By Marla Cone
Editor in Chief
Environmental Wellness Information
Posted Sept. 15, 2008
Jim McKasson thought he had been safe when he came back, apparently unscathed, from Vietnam War in 1969.
However the war may claim him all things considered.
Almost 40 years later, McKasson is battling a lethal, extremely malignant prostate cancer.
“i suppose they might have stuck me call at the forest, in which i possibly could being shot, ” stated McKasson, today 62. “however it works out there ended up being one thing a lot worse brewing.”
Vietnam veterans subjected to the defoliant Agent Orange are twice as more likely to contract prostate cancer as unexposed veterans, relating to a report of 13, 000 north California veterans conducted by University of Ca at Davis researchers. Even worse, the cancer tumors will probably be an aggressive, deadlier variation that strikes earlier and spreads more easily to other body organs.
About 20 million gallons of Agent Orange, which included carcinogenic dioxins, were sprayed between 1962 and 1971 to defoliate the jungles of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.
As a 21-year-old plane mechanic, McKasson aided load drums of Agent Orange aboard planes at a base in Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani province, a frontline center for the U.S. Air power.
Only today, as Vietnam War veterans get to their particular 60s, could be the complete cost on US troops becoming obvious.
McKasson, clinically determined to have prostate cancer last year, ended up being one of the 13, 144 males whoever health files had been examined by the study group from UC Davis and Dept. of Veteran Affairs Northern California Health Care System.
Dr. Lars Ellison, previous main of urology within VA in Northern California, stated he and also the various other scientists had suspected from dealing with veterans the males subjected to Agent Orange had more severe kinds of prostate cancer.
“But I didn't expect you'll see such a sizable effect of publicity. It was truly very startling once the evaluation associated with data was complete, ” Ellison stated in a message meeting from Iraq, where he could be offering as a major in the U.S. Army Reserve.