This is probably more of a question for Dave I have done a little researching for my father in law with regards to AO exposure but came across a site for children born to Vietnam veterans exposed to AO. Ironically my sister in law was diagnosed Friday with Poland syndrome which I just found out is a birth defect related to AO (it started to be noticeable when she started developing which wasn't till about 16 and she is 20) is there anything that she can do? All she wants is surgery to correct the birth defect. Any suggestions.
This is a condition of muscles in the chest not developing properly. It is one of the birth defects not recognized by the VA.
Poland syndrome is a deficiency of subcutaneous fat and muscles on one side of the body. Most often underdevelopment of the arm, hand, and fingers on the same side. It has possible chest muscle deformities the absence of the pectoralis minor and the breastbone part of the pectoralis major. The undedevelopment or absence of breast, or nipple on the affected side and patchy absence of hair under the arm on the affected side.
Computerized tomography (CT) scan may help identify which muscles are involved. In more severe cases, especially those which include hand and arm deformities, Poland syndrome may be identified at birth or shortly after.
If Poland syndrome is identified in an individual, he or she will be exmained for the presence of other syndromes such as Moebius or Klippel-Feil syndromes.
There is treatment, usually reconstruction of the chest wall muscles, breast, and nipple on the affected side can be accomplished by a plastic surgeon. The existing chest muscles can be used to rebuild the chest. If there is not enough chest muscle for rebuilding, muscle can be taken from other parts of the body. In males, chest reconstruction can be done as early as 13 years old. In females, surgery is postponed until breast development is complete. Plastic surgeons may also be able to improve finger deformities through reconstruction and separating webbed fingers.
I cover birth defects and the overwhelming lack of action, on the part of the VA, in my book and in separate articles on my website. Please review that material.
Here is the most recent statement for the National Academy of Sciences on VAO and Birth Defects.
The March of Dimes defines a birth defect as “an abnormality of structure, function or metabolism, whether genetically determined or as the result of an environmental influence during embryonic or fetal life” (Bloom, 1981). Other terms, often used interchangeably, are congenital anomaly and congenital malformation. Major birth defects, which occur in 2–3% of live births, are abnormalities that are present at birth that are severe enough to interfere with viability or physical well-being. Birth defects are detected in another 5% of babies during follow-up through the first year of life. The causes of most birth defects are unknown. Genetic factors, exposure to some medications, exposure to environmental contaminants, occupational exposures, and lifestyle factors have been implicated in the etiology of birth defects (Kalter and Warkany, 1983). Most etiologic research has focused on the effect of maternal and fetal exposures, but some work has addressed paternal exposures. Paternally mediated exposures might occur by several routes and exert effects in various ways. One way is through direct genetic damage to the male germ cell transmitted to the offspring and dominantly expressed as a birth defect. A hypothesized route is the transfer of toxic compounds through a man’s body into his seminal fluid, resulting in fetal exposure during gestation (Chia and Shi, 2002). Another more indirect route of paternally mediated exposure could arise from contact of family members with contamination brought into the home from the workplace.
Summary of VAO, Update 1996, Update 1998, Update 2000, and Update 2002
The committee responsible for Veterans and Agent Orange: Health Effects of Herbicides Used in Vietnam (hereafter, VAO; IOM, 1994) determined that there was inadequate or insufficient information to determine an association between exposure to 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) or its contaminant TCDD, picloram, or cacodylic acid and birth defects among offspring. Additional information available to the committee responsible for Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1996 (hereafter, Update 1996; IOM, 1996) led it to conclude that there was limited or suggestive evidence of an association between at least one of the compounds of interest and spina bifida in the children of veterans; there was no change in the conclusions regarding other birth defects. Those findings were not modified further in Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 1998 (hereafter, Update 1998; IOM, 1999), Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2000 (hereafter, Update 2000; IOM, 2001), or Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2002 (hereafter, Update 2002; IOM, 2003).
It must be remembered, the only studies to be done are those requested formally by the Secretary of the VA. Thus if a request is not made, the study will not be done.
In my opinion to many questions have not been addressed. We are sorely lacking answers. There apparently has been no request, by any Secretary of the VA, for further study of birth defects and Agent Orange since the 1996 study.
May be we can now get the studies resumed, as Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Jim Nicholson announced today he has tendered his resignation to President George W. Bush, effective no later than October 1, 2007.
Hopefully we can get back on track with Agent Orange.
On my website are many discussions regarding children of exposed AO vets. In my "Agent Orange 2005" article the Vietnamese children were discussed in detail.
Here is an excerpt from the VAO Update 2006:
OCR for page 13
endpoints, such as metabolic syndrome and male-mediated effects in offspring, merit laboratory investigation and study of human populations. Meta-analyses of the available data on effects among the children of veterans are recommended. In addition, as the offspring of Vietnam veterans grow older, the possibility of a paternal effect on adult cancers, cognitive problems, and other diseases of maturity will be of increasing interest. This committee notes that the earlier investment in studying several exposed populations is now producing useful findings; the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Seveso, Air Force Health Study, and Army Chemical Corps cohorts all merit continuing follow-up or more comprehensive analysis. It is especially important that longitudinal analyses be conducted on cancer and reproductive endpoints from the complete database assembled in the course of the Air Force Health Study. Consideration should also be given to restarting the National Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal Study. New epidemiologic studies, such as a case-control study of tonsil cancer developed from VAâ€™s existing files or a study of reproductive effects in the Vietnamese population, could enable the recovery of valuable information. PREPUBLICATION DRAFT: UNCORRECTED PROOFS 13
This was posted yesterday at the Institure of Medicine of the National Academies website http://www.iom.edu/CMS/3793/4689/44596.aspx.
"Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2006
Released On: July 27, 2007
From 1962 to 1971, US military sprayed herbicides over Vietnam to strip the thick jungle canopy that could conceal opposition forces, to destroy crops that those forces might depend on, and to clear tall grasses and bushes from the perimeters of US base camps and outlying fire-support bases.
Because of continuing uncertainty about the long-term health effects of the sprayed herbicides on Vietnam veterans, Congress passed the Agent Orange Act of 1991. The legislation directed the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to request the Insititute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to perform a comprehensive evaluation of scientific and medical information regarding the health effects of exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides used in Vietnam. Mandated updates to the original study were to be conducted every 2 years for 10 years. Veterans and Agent Orange, Update 2006 is the seventh report in this series.
The Update 2006 committee weighed the strengths and limitations of the epidemiologic evidence reviewed in this report and in previous Veterans and Agent Orange (VAO) reports. Although the studies published since Update 2004 are the subject of detailed evaluation in this report, the committee drew its conclusions in the context of the entire body of literature.
The committee assings each health outcome to one of four categories on the basis of evidence. In this update, the committee reassigned several health outcomes from Update 2004. For the first time, a VAO committee found itself deadlocked on several of the health outcomes, and were unable to come to a consensus on their categorization. As a result, these health outcomes were left in the lower category of association."
Thanks David a good post. My above post is a quote from the Summary of that same report. The quote from David's post is typical of the old days when I played the 'parlay' (sic) cards. It said on the bottom "in case of tie you lose" and that was true. Hopefully enough research will continue to continue to push these issues. The ten year NAS review period is over, we are at the mercy of those elected political leaders to ask for reviews.
Will they? May be the answer is up to us! Send those cards and letters to your represntatives in congress. Tell them we need the research to continue.
I am also a child of a Vietnam vet who was exposed to Agent Orange. While he hasn't had any serious health problems, I have three chronic kidney diseases. The two I know of for sure that I was diagnosed with are proteinuria and hematuria. The one I'm quite sure I have but haven't been officially diagnosed with (haven't had biopsy yet) is IgA, which is a type of glomerulonephritis. I know that my problems are due to my father being exposed to Agent Orange. There is no other explanation plausible. All of my adult life I have faded until I knew I had to see a doctor. I haven't been able to work for years and have no energy. I am the firstborn. None of my younger sisters have any health problems. My youngest did almost die from being more than two months premature. My father served in '66-67 with the 1st Calvary Div. and LRRP Company. He said when he tried to get benefits from being exposed they told him that Agent Orange was only used in Italy. I want to know how I can find a lawyer who will take my case who maybe has represented children of Vietnam vets who were exposed to AO, or is currently representing any. I'm a patriot, but I'm not going to take this lying down.
That is a new one on me. I suggest you go to my website and review all of the AO material there.
Just click on the link which will take you to the marquee that has the link to my website!
you are doing great work for us,dont let a nut case try to deter you from it.My daughter lost all her hair when she got pregnant with my grandson.She has had issues thruout her life that i believe are ao related. Someone has to be there for us,thank you for being that person.
just because the government won't admit to it does not make it untrue. I have read reports of their findings that boil down to a really idiotic translation: If you have ever breathed the air on a farm or ranch, ever been near a farm or ranch, then that is where the chemical exposure occured.
Our Vietnam vets were exposed to agent orange(amongst other chems), it attaches to DNA and alters it, AO is passed on to their children-grandchildren-generation after generation. We have barely even begun to see the results of this chemical addition to the human body.
Since the Veterans and Agent Orange Update 2006 (2007) just released, indicate suggestive of possible cancers may develop in offspring. You should review my latest articles on my website. Links on the AO marquee.
I have checked out your sight and it was informative, to say the least. Keep up the good work, Dave. to quote one of our household's favorite characters...'remember, i'm pullin' for ya, we're all in this together.'
I have been diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy, which is peripheral neuropathy. My father served in Vietnam and has a 100% disability through the VA, I have been told that I could not have gotten neuropathy from him (I was born after he served). It has been said it is possible from mother to child but not father to child, is that true? Are there any tests that can be done to verify that it was genetically passed to me? I have been severely effected by my illness for the past 3-1/2 years and I am just wanting some resolution.
I read as much as I could find at this late hour. Genetics seem to only be discussed in one or two articles and they tended to focus on Celiac and related diseases.
The information I found tended to place most cases as idiopathic - with no known cause. I think you are confusing genetics and damaged caused to the body that is replicated in the sperm. If the damage to his cellular structure that caused the neuropathy also damaged him genetic material to the degree that he passed it to you, then that is not really genetics.
I have no knowledge on the subject to state that this is possible. Most cases of birth defects (that is what this would be considered if it is the case) are caused by the exposure a woman may have during or proximate to gestation.
Here are some links on the topic in general
I know that my father was a marine in Nam. I unfortunatly do not know what unit or where, I finally met him and I am 27. As we talked he informed me that my sister (age 21) was born with congenital valvular heart disease (arotic stenosis). It was then that I told him that I was also born with the same disease, only mine was a little more severe. I am now 2 open heart surgeries out with another on the way. Btw, My sister and I have different mothers, the common link is my father. My brother (same mother and father) was on active duty with the army when he had a sezuire, his first at the age of 29. My father states that he started having sezuires after Nam.
I have been told that my heart disease is a direct result of AO, as is my sisters. Is this a real possibility?
It is possible. Birth defects is the least investigated area. If you will read my book In Search Of The Truth... you will see the birth defects studied were those the were apparent from birth, not those that develop over the years. That was my third criticism of the CDC.
I am the daughter of a Vietnam Veteran USMC . I have had many problems like the rest of you. My dad has kidney cancer, and just received his 100% service connected disability. I started getting rashes at a very young age 4 or 5 possibly earlier. I have fought infections all my life. I have a sister and a brother that haven't had any problems. I also started getting cysts under my arms that later came up on my face leaving deep scars. I also have gastro intestinal issues the Dr.'s think is crohn's disease. The infections have attacked my appendix, gallbladder, and thyroid. CT scans show them enlarged and later go back to normal size. I get numbness in my hands and feet. I now have 2 children that get frequent rashes. I emailed my state senator explaining my health issues and 2 days later his secretary called me stating that he was personally taking my case to the VA. I am filing a claim with Denver, but was discouraged previously, stating that you had to have spina bifida before you could file a claim. That is not true! VA states the diseases in the children of Vietnam Veterans recognized is spina bifida, But is not limited too. I have heard that they get more money for the less they give out. All you have to do is send them a letter explaining your health problems along with medical records, your father's DD214's, your birth certificit, and personal information. Also, I think, your father has to be service connected disabled. If anyone needs the address, just email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, any other questions you have I will try to help. I have made it my mission to make sure nobody else is lied to so that they give up. I'm glad to have found you all.
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