Bruce, you do know that the SEER data is flawed because the Veterans Administration stopped reporting cholangiocarcinoma cases back in 2004???  In the 10 years prior to that they had reported over 800 cases.  Given the long latency period from exposure to onset of symptoms, I would imagine that there are many more than 800 cases involving vets over the last 10 years that are missing from the data repositories.

Elizabeth, Not a rumor.   Here is the link to the Veterans Administration appeals claims for cholangiocarcinoma.  Note that the number of appeals being approved has gone UP dramatically in the last couple years.  You can open each case and see what was listed as the cause - some for liver flukes, some for agent orange.  I haven't seen any yet for asbestos but the Department of Labor has put out a publication saying that asbestos definitely is a cause as well.  In all of my research focusing on why veterans get this disease I have found that the only one of the three that medical and science professionals have said there is conclusive evidence for a link is for liver flukes.  Dioxin (in agent orange) and asbestos are listed as strong risk factors but they say not enough scientific studies to be conclusive.  Nonetheless, the VA has approved a number of appeals citing agent orange.  My husband's doctor has written a letter for our claim in which he says that my husband's cholangiocarcinoma, liver and gall bladder cancers are at least 70% service connected due to his many Western Pacific cruises in the Navy exposing him to liver flukes and lots of asbestos.  So here is the URL: http://www.index.va.gov/search/va/bva_s … ocarcinoma

It would be so helpful to me to know how many members have had asbestos exposure.  I am getting ready to file my husband's claim with the VA.  He definitely was exposed to at least 2 species of liver flukes that cause this cancer.  BUT his military medical record documents all of the asbestos exposure he had while serving on Navy ships - lots of it.  So I am going to cite both the liver fluke and asbestos.

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(4 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Susan, my husband has cholangiocarcinoma .   He nearly his entire 20-year career in the Navy on sea duty and all but one tour consisted of cruises to Southeast Asia, including during VietNam.   Several of his early ships contained lots of asbestos, as you describe.  In fact, I was just reviewing his military medical record and some pages have "ASBESTOS" stamped on them. 

So far the Veterans Administration does not recognize cholangiocarcinoma as a presumed service-related disease.  However, with the rise of occurrence of this disease, which includes an increasing number of veterans, the VA is getting a significant number of claims.  After years of denying the claims, they are now starting to approve a number of appeals.  I was reviewing the VA appeals and year before last they approved 3 and last year they approved 12.  So I suspect that cholangiocarcinoma will soon make it to the presumed service-related list.

I've not seen one case, however, that the VA cites asbestos as the link.  The known cause that they cite is a parasite called the liver fluke which servicemen and women may have ingested while in SE Asia, where the disease is predominant.  But some studies, like the Bologna study you cited which suggests strong evidence for a link, do suspect asbestos as a cause.  Here is another from the University of Washington in Seattle: http://www.cells4research.com/files/Pat … cinoma.pdf

I'm doing all of this research so that I can file a claim with the VA on behalf of my husband but, honestly, it is the last thing I want to be doing when his time is so short.  It's very sad we have to go this.  If your mother is still alive, she should file a claim because there is a special indemnification allowance paid to widows on a monthly basis.  I believe it is around $1,100/month.  Hope this information is helpful.  And I am very sorry to hear about your father.  God rest his soul.