My husband (an Air Force E-4 airman) was diagnosed and operated for testicular cancer two weeks ago. It turned out to be seminoma stage 1, which is a fortunately early stage of testicular cancer. He is going to get treatment, we have two appointments with a radiology and chemo specialists in the next few weeks. The survivor rate for this time of cancer in early stages is pretty high, 95%. We hope this is it and no further problems will arrive in the future. Nevertheless, although the chances are pretty slim, the cancer may come back. My main concern is what if the cancer comes back in the future and he is no longer in active duty. He's having some trouble with his CJR (Career Job Reservation) due to a high number of people in his career field. His contract will end in Jan. 2014. What could happen if he's not able to reenlist? Is there any way that he might keep his insurance benefits? I'm more concerned about medical bills than pension checks. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
There are others on this board more expert than I am, but my understanding is that since he was diagnosed while on Active Duty, this is a service-connected diagnosis.
That means that he would be eligible for treatment in a VA facility should he have a recurrence in the future. However ... it also means that if/when he is about to leave the military, he will need to apply to the VA for appropriate disability or coverage.
Bottom line from me: for this issue, I don't think you have a lot to worry about provided your husband follows up with the VA if/when he gets out.
Dave_M and DaveBarker are the experts in this field and I defer to their opinions.
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