Finding a treatment center is the most important step a veteran diagnosed with mesothelioma can take. Mesothelioma is rare and only a few VA treatment centers can provide the specialized care the disease requires.
Veterans and Mesothelioma
Veterans are disproportionately affected by mesothelioma. As a group, they account for nearly 30 percent of all mesothelioma diagnoses due to the military’s widespread use of asbestos in the past.
The VA recognizes the connection between mesothelioma and asbestos. It offers veterans access to benefits and disability compensation to help pay for specialized care.
As part of their service-connected benefits, veterans can access a network of VA treatment centers across the country. Unfortunately, however, most VA health care centers are not well known for the quality of their mesothelioma treatment. Mesothelioma is rare and most treatment centers don’t have much experience treating the disease. Additionally, of the treatment centers that do have experience treating mesothelioma, some offer better care than others.
Top VA Treatment Centers
If you’re a veteran who’s been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we can help you.
A select few VA treatment centers host programs that are specifically focused on treating mesothelioma and can offer veterans the specialized care their diagnosis requires.
West Los Angeles VA Medical Center
The West Los Angeles VA is part of the Greater Los Angeles Healthcare system and is home to the nationally recognized Elmo Zumwalt (EZ) Mesothelioma Program. The program is named after Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, a highly-decorated veteran who passed away from pleural mesothelioma in 2000.
Headed by renowned mesothelioma surgeon Dr. Robert Cameron, the EZ Mesothelioma Program is one of the best mesothelioma programs nationwide. It also belongs to a network of top cancer treatment programs, including the UCLA Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program.
It’s a relentless disease…but we’re relentless in treating it. We can not only extend Veterans’ lives significantly, we can help sustain a really good quality of life” – Dr. Robert Cameron
The West LA VA is accessible to veterans from all parts of the country through the use of TeleHealth and TeleMedicine, which are long distance consultation services. It also offers veterans social and financial support during treatment.
Boston VA Health Care System
Like the West LA VA, the Boston VA Health Care System houses a nationally-recognized mesothelioma program headed by one of the best mesothelioma surgeons in the country, Dr. Abraham ‘Avi’ Lebenthal.
Dr. Lebenthal has extensive experience treating mesothelioma and is an expert in minimally-invasive surgical techniques. Additionally, Dr. Lebenthal’s own service in the Israeli Army puts him in a unique position as a healthcare provider. His personal service allows him to understand the importance of each and every veteran’s sacrifice, an understanding he strives to incorporate into his patient-centered approach to healthcare.
VA or Private Treatment?
It’s important to understand that mesothelioma affects every patient differently. Many factors, like cell type, cancer stage and location of the tumor, play a decisive role in the creation of a patient’s treatment plan.
Veterans can choose to receive treatment at any facility, not just those that are in the VA network.
The treatment center whose facilities and specialists can provide the best care for your diagnosis may not be part of the VA network. It’s your right to choose the treatment center that best fits your needs. Our Patient Help Team can review your diagnosis and find the right treatment center.
Help with VA Benefits
Finding the right treatment center is the first step. The next is accessing VA benefits and disability compensation that can help pay for treatment. Our Veterans Help Team specializes in assisting veterans with filing their VA claim at no cost.
A member of our Veterans Help Team will:
- Find out which VA benefits you qualify for (VA Disability Compensation, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, and VA Health Care).
- Handle and submitting the paperwork for those benefits.
- Check your eligibility for other compensation opportunities that can help with travel costs, lost wages, or treatment beyond what your VA benefits provide.
- Answer any questions you have about mesothelioma (treatment, prognosis) or asbestos.
Get in touch with a member of our Veterans Help Team to access the benefits and disability compensation you deserve.