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Hodgkin's Disease and Agent Orange

Veterans who develop Hodgkin's disease (also called Hodgkin's lymphoma) and were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service do not have to prove a connection between their disease and service to be eligible to receive VA health care and disability compensation.

About Hodgkin's disease

Hodgkin's disease is one of two common cancers of the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. The other, more common, cancer of the lymphatic system is called non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Signs may include fever, fatigue, night sweats, itching, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Painless swelling in the lymph nodes in neck, armpits, and groin also may occur.

Visit Medline Plus to learn more about treatment of Hodgkin's disease, the latest research and more from the National Institutes of Health.

VA benefits for Hodgkin's disease

Veterans with Hodgkin's disease who were exposed to herbicides during service may be eligible for disability compensation and health care.

Veterans who served in Vietnam, the Korean demilitarized zone or another area where Agent Orange was sprayed may be eligible for a free Agent Orange registry health exam.

Surviving spouses, dependent children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to herbicides during military service and died as the result of Hodgkin's disease may be eligible for survivors' benefits.

Research on Hodgkin’s disease and herbicides

The Health and Medicine Division (HMD) (formally known as the Institute of Medicine) of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concluded in its 1994 report on "Veterans and Agent Orange: Health Effects of Herbicides Used in Vietnam" and in future updates that there is sufficient evidence of a positive association between exposure to the herbicides used in Vietnam and the development of Hodgkin's disease.

There were more data for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma than for Hodgkin’s disease in the studies that HMD reviewed, but HMD found that the findings were consistent for the two types of lymphoma.

View more research on health effects of Agent Orange.


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