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Cancer Answers is hosted by Dr. Anees Chagpar, Associate Professor of Surgical Oncology and Director of The Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and Dr. Francine Foss, Professor of Medical Oncology. The show features a guest cancer specialist who will share the most recent advances in cancer therapy and respond to listeners questions. Myths, facts and advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment are discussed, with a different focus eachweek. Nationally acclaimed specialists in various types of cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment discuss common misconceptions about the disease and respond to questions from the community.Listeners can submit questions to be answered on the program at canceranswers@yale.edu or by leaving a message at (888) 234-4YCC. As a resource, archived programs from 2006 through the present are available in both audio and written versions on the Yale Cancer Center website.

Lawsuit Filed Against VA On Behalf of Military Sexual Trauma Survivors


Veterans' advocacy groups are suing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, alleging the VA discriminates against veterans who file PTSD disability claims based on being raped, assaulted, or sexually harassed while in the military.

Yale's Veterans Legal Services clinic filed the lawsuit on Wednesday on behalf of Service Women's Action Network and Vietnam Veterans of America. Any veteran who is diagnosed with PTSD related to his or her military service is entitled to seek disability compensation.

The groups said that if a veteran's PTSD stems from military sexual trauma, the VA imposes a greater procedural burden on him or her to prove the claims. The VA denies theses claims at a significantly higher rate than other PTSD claimants.

Policy Director for SWAN Greg Jacob, who is also a former Marine, said the groups want the VA to revise its regulations for PTSD claims. He said, "We have heard from dozens of sex assault survivors that have met standards, what the VA calls markers. They've submitted particular markers verbatim, almost, on what's in the regulation, but their claims are still being denied."

Jacob said that data from 2009 to 2012 shows that military, sexual trauma-related PTSD claims were approved 16 to 30 percent less frequently than other PTSD claims. The lawsuit also said that the VA's current rules discriminate on the basis of gender against both men and women veterans.

SWAN and VVA filed a petition a year ago asking the VA to revise the regulations for PTSD claims, but the VA ignored the request. The VA does not respond to pending litigation, but it said in a statement that the department is working very hard to ensure claims are adjudicated fairly.

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