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CLL & Rheumatoid arthritis connection
I am a Vietnam veteran and was diagnosed with CLL in 1994 (There has already been an Agent Orange/CLL connection made).  I began suffering various skin cancers a couple of years before and have been through many mohs surgeries.  My oncologists agrees that CLL and Skin cancers are most probably related to my exposure to Agent Orange during my tour in Vietnam.
FYI! I was also diagnosed with Crohns disease in 1985 and suffered a severe bout of Shingles (hospitalized) in 1999.
Early last year I injured my wrists in two separate, very minor accidents.  Both wrist became swollen, became very warm to the touch and were, of course, extremely painful.   I was advised to consult with an orthopedic doctor as well as a rheumatologists and they both ordered MRIs and Xrays of both hands and wrists.  The results indicated the soft tissue in both wrists had been attacked and completely eroded by my immune system(?) and/or some undetermined form of of rheumattoid arthritis. They, and every expert they talked with, were mystified by the event.  Eight months later both wrists are locked and the fingers on my right hand stiff.
Question:  Could there be a link between the disability/damage to my wrists (rheumatoid arthritis) and my exposure to Agent Orange (Dioxin)?
Thanks for your assistance
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623944 tn?1244039090
RA is an autoimmune arthritis - and unfortunatley - what little I've read on dioxin - it can cause damage to the immune system.
Most auto-immune disorders develop after a "trigger" be it stress, illness or environmental. Agent Orange exposure would be considered an environmental exposure.
Have they run any blood tests? Specifically for elevated ANA and Rhuematoid Factor? There are also tests they run on the ANA pattern once it shows positive, to help determine different types of autoimmune disorders.

Hope this info was helpful. If you have more questions, please post and I'll do what I can to help find you answers!
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I am also a Viet Nam Veteran diagnosed with CLL in 2009.   i have recently come down with some sort of gout or RA in my left index finger which is locked, and my right hand is getting stiff.  The doctors seem to be puzzled by this.  So my situation seems to be very similar to what you described.  I was wondering if there was any other info you or your doctors could provide.  

Thank you so much for your comments.

John
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