While there’s currently no clear link between Agent Orange and kidney cancer, Agent Orange can increase the risk of developing other types of cancers and health conditions, like bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and more. Here’s what we know so far.
Agent Orange is a chemical herbicide and defoliant. During the Vietnam War, the United States Army used this herbicide to clear leaves and vegetation from the jungle to aid military operations.
Agent Orange contains
This article reviews health conditions that can develop after exposure to Agent Orange and what types of healthcare coverage and compensation veterans exposed to Agent Orange can expect to receive from the government.
The link between kidney cancer and Agent Orange can come from
In 2009, the Veterans Affairs Department Regional Office in Nashville, Tennessee, stated that there were some reported cases of kidney cancer in veterans exposed to Agent Orange. However, they deemed this a “causal, albeit ‘unclear,’ relationship.“
Other risk factors for kidney cancer
Agent Orange is not the only risk factor for kidney cancer. Other
- high blood pressure
- family history of kidney cancer
- workplace exposure to substances such as
trichloroethylene, cadmium, asbestos, and petroleum products
- chronic kidney disease, especially for those undergoing dialysis
Kidney cancer also tends to be more common in people assigned male at birth.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Agent Orange can increase the risk of getting other types of cancer, including:
- bladder cancer
- chronic B-cell leukemia
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- multiple myeloma
- prostate cancer
- respiratory cancers, including lung cancer
- soft tissue sarcoma
Agent Orange can also increase the risk of developing certain noncancerous health conditions, including:
- diabetes mellitus type 2
- Parkinson’s disease
- ischemic heart disease
- light chain amyloidosis
- peripheral neuropathy
- chloracne or similar types of acneiform diseases
- monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance
- porphyria cutanea tarda
If you have any concerns about your general health, talk with a doctor and make sure they know about your exposure to Agent Orange.
If you are a veteran who experienced Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam, you may be eligible for
- Agent Orange Registry health exam: If you qualify for this program, you can get access to a free medical exam, specialty referrals, and lab tests.
- Medical benefits: You may be eligible for compensation payments. These are usually paid monthly, and the amount depends on the extent of your disability.
- Disability compensation: You may qualify for medical care due to Agent Orange exposure. This will cover medical care at Veterans Affairs facilities, medical prescriptions, and home and hospice care.
To learn whether you are eligible for these benefits, call the Department of Veterans Affairs at 1-800-749-8387 or visit their website.
- bloody urine
- persistent back pain slightly below the ribs
- loss of appetite
- unexplained weight loss
- lump on your side or lower back
Read more about kidney cancer.
If you have concerns about your health or experience any of these symptoms, talk with a doctor. They can diagnose the cause of your symptoms and recommend the most effective treatment for your condition.
Agent Orange is a chemical compound used as an herbicide and defoliant. The United States Army used this chemical during the Vietnam War to defoliate the Vietnamese jungle.
Agent Orange contains dioxin. Exposure to this chemical can cause health conditions such as cancer. If you have kidney cancer and you served in the Vietnam War, Agent Orange might be the cause of cancer.
Agent Orange can also cause other types of solitary cancers, like lung and prostate cancer, or blood cancers, like multiple myeloma or chronic lymphocytic leukemia. If you have any concerns about your health, have a discussion with a doctor about your symptoms and make sure they know about your exposure to Agent Orange.
If you experienced exposure to Agent Orange while serving in the Vietnam War, you may have access to health coverage and compensation. Contact the Veterans Affairs department 1-800-749-8387 to find out if you are eligible.