October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Thanks to a historic new law, the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins (PACT) Act of 2022, Veterans with cancer conditions related to toxic exposure—including reproductive cancer of any type, as well as breast cancer—can more easily access benefits from the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA).

For Gulf War era and post-9/11 Veterans who served in any of these locations and time periods, were exposed to various toxins and diagnosed with this condition, VBA assumes the condition is connected to their military service.

VA will begin processing claims related to the PACT Act as early as Jan. 1, 2023, but Veterans and survivors are encouraged to file their claims now.

“VBA is committed to expediting benefits delivery for Veterans with cancer conditions that are related to exposure to toxic substances based on the PACT Act,” said Joshua Jacobs, Senior Advisor for Policy, Performing the Delegable Duties of the Under Secretary for Benefits. “Our intent is to ensure Veterans with cancer receive their benefits and healthcare without delay.”

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, VBA is teaming with the Veterans Health Administration to present the Breast Cancer and the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins (PACT) Act Workshop Oct. 27.

The virtual event, held from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. (EDT), will feature information on the PACT Act and the potential impact of exposures on breast health, presented by the Minneapolis VA Medical Center (VAMC). The Minneapolis VAMC provides comprehensive breast and cancer care to Veterans.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 264,000 women and about 2,400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer annually in the United States. More than 42,000 people die of breast cancer in the U.S. each year. For more information on breast health, visit the Women Veterans Health Care website.

For more information on breast cancer screening, visit myhealth.va.gov.

For more information on the PACT Act, please visit PACT Act and your VA benefits.

By Craig Coleman

public affairs specialist with the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Strategic Engagement

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Published on Oct. 19, 2022

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  1. Emily J. October 27, 2022 at 9:10 pm

    Was this session recorded? I wasn’t able to attend the live session.

    • Bruce Jenkins November 2, 2022 at 7:25 am

      Did you get a response? Is breast cancer presumptive to toxic exposure? Is there contact information for Craig Coleman or Minnesota VBA contact who knows what was discussed during the virtual event?

  2. Janice October 27, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    was this session recorded?

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