Kidney Cancer and the Military: Understanding the Connection

At KidneyCAN, we are committed to advocating for increased funding for kidney cancer research through programs like CDMRP.

But why is kidney cancer connected to the military? Military personnel are at risk of developing kidney cancer due to service-related exposures to toxins, such as TCE and PFAS in contaminated drinking water, as well as airborne toxins from burn pits.

Kidney Cancer & the PACT Act

Recognizing the link between military service and kidney cancer, the VA has designated kidney cancer as a presumptive condition for certain veterans, alleviating the need to prove their service caused the condition.

The 2022 PACT Act is a landmark piece of legislation that will significantly improve healthcare access and funding for veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during military service. The law expands eligibility for VA health care for veterans with toxic exposures, including those who served in the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras. It also adds 20+ more presumptive conditions for burn pits, Agent Orange, and other toxic exposures. This means that veterans who develop these conditions after their service are presumed to have been caused by their exposure to toxic substances, and they are eligible for VA benefits without having to prove that their exposure caused their condition.

The PACT Act is a major victory for veterans with kidney cancer. Kidney cancer is one of the presumptive conditions added by the law, which means that veterans who develop kidney cancer after their service are now eligible for VA benefits.

In addition to the benefits listed above, the PACT Act also provides funding for research on toxic exposures and their effects on veterans’ health. This research will help us better understand the long-term health consequences of toxic exposures, and it will help us develop new treatments and prevention strategies.

Veterans tell their kidney cancer stories

KidneyCAN reached out to veterans with kidney cancer so that we can amplify their stories and experiences. Read on to learn more about the impact of kidney cancer on the military community and how we support veterans through our Patient Resource Center. Join us in advocating for research funding and legislation that meaningfully supports American military veterans.
Bruce Hill | Veterans with Kidney Cancer | PACT Act

Bruce's Story

Michael Beaumont | Veterans with Kidney Cancer | PACT Act

Michael's Story

Nathaniel Stout | Veterans with Kidney Cancer | PACT Act

Nathaniel's Story

Learn more about the PACT Act

If you are a veteran who may have been exposed to toxic substances, we encourage you to learn more about the PACT Act and how it can help you.

This video discusses the PACT Act in more detail. Watch to learn what the law does, whom it benefits, and how you can get help if you think you may be eligible.

U.S.Navy veteran and patient with stage IV kidney cancer Bruce Hill discusses the PACT Act and backdating your claim. Watch to understand your filing timeline.

Facing kidney cancer? You’re not alone.

Find resources and support at the KidneyCAN Patient Resource Center:

Understanding Your Kidney Cancer Diagnosis

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Building a Care Team

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Treatment & Trial Options

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Living Well with Kidney Cancer

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Connect with Our Communities

There are multiple support groups serving the kidney cancer community.  SmartPatients.com is a patient forum and a KidneyCAN partner. We recommend this as a private, moderated  place to talk with other patients.  Your cancer center may also have their own support groups.

Reliable  Resources for Cancer Information
NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE
www.cancer.gov
CANCER.NET
www.cancer.net/cancer-types/kidney-cancer
INTERNATIONAL KIDNEY CANCER COALITION
www.ikcc.org
CANCER AND CAREERS
www.cancerandcareers.org/en/at-work

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