exposure to Agent Orange/TCDD among (Operation) Ranch Hand veterans,” the authors wrote.

“Our observations are important in that they add support to a previous finding that certain pesticides play a role in the development of MGUS,” they added…

In an accompanying editorial, Nikhil C. Munshi, MD, of VA Boston Healthcare System and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in Boston, noted that the study "now provides further evidence of an association between Agent Orange exposure and development of plasma cell disorder."

"Although this study associated risk of MGUS with Agent Orange exposure, the fact that all multiple myeloma cases originate from MGUS provides the first scientific evidence for a direct link between multiple myeloma and Agent Orange exposure," Munshi wrote.

Munshi pointed out that the Institute of Medicine has identified a predisposition to seven types of malignant neoplasms in veterans exposed to Agent Orange. Four of these, including the one reported by Landgren et al, are B-cell lymphoid neoplasms…

Of course, this means nothing to the reactionary fools who stand around, nowadays, and blather that folks shouldn’t even bring up the name of George W Bush and responsibility for the ever-expanding disaster that now is the Middle East. If newspapers and TV talking heads are willing to forget our nation’s responsibility for death and destruction in the last decade or so – why even bring up our slimy behavior from fifty years ago?

American conservatives have become a breed apart from their own history. There was a time when man-made disasters were worth considering in the intellectual lexicon of politics. Not anymore, man. The murder of tens of thousands stretching from Southeast Asia through Iraq and beyond mean nothing to fools with no conscience. The additional social burden of the slow murder of our own veterans is ignored as collateral damage from the heroic task of American justice.

Contemptible.

4 thoughts on “Agent Orange linked to cancer precursor

  1. drugsandotherthings says:

    hmm. I have a relative who was medevac helicopter pilot during the Vietnam war- during the peak time of spraying. A couple decades ago he had a substantial tumor removed, a form of cancer that had a significant impact on both his career and personal life. ALL the doctors involved said “yea, Agent Orange”. Of course the VA, and the government, said no…
    And to this day we love our “support the troops” stickers and ribbons. While the reality beyond lipservice remains far different.

    And of course- we are still incapable of having an honest discussion about OUR actions causing the problems we now face. I still remember that morning, watching the towers get hit, and the first words out of my mouth: “They finally did it. The chickens have come home to roost”.

  2. Joe says:

    “McCain’s Brain Cancer Draws Renewed Attention to Possible Agent Orange Connection” https://www.propublica.org/article/mccain-brain-cancer-draws-renewed-attention-to-possible-agent-orange “For years, Vietnam vets and their widows have been pushing the VA to extend benefits to those exposed to the toxic herbicide and later stricken with glioblastoma. The VA has said no, but advocates hope the agency will now revisit the issue.”
    Vietnam vet disability payments have grown to $24 billion a year http://www.benefits.va.gov/REPORTS/abr/ABR-Compensation-FY16-0613017.pdf

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