Prostate Cancer Survivors






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Out of system care as a veteran

Hello everyone. I was diagnosed about a month and half ago. Since then I learned quite a lot regarding treatment options, and decided on high dose brachytherapy. What I found out along the way dealing with the VA Health care system is that they are so compartmentalized that they are clueless.

The surgeon wants me to have surgery, the radiation oncologist, to have external beam radiation, even after I insist on having brachytherapy. What I found out is that they only offer low dose brachytherapy as some VA Hospitals thru-out the country.

Since high dose in not offered in the system, how to I get to have treatment in a non-va hospital. I do not have private health care coverage so I do need to do this thru the VA. Can anyone share/help in this mess.

Thanks and Happy New Year. Peter

Re: Out of system care as a veteran

Peter; Yes the VA is a different sort of animal alright but it can be worked with. They have a program called "veteran's choice" where outside assistance can be authorized and paid for through the VA.I have no idea if it will apply in your situation but you should certainly check into it. See your local VA rep or you could try the direct route by calling the VA facility you are connected with. If you have been put on the disabled list due to your cancer (if it is deemed service related), That will be a big factor in attaining your goal. Problem is, this can take some time. You need to speak with your local VA rep. They are pretty much aware of all the things that are needed to make this work and are good advisors.
I went through my private ins. even though I had boots on the ground in Vietnam multiple times as a flying crew chief. After fifty years, I didn't have the proof needed to validate my "boots on the ground" claim. (We used to carry agent orange as cargo so I am convinced it got me but that is not proof for the VA.) Hope you have better luck! Jon R.