My husband Jim was also a Viet Nam Vet from 1966-1967. He passed away Sept. 2, 2008 at the young age of 62, after only 7 weeks. Previously he was healthy. My understanding is that these parasites are in the waters in the Asian countries. If you swam in the water, drank it or ate anything that the water was used to wash the food you may have gotten these parasites in your system. They chew on the inside of the bile ducts & create abnormal cells that years later (up to 30-40) present as Cholangiocarcinoma. Usually by the time it is diagnosised it is already too advanced to treat & it becomes very aggressive. Apparently it is a very slow growing cancer, but because it goes undiagnosised for so long, with no symptoms, by the time it is, it is already too late to treat it successfully. Usually the VA denies service related claims of this type, however, I have heard of a few that have now been approved. I too am going to the VA to fight this. They claim that their is not enough evidence at this time, however, I too think that there are a lot of Vets out there that will be in the same situation as all of us & then they will not be able to deny this any longer. I actually think there is enough evidence now, but they do not want to admit it. If our country had made us aware of this possibility years ago, & the Vets were checked yearly for this possibility, maybe many of them could have been helped & their lives prolonged. We need to make all Viet Nam Vets aware of this & we also need to make our claims & do what we can to help ourselves & others who will be confronting this terrible disease in the future. The more favorable service related rulings we get the better. The government will then have to take notice & do the right thing for our Vets.
"One Day At A Time"
All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.