Renal (Kidney) Cancer

(Please Check with your family Physician) 


John D. Dennison


It has come to my attention that Renal (Kidney) Cancer is usually asymptomatic and is found coincidently when doctors are searching for answers to resolve another health problem.

As Vietnam Veterans, we were all exposed to Agent Orange and other chemical defoliants that contained dioxins.  Dioxins have been scientifically proven to cause cancer of human organs, including the kidney.  

I am asking all Vietnam Veterans to talk to their doctors about getting a CT scan to check for this potentially dangerous life threatening disease.  Being asymptomatic, most people will not show any signs of being ill however, about 40% of the cancer patients had some pain in their lower back on either their left or right side, just over the kidney.  If the belt that you are wearing is hurting your back have your doctor order a CT scan for you immediately.  

Renal Cancer is one of the health problems that the VA has listed as "Inadequate/Insufficient Evidence to Determine Whether an Association Exists" for Agent Orange.  

The Government paid for a 20 year study (Operation Ranch Hand) and now some experts are saying this study was seriously flawed from the beginning.  I am not an expert on this subject but you can check it out on the internet and make your own informed opinion.  I just wonder why they didn't study any infantry units in III Corps.  Infantry soldiers did not change their clothes every day or take a daily shower.  It would be weeks before they would get a change of clothes and a month for a shower.  III Corps was the heaviest sprayed area in Vietnam, especially in 1969.  Agent Orange II (Super Orange which had double the dioxin) was used in 1968 and1969 in South Vietnam. 

Below is a map illustrating the heaviest areas sprayed in Vietnam by the United States Air Force.  The color orange represents the heaviest concentrations.  The map is not drawn to scale, but is to give a person a general understanding where the heaviest spraying took place.  This map does not indicate areas that were sprayed by helicopters or by other means of distributing Agent Orange and other chemical defoliants .

Veterans Please check with your family physician. Make use of the medical technology that we have available to help save your life.  It requires a simple scan that could catch this cancer in the earliest stages BEFORE it grows.  Without symptoms, there are no warning signs.  Get checked. 

Getting out this information was very important to John Dennison because the VA does not recognize renal cell cancer as being Agent Orange related.  

This situation needs to change.  

When John was diagnosed on November 8, 2006 with a large tumor on his kidney, his only symptom had been a cough that he developed in August.  Our family physician treated him for bronchitis, asthma and even whooping cough.  Nothing showed up on his chest x-ray.  A CT Scan of John's lungs was performed on November 8, 2006 and part of his kidney was visible in the scan and that is how they spotted the large tumor.  The CT scan also showed cancer nodules throughout his lungs.  After going through aggressive treatment of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, it was still impossible to stop the cancer which was in his kidney, both lungs, liver and spine.  He applied to the VA for compensation because his both lungs were involved.  The VA completely turned down his application because even though the cancer was in both of his lungs, they decided it was renal cell cancer that had spread to his lungs, NOT REAL LUNG CANCER.  His VA rejection letter came the week prior to his death. 

Please be advised that John D. Dennison died on May 24, 2007.

His obituary follows:                                                                                      

Visitation Times
Monday 7-9 PM
Hafer Chapel of the Hills

CUMBERLAND - After being diagnosed with advanced renal cell (kidney) cancer on November 8, 2006, John Dennison died on his birthday May 24, 2007 at his home. The son of Russell and Ellen (Nellie) Dennison, he was born in Frostburg where he attended Thomas G. Pullen School and graduated from Beall. He enlisted into the Army and was stationed at Ft. Knox, KY, Ft. Sam Houston, TX, the Republic of Vietnam (earning a Combat Medical Badge while serving as a grunt medic with the 1st Bn. 8th Cav.), and Ft. Carson, CO. He continued his education while in the Army by completing USAFI Criminology courses and completing Police Science courses at El Paso College (Colorado).

After his military discharge, he attended and graduated from the Dade County Public Safety Department (Florida) Police Academy Class #60 as a certified Police Officer. He participated in ANACAPA Sciences Criminal Intelligence Analysis Training course, the ANACAPA Sciences Analytical Investigation Methods Course, Serial Homicides and Intelligence Gathering Techniques School, NRA Police Firearms Training Courses, Hostage Rescue Training Course, Chemical Test for Intoxication Workshop as training as a DO Technician and numerous other courses to develop and maintain proficiency. He was employed as a uniform bureau road patrol officer most of his time in the Central District Liberty City area. He often served as acting squad leader and as a Field Training Officer. He worked as a detective in the General Investigations Unit. He was the Central District Criminal Analyst for the Safe Streets Unit and regularly presented information to the Central District Crime Watch and Citizens Advisory Groups meetings as a liaison. He received many commendations from citizens, supervisors and coworkers. An on the job automobile injury in 1978 in which his left knee took direct force impact from a front seat mounted shotgun rack left him permanently disabled. He continued police work in Dade County, Florida until his retirement in 1985 when he returned to his family roots in Allegany County.

During retirement he enjoyed the company of family, friends and their pets. He also enjoyed fishing, boating, genealogy, American history, arguing politics, traveling (especially to Williamsburg), watching NFL, college and high school football games and baking and cake decorating. He designed, created and maintained his own website which was favorably reviewed on Tech TV. He also created, operated and maintained his own Internet radio station, which features his favorite 60ís music and snippets from AFVN radio. He is a member of the Retired Police Officerís Council of the Dade County Police Benevolent Association. He is a life member of the 1st Cavalry Division Association and the Jumping Mustangs Chapter of the 1st Cavalry Association.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years and best friend, Carol Windemuth Dennison. He is also survived by his brother Russell (Rusty) Dennison and his wife Debbie; by Carolís parents Kenneth and Mary Alice Windemuth; Johnís Aunt Anna Licciardi, numerous cousins; and a special family friend, Tony Pinardi. John was grateful for all of our neighbors and friends who permitted us the opportunity to share time in their childrenís lives as they grew into adulthood. John was immensely proud of watching them become such fine adults. John is also survived by Carolís family members, who, although not directly related to him by blood, they were truly ďhis familyĒ in every sense of the word.

Friends will be received at the Hafer Funeral Service, PA, Chapel of the Hills, 1302 National Hwy, LaVale on Monday evening 7-9 PM. Funeral services will be conducted in the funeral home chapel on Tuesday at 1:00 P.M. Rev. Jim Kurtz, OFM, Cap officiating. Interment will follow in Rocky Gap Veteran Cemetery, Flintstone with Military Honors being accorded by the Combined Veteran Honor Guard.

Memorial Contributions may be made in his memory to Mt. Savage Vol. Fire Co., PO Box 533, Mt. Savage, MD 21545 OR LaVale Vol. Fire Co., 421 National Hwy., LaVale, MD 21502.



Renal-Cancer, IndexSite Map, Vietnam Wall, 1st Cav Medics, MIA/POW, CMB, Author's Tour, Glossary, Experiences, Soldier's Own Obituary, June 2, 1969, Events, December 2, 1969, Photos, Agent Orange, Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Medics History, Statistics, Draft, Tillquist, Tabasco's C-Ration Cookbook, Student Surveys & Questions, Request for Help, Vietnam Patches, Remembrance, Links, Webrings, Jane Fonda, Simpler Version of Tet 68

All content on this website is intended solely for educational purposes and as a means to honor Veterans and their families

Copyright © 1998 - 2007  John D. Dennison