-- Robert Preidt
SATURDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- There appears to be a link
between Agent Orange and kidney cancer in U.S. veterans exposed to
the herbicide in Vietnam, a new study suggests.
Researchers at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in
Shreveport, La. examined the records of 297 patients diagnosed with
kidney cancer between 1987 and 2009. Thirteen of the patients, aged
39 to 63 when they were diagnosed, said they had been exposed to
Documented exposure to the herbicide and pathology reports were
available for 10 of the patients. The researchers reviewed these
patients' age at diagnosis, tumor size, side of lesion, pathology
Nine of the 10 patients had clear-cell cancers, which typically
have worse outcomes than papillary tumors, which appeared in one
patient. One patient had both clear-cell and papillary cancers.
During the average follow-up of 54 months, four patients
developed metastatic cancer and one patient died from his
The findings were presented Saturday during a special news
conference at the American Urological Association (AUA) annual
meeting in Washington, D.C. Research presented at meetings should
be viewed as preliminary because it has not been subjected to the
peer review that typically accompanies publication in a medical
"We know that the chemicals in Agent Orange were extremely toxic, and are known to cause cancer," press conference moderator Dr. Anthony Y. Smith said in an AUA news release. "These data indicate that we may need to better determine whether exposure to these chemicals should be considered a risk factor for kidney cancer."
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has more about
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