TDRL and cancer remission


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I'm curious how the Army defines cancer remission? It seems from what I've read that if a patient is actively receiving treatment, then they would continue to be eligible for a 100% disability, regardless of how prominent other evidence for the cancer is. Is that accurate?

For example, suppose a cancer patient beats cancer in a first course of treatment, but then has recurrence. If an oncologist prescribes an oral medication as permanent, palliative care, then would a medically retired member retain their rating regardless of what future scans showed?


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Preparing answer. Ron


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Hello @JimH

With regard to VA procedures:

I have had cancer that was service connected (exposure to Agent Orange).
I had surgery and after six months without signs of cancer, my VA comp was reduced from 100% to a certain percentage for residual problems.
A couple of years later, the cancer was found again (biochemical recurrence) and my oncologist stated in writing I had ACTIVE CANCER.
A new claim was submitted and I continue to receive VA comp @ 100%. I am being treated via active surveillance (prostate cancer).

Summary: An individual would continue to receive VA comp at 100% (or a lesser rate if one is given for cancer although I know of none) as long as his/her cancer is considered ACTIVE.

With regard to the TDRL:
One would be reevaluated and the rating reduced if the cancer is not Active.

With regard to PDRL:
Your DoD rating remains static.

Remission: A decrease in or disappearance of signs and symptoms of cancer. In partial remission, some, but not all, signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared. In complete remission, all signs and symptoms of cancer have disappeared, although cancer still may be in the body.

I've seen many discussions about this subject and according to the folks I know who have been or are VA raters the VA looks at such cases as
you have cancer
you don't.

I mention this because often a veteran who had prostate cancer mentions "Well my PSA is xxxx and I should be rated at 100%." Maybe so, but unless the veteran provides a written diagnosis from a physician that shows active cancer, the 100% rating will not be considered.

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