Question:
I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had the Brachy implant surgery performed. My Dr.who was not a Va Dr. that performed the operation said it would be 2 yrs. before I could be determined as cancer free but in your Va watchdog article about prostate cancer it says that my disability will end after the procedure. How can that be?
Reply:
That's how VA works. VA relies on the PSA blood test as the standard to determine whether your cancer is "cured". Once you're treated, your PSA should fall pretty quickly. There isn't any reliable way to declare you as "cancer free" so VA uses the PSA test. It isn't very good but it's all we have. The alternative would be more invasive biopsies but that isn't a good alternative.
Your disability payment won't end, it will be reduced from 100% to 20%, 40% or 60%.
UPDATED

Hey Jim,
I read the question that was posed about
brachytherapy. I am a VA RVSR/QRS and wanted clarify that Veterans who undergo brachytherapy for prostate cancer are considered to be under active treatment for one year after the seeds are implanted. Six months after that, a review examination is conducted so that is a total of 18 months during time the Veteran receives a 100 percent evaluation. Once the examination is conducted and the Veteran's cancer is no longer considered to be active or is in remission,then a proposal to reduce is made. The Veteran has 60 days to submit any additional evidence to show the reduction should not take place (due process period) and then a final rating decision is made that implements the reduction but the actual reduction does not occur until two months after the date of the letter of notification to the Veteran that the reduction is final.
Bottom line, depending on when the Veteran files the claim, he may be entitled to up to 18 months at 100% and then an additional 4-6 months while undergoing re-evaluation and due process. This does not include the time the Veteran receives a 100% evaluation while waiting for a treatment plan to be determined (assuming the Veteran filed his claim as soon as the diagnosis was made).
(Signed)  

VA RVSR/QRS

Service Connected Prostate Cancer

The Vietnam veteran who served with "boots on the ground" in the Republic of Vietnam is generally eligible for Service Connected Prostate Cancer & Disabled Veterans Benefits once the medical diagnosis of prostate cancer is made.

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 Code of Federal Regulations

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I'll try to use this today. I have no hopes I'll be able to get any appointments. /s/ Jim)

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The professionally written   Nexus Letter   is often the single most valuable tool we have at our disposal to win claims. If you doubt any of that please go to the  Board of Veterans Appeals and use their search  to look for cases with Nexus Letters or IMOs. You'll find, "...the Board finds the September 2019 Independent Medical Evaluation Report to be probative even though the Veteran’s service treatment records are silent...". I've referred vets to a small handful of reliable doctors for years. I've received hundreds of positive messages that tell me that the IMO/Nexus Letter works for you as well as it did for me. If you're caught up in an appeal and you aren't sure what else you need or if you want to file a new claim and prevail without a lot of fuss...talk with these doctors and make a plan to win.

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Hey Jim:  This Court of Appeals decision is a bit of a smack-down for VA’s implementation of the Appeals Management Act. VA will need to relook what they are doing under AMA - although this case only speaks to three specific regulations, a broader relook of their overall implementation of AMA would probably be prudent. /s/ Drew

Decided: July 30, 2021

​Congress enacted the AMA in 2017 to reform the exist-ing VA administrative appeals system, which was,

by all accounts, “broken,” marked by lengthy delays, and plagued with a formidable backlog of cases. 

More problematic, however, was the “continuous evidence gathering and readjudication

of the same matters”that caused appeals to “churn” in the system.

​MILITARY-VETERANS ADVOCACY, Petitioner v. SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS