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Agent Orange linked to higher incidence of aggressive prostate cancer

The Washington Post on August 6 cited data from a soon-to-be-released Cal-Davis Urology study suggesting that soldiers exposed to the defoliant Agent Orange were at increased risk for prostate cancer.  According to the figures, which will be published in September apparently, 13,000 Vietnam veterans participated, and those who reported an Agent Orange exposure were twice as likely to develop prostate cancer.  They were also diagnosed, on average, two and one-half years earlier, and four times more likely to have metastatic disease.

Critics argued that the study is not entirely reliable, because of its reliance upon reported and unquantifiable exposures.  They also noted that veterans who reported an exposure were more thoroughly investigated for the presence of cancer.  Nevertheless, the study's results were considered to be "provocative" and two warrant further examination.  If we had helped to defoliate the Ho Chi Minh Trail, we would be in getting a PSA tomorrow, and following-up on a regular basis.

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