The Roseburg VA recently informed that a low dose CT lung cancer screening program is now in the works. Roseburg Radiologist Dr. Wang is working with the VA in Portland to help establish the program for Roseburg Healthcare System Veterans.
The Portland VA has had a lung cancer screening program since 2015.
Although the screening will be available for smokers or former smokers who meet certain criteria, tt is anticipated that Roseburg’s program, like Portland’s or the Bay Pines VA in Florida, will not include screening for veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange, which is recognized by the VA to cause lung cancer.
Besides Agent Orange and other herbicides, there are other known carcinogens that veterans were exposed to during their service, such as asbestos, radiation or burn pits.
Approximately 25% of lung cancers occur in people who have never smoked.
Lung cancer, if diagnosed early, is treatable. The problem is the diagnosis usually comes too late. A lot of diagnosis aren’t made until cancer, which started in the lungs, spreads to other parts of the body.
I have been given permission to share the story of Vietnam U.S. Army veteran Steve Hodge.
He passed away on October 5, 2018, spending his final days at the River House on the Roseburg VA Campus.
It wasn’t until after being diagnosed with renal cancer that Steve was diagnosed with lung cancer, which was listed as the cause of his death. Steve had quit smoking for 40 years prior to being diagnosed with lung cancer.
The fact that the VA has not offered lung cancer screening to veterans exposed to Agent Orange is unconscionable.