Liver Disease May Also Be Linked to Agent Orange
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, two diseases that affect the liver are among the 19 serious illnesses directly linked to Agent Orange exposure: Hodkin’s disease and porphyria cutanea tarda. Hodkin’s disease (also called Hodkin’s lymphoma) is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which produces white blood cells that protect the body against infections and disease. Lymph tissue is present in the lymph nodes, bone marrow, liver, and spleen. Hodkin’s disease that spreads to liver lymph tissue can cause liver damage. Porphyria cutanea tarda is a rare disease that causes severe blistering of the skin when exposed to sunlight. The condition results from liver dysfunction. More recently, a study found that many Vietnam vets were exposed to tiny parasites called liver flukes, which can cause liver disease and bile duct cancer decades after infection.