Citation Nr: 18160616
Decision Date: 12/27/18	Archive Date: 12/27/18

DOCKET NO. 18-28 165
DATE:	December 27, 2018
REMANDED
Entitlement to service connection for bilateral shoulder arthritis is remanded.
Entitlement to service connection for prostate cancer is remanded.
Entitlement to service connection for basal cell cancer with melanoma is remanded.
Entitlement to service connection for diabetes mellitus, type II, is remanded.
REASONS FOR REMAND
The Veteran had active duty service from August 1954 to May 1956.  He testified before the undersigned Veterans Law Judge (VLJ) at a videoconference hearing in August 2018.  A transcript of the hearing has been associated with the claims file.
Entitlement to service connection for bilateral shoulder arthritis is remanded; Entitlement to service connection for prostate cancer is remanded; Entitlement to service connection for melanoma is remanded; Entitlement to service connection for diabetes mellitus, type II is remanded.
A review of the Veteran’s record shows that he has diagnoses of arthritis of the bilateral shoulders; prostate cancer for which he underwent a prostatectomy; basal cell carcinoma and melanoma with several lesions removed; and diabetes mellitus, type II.  In addition, at his Board hearing and through various correspondences, he testified that he handled weed killer herbicides at both Camp Gordon and Fort Lewis (2d ID) during active duty service.  He went to the Army Medical facility three times because of lesions on his hands caused by the weed killer.  He also testified that he has no family history for any of the above disabilities.  
VA is obliged to provide an examination or obtain a medical opinion in a claim of service connection when the record contains competent evidence that the claimant has a current disability or signs and symptoms of a current disability, the record indicates that the disability or signs and symptoms of disability may be associated with active service, and the record does not contain sufficient information to make a decision on the claim.  38 U.S.C. § 5103A(d); McLendon v. Nicholson, 20 Vet. App. 79 (2006).  The threshold for finding a link between current disability and service is low.  Locklear v. Nicholson, 20 Vet. App. 410 (2006); McLendon, 20 Vet. App. at 83.  Given this low threshold, the Board finds that remand for VA medical opinions is warranted in this case. 
The matters are REMANDED for the following action:
1. Obtain a VA medical opinion from an appropriate clinician to determine the nature and etiology of the Veteran’s claimed disabilities (bilateral shoulder arthritis; prostate cancer; melanoma; and diabetes mellitus, type II).  The need for an in-person examination is left to the discretion of the examining clinician.
The Veteran contends that all of the claimed disabilities were caused by his in-service exposure to weed killer; he does not contend that he had any other in-service injuries that could have caused the disabilities.  He has testified that he does not have any family history of any of the above disabilities.
The examiner is advised that the Board has conceded that the Veteran was in-fact exposed to weed killer during service, and directly came in contact with the weed killer via his hands and other parts of his body when he was sprayed with it by fellow servicemembers.  Agent Orange exposure has not been conceded.
The examiner is therefore asked to opine:
(1)	 Whether the Veteran’s bilateral shoulder arthritis is at least as likely as not related to service, to specifically include his exposure to weed killer;
(2)	Whether the Veteran’s basal cell cancer/melanoma is at least as likely as not related to service, to specifically include his exposure to weed killer;
(3)	Whether the Veteran’s prostate cancer is at least as likely as not related to service, to specifically include his exposure to weed killer;
(4)	Whether the Veteran’s diabetes mellitus, type II, is at least as likely as not related to service, to specifically include his exposure to weed killer.

(Continued on the next page)
 
A complete rationale for any opinion rendered must be provided.  The examiner is specifically asked to address the fact that the Veteran has no family history for any of the above claimed disabilities.
 
H.M. WALKER
Veterans Law Judge
Board of Veterans’ Appeals
ATTORNEY FOR THE BOARD	Martha R. Luboch, Associate Counsel

For A Complete Guide To VA Disability Claims and to find out more about your potential VA disability case and how to obtain favorable VA Rating Decision! Visit: VA-Claims.org

For More Information on Veterans Disability Compensation Benefits! Visit: DisableVeteran.org ~ A Non-Profit Non Governmental Agency


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