Cancer Care for Veterans
Veterans are empowered through the VA Mission Act of 2018 to choose the cancer treatment method that they believe will give them the best long-term outcome. If the Veterans Administration does not offer the cancer treatment a Veteran selects, the Veteran may choose to come to one of our clinics for their cancer treatments via the Veteran Community Care Program and TriWest/Optum empowered by the VA Mission Act of 2018.
For prostate cancer, Veterans Administration Hospitals do not offer a two-modality radiation treatment like ProstRcision ®. ProstRcision is the primary prostate cancer treatment method provided at the Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia (RCOG). ProstRcision ® combines brachytherapy followed in three weeks with external beam radiation. ProstRcision preserves sexual function and urinary control for the vast majority of men. Documented 10-year and 15-year high disease-free survival rates, combined with no cutting of the prostate, and few side effects are why over 16,000 men from all 50 states and over 40 countries have chosen ProstRcision to treat their prostate cancer.
Who is Eligible for VA Health Care?
If you served 24-continuous months or the full period for which you were called to active duty and were not dishonorably discharged, you may be eligible for VA health care. For a full list of eligibility requirements go to the VA eligibility web page. Your eligibility improves if you served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, and/or served in Southwest Asia during the Gulf War between August 2, 1990, and November 11, 1998.
What cancers are presumptive diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange?
The VA recognizes cancers of the prostate, lung, and larynx as presumptive diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange, and a 2013 study conducted at the Portland VA Medical Center and Oregon Health and Science University found that veterans exposed to Agent Orange are not only at a higher risk for prostate cancer, but also at greater risk for more aggressive forms of prostate cancer.
If you have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, it’s critical to research prostate cancer treatment options in order to make an informed decision that is best for you and your family. With a few exceptions, your first treatment generally gives you the best chance for success. You are your best advocate.
Because the VA does not offer a two-modality radiation approach like ProstRcision, Veterans may choose to come to RCOG for their prostate cancer treatments via the Veteran Community Care Program and TriWest/Optum empowered by the VA Mission Act of 2018.
Benefits of going through the VA for Prostate Cancer Treatment
Whether or not a veteran has other health insurance coverage doesn’t affect the VA health care benefits he is entitled to. By working through the VA and TriWest/Optum, a veteran may be able to reduce his out-of-pocket costs for the treatment of his prostate cancer. A veteran may also be eligible to receive payment for travel and subsistence while being treated for his prostate cancer outside of the VA.
How do I navigate through the VA to be treated for Prostate Cancer or another cancer at RCOG?
Call 877-585-3625 and talk with one of our Patient Navigators.
Randy Cassels answers the question, “What would you say to other Veterans diagnosed with prostate cancer who have Tricare For Life, Tricare Prime, or simply want to use VA TriWest to choose his own treatment method.”