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Prostate Cancer Reoccurance Question
09-17-2016, 05:39 PM
Post: #1
Prostate Cancer Reoccurance Question
Hello All,
Five years ago I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and was awarded a 100% AO disability. I was treated for the cancer (radiation) and it seemed to be in remission. After about two years the VA decided I was "cured" and cut my benefit to 0%. Now three years later, it seems that my cancer has returned (rising PSA). Since I haven't seen a VA doctor in three years, does anyone home how high my PSA must be before they agree my cancer has reoccurred or will they take my oncologist's word it has. Thanks Joe H
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09-17-2016, 06:05 PM
Post: #2
RE: Prostate Cancer Reoccurance Question
Best thing to do is get your primary doctor to make a consult with the oncologist. Get the diagnosis and then just reapply. They make the decision, perhaps at a lower level than 100%, but it puts you back in the loop. If it continues to get worse, than reapply for an increase. For your sake, I hope that doesn't happen. God bless you and good luck.

People who fear death never live.
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09-17-2016, 06:39 PM (This post was last modified: 09-17-2016 06:42 PM by johnr.)
Post: #3
RE: Prostate Cancer Reoccurance Question
JH,

Definitely the best of luck with this! Here are a few thoughts and things to look at:
- The VA can't just "severe" disability payments without jumping through some hoops that are there to 'protect the veteran'. I will give some details on that after I re-acquaint myself with what all those steps are. The reason it might still be of interest is, if they didn't follow the book, you might be able to claim the unpaid money;
- When you have a diagnosis of an active cancer, you are typically rated at 100%. We all know that most of the cancers that might be dioxin-related don't always act like 'normal' cancers, and even without that, many cancers don't truly 'go into remission.' In the VA's definition, they use that phrase, but it only means that there is not an active treatment going on..... but there certainly is a periodic check to see the status of the blood cell count, or PSA level, which indicate the cancer may be back and when the time is to expose the patient to chemo or radiation, which is only done when absolutely necessary. But the VA has a habit of crying "Remission" 6-months after the last 'active treatment.' We have fought many a battle with VA regarding this situation with NHL patients.
- Theoretically, all you need to do is file for disability for the prostate cancer with a current diagnosis of the cancer, just like you did the first time. If you include all the medical records since your last claim submission, you can still do another Fully Developed Claim to speed things up. Do that immediately, or immediately go online to eBenefits or use a VSO and file an Intent to File to preserve this date.
- Your PSA level is not the trigger for the benefits; the diagnosis of an active cancer is. You can have your oncologist complete a DBQ (Disability Questionnaire) that you can google and download, and present that with the claim. The VA can (but doesn't always) accept that in lieu of having a C&P Exam.
- Check out some information (U.Cal.Davis has some, among others) on the recurrence of cancers like prostate that are potentially related to dioxin exposure. It might be information you want to share with your oncologist. Forewarned is forearmed.

I'll go do some homework,

-JR

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09-19-2016, 11:04 AM
Post: #4
RE: Prostate Cancer Reoccurance Question
(09-17-2016 06:39 PM)johnr Wrote:  JH,

Definitely the best of luck with this! Here are a few thoughts and things to look at:
- The VA can't just "severe" disability payments without jumping through some hoops that are there to 'protect the veteran'. I will give some details on that after I re-acquaint myself with what all those steps are. The reason it might still be of interest is, if they didn't follow the book, you might be able to claim the unpaid money;
- When you have a diagnosis of an active cancer, you are typically rated at 100%. We all know that most of the cancers that might be dioxin-related don't always act like 'normal' cancers, and even without that, many cancers don't truly 'go into remission.' In the VA's definition, they use that phrase, but it only means that there is not an active treatment going on..... but there certainly is a periodic check to see the status of the blood cell count, or PSA level, which indicate the cancer may be back and when the time is to expose the patient to chemo or radiation, which is only done when absolutely necessary. But the VA has a habit of crying "Remission" 6-months after the last 'active treatment.' We have fought many a battle with VA regarding this situation with NHL patients.
- Theoretically, all you need to do is file for disability for the prostate cancer with a current diagnosis of the cancer, just like you did the first time. If you include all the medical records since your last claim submission, you can still do another Fully Developed Claim to speed things up. Do that immediately, or immediately go online to eBenefits or use a VSO and file an Intent to File to preserve this date.
- Your PSA level is not the trigger for the benefits; the diagnosis of an active cancer is. You can have your oncologist complete a DBQ (Disability Questionnaire) that you can google and download, and present that with the claim. The VA can (but doesn't always) accept that in lieu of having a C&P Exam.
- Check out some information (U.Cal.Davis has some, among others) on the recurrence of cancers like prostate that are potentially related to dioxin exposure. It might be information you want to share with your oncologist. Forewarned is forearmed.

I'll go do some homework,

-JR

When I was awarded my 100% benefit they were very clear that it was only a "temporary" benefit. About every 6 months after treatment, the VA tested my PSA and each time would tell me it was only a "temporary" benefit. It never gave me advanced notice of when the benefit would end. Then one day about 18 months after my last treatment they said they revaluated my case and determined I was in remission and ended the benefit. They gave me plenty of chance to challenge their decision, but since my PSA was low and stayed low I felt that I probably was in remission and really didn't deserve the benefit. That was 3 years ago, I have never had contact from the VA since. There was certainly no "periodic checks" of my blood or PSA, nor did I expect any since they stopped my benefit. I printed out the DBQ form for prostate cancer. and will be consulting with an oncologist in the near future. John, thanks again to you and your great site.
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09-19-2016, 04:49 PM
Post: #5
RE: Prostate Cancer Reoccurance Question
Thanks, Joe,
The way you describe it, it sounds like they covered all their bases. So you just "start over again" with the DBQ and a new 526EZ.

-JR

Rossie
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09-30-2016, 05:38 PM
Post: #6
RE: Prostate Cancer Reoccurance Question
Hi Guys,
Well I went to an oncologist who said I have a "biochemical failure" (Doc speak for the cancer is no longer in remission.) I had him fill out a DBQ which I took down to the regional VA office and submitted a new claim for an increase. I will post any future approvals/denials. Again Thanks for your great site. Joe H.
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08-04-2017, 07:20 AM
Post: #7
Smile RE: Prostate Cancer Reoccurance Question
Hey Joe, nice to know about you almost recovered from the prostate cancer. Though you reminded me of a friend of mine who had prostate cancer few months back and is recently recovering from it, through prostate cancer treatment options Long Island using radiation therapy Suffolk, his oncologist suggested him to go for radiation therapy for fast recovery. Also, because he was in the initial stages so it helped him a lot. Now, John is recovering his health with healthy lifestyle and diet with family. I visited him last week at his place. Good luck to you.Shy
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