(NaturalNews) A blend of two synthetic compounds known to be contaminated with dioxin, Agent Orange was used during the Vietnam War to defoliate trees to supposedly reveal Viet Cong hiding places. It also polluted the land as well as the bodies of both Vietnamese and American soldiers. In fact, thousands of Viet Nam veterans have protested, complained, and demanded the truth about their Agent Orange exposure during the Viet Nam war for decades. Did the exposure cause birth defects, cancer and other lingering health problems?
A clear consensus about just what Agent Orange did, and is still doing, to American vets has remained somewhat cloudy. The American Cancer Society's (ACS) web site states "overall, the evidence of an association between Agent Orange and prostate cancer is not strong".
* cancer of the lung, bronchus, larynx, or trachea
* soft tissue sarcoma (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi sarcoma, or mesothelioma)
* chronic lymphocytic leukemia
New research just released, however, for the first time appears to make a solid connection between exposure to the dioxin-laden chemical brew and the development of one of the most common cancers in men, prostate cancer.
In a study presented during the 2008 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) in Orlando, scientists presented data from a large study of over 13,000 Viet Nam veterans enrolled in the Northern California VA System.
The researchers compared prostate cancer incidence in men exposed to Agent Orange and those vets who were not exposed and found those exposed to the Agent Orange had twice the rate of prostate cancer. What's more, these men were more likely to develop prostate cancer at a younger age and more likely to have disease that quickly and aggressively metastasized.
The bottom line: the researchers say they believe this evidence means exposure to Agent Orange should be considered a risk factor for developing prostate cancer, similar in importance to African-American heritage or a family history of prostate cancer.
What else can a Viet Nam vet exposed to Agent Orange do to try to protect his health from this carcinogenic toxin besides being vigilant about prostate cancer symptoms?
In his book Fit for Life: Not Fat for Life (http://www.amazon.com/Fit-Life-Not-Fat/dp/07...) Harvey Weinstein writes that a diet composed of 50% raw (living) food and no more than 50% dead (cooked) food has helped him overcome the medical problems he experienced due to massive Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam War. Diamond writes he is convinced that eating living food, containing phytochemicals and a host of vitamins and minerals, was the key to restoring his health.
About the author
Sherry Baker is a widely published writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Health, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Yoga Journal, Optometry, Atlanta, Arthritis Today, Natural Healing Newsletter, OMNI, UCLA’s "Healthy Years" newsletter, Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s "Focus on Health Aging" newsletter, the Cleveland Clinic’s "Men’s Health Advisor" newsletter and many others.