What Is Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is also referred to as Hodgkin’s disease, is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. In Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cells of the lymphatic system grow abnormally and may spread into other parts of the body. It is one of the two common types of cancer of the lymphatic system. The other type, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, is much more common.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma may include:
- Painful swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin
- Night sweats
- Persistent fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
While many doctors aren’t sure what causes Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the disease begins when an infection-fighting lymphocyte develops a genetic mutation that tells the cell to multiply rapidly. That mutation can cause a large number of abnormal, oversized lymphocytes to accumulate in the lymphatic system, where they crowd out healthy cells and start causing the symptoms listed above. Despite the exact causes of the genetic mutation remaining unclear, one widely recognized environmental factor that can contribute to the development of the disease is Agent Orange.
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma And Agent Orange
Under 38 CFR § 3.307(a)(6), the VA describes the requirements for service connection of a presumptive condition due to herbicide exposure. The two most important requirements are that (1) veterans have a formal diagnosis for an Agent Orange presumptive condition and (2) that they were exposed to Agent Orange during their military service. So, as long as a veteran served in an area of presumptive exposure during his or her military service and his or her diagnosis for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is recorded in official medical records, he or she can get service connected on the basis of Agent Orange exposure.
How The VA Rates Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Under 38 CFR § 4.117, the VA evaluates conditions of the hemic and lymphatic systems. Below is the disability rating schedule for Hodgkin’s lymphoma:
Diagnostic Code 7709: Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- With active disease or during a treatment phase 100
The 100 percent evaluation continues for six months after the last treatment date for the condition. Once six months have passed, the VA will evaluate the veteran’s condition via a Compensation and Pension Exam and use the results from that exam to determine the appropriate schedular disability rating.
Assistance With Your Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Claim
If you or someone you know is a veteran with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is looking to secure service connection for his or her condition, or appeal a denial of service connection for his or her condition, our experienced veterans disability lawyers are ready to help. Please contact our office today for a free claim evaluation.