VA Finally Adds Three More Cancers to Presumptive List, Offering Hope to Veterans

Militarist /
Militarist /

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced the inclusion of male breast cancer, urethral cancer, and cancer of the paraurethral glands in its list of conditions presumed to be linked to military service for conflicts post-1990. This inclusion is aimed at expediting the disability benefits process for affected veterans.

This update is part of the ongoing implementation of the PACT Act, a comprehensive piece of legislation passed two years ago that has significantly impacted millions of veterans across the country by expanding the list of conditions covered under veterans’ benefits.

VA Secretary Denis McDonough emphasized the department’s commitment to supporting veterans exposed to hazardous conditions during their service. “We are determined to provide health care and benefits to as many toxic-exposed veterans as possible,” McDonough stated, highlighting the urgency of the initiative.

While the exact number of veterans who will benefit from this new policy remains unspecified, the change is expected to assist many who served in the Gulf War and subsequent deployments to regions including Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and Uzbekistan. Veterans who served in other parts of southwest Asia might also qualify.

The designation of these cancers as presumptive illnesses simplifies the benefits application process for veterans by eliminating the need for extensive documentation to prove the service connection of their conditions. This can significantly reduce the waiting period for receiving benefits.

Furthermore, veterans with approved claims might be eligible for retroactive benefits dating back to August 2022, when the PACT Act was enacted. The VA has committed to reviewing all relevant claims from the past two years, including those from survivors, and will automatically issue financial compensation where applicable.

Veterans who have not yet filed claims for these conditions are encouraged to do so through the VA’s official website.

The department recently celebrated a milestone with the approval of its 1 millionth claim under the PACT Act, resulting in over $5.7 billion disbursed to veterans thus far.