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Agent Orange Linked To Lethal Prostate Cancer In Veterans

Agent Orange crop-dusting.
Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign
Agent Orange crop-dusting.

New research links Agent Orange exposure to a lethal, aggressive form of prostate cancer in Vietnam War veterans.

Dr. Mark Garzotto of the Portland Veterans Administration Medical Center conducted the study to expand on previous research that only showed Agent Orange exposure as a possible risk factor for certain types of prostate cancer.

Garzotto's new analysis shows a link between Agent Orange exposure and the most life-threatening type of prostate cancer:

"This is an important distinction as the majority of prostate cancer cases are non-lethal and thus do not necessarily require detection or therapy. Having a means of specifically detecting life-threatening cancer would improve the effectiveness of screening and treatment of prostate cancer."

The U.S. military sprayed millions of gallons of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War to remove forest cover from areas in Vietnam and Laos. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, exposure to the herbicide has been associated with the development of certain cancers and other diseases like Parkinson's.

The new study was published this week in the American Cancer Society journal Cancer.