Veterans who are sick with nine rare respiratory cancers now can receive treatment and qualify for other benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The cancers are:
• Squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx.
• Squamous cell carcinoma of the trachea.
• Adenocarcinoma of the trachea.
• Salivary gland-type tumors of the trachea.
• Adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung.
• Large cell carcinoma of the lung.
• Salivary gland-type tumors of the lung.
• Sarcomatoid carcinoma of the lung.
• Typical and atypical carcinoid of the lung.
VA established the link between these illnesses and military service after studying scientific and medical evidence in veterans who were exposed to airborne hazards – much of which occurred in the Persian Gulf, Southwest Asia, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Syria and Djibouti when refuse was destroyed in burn pits.
The change primarily affects sick veterans who served in those theaters as of Aug. 2, 1990 in Southwest Asia, and Sept. 19, 2001, in the other areas.
Sick veterans and survivors of deceased veterans due to these illnesses that were previously denied claims should file supplemental claims for benefits. VA plans to reach out to these veterans and survivors with information about their new eligibility status.