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What Are The Rules Regarding Disqualifications For Leukemia In The Us Coast Guard?

Leukemia and blood cancer discussion.

What Are The Rules Regarding Disqualifications For Leukemia In The Us Coast Guard?

Postby Ira » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:42 am

I had leukemia, cancer of the blood, in 2008. As of this year I am considered cured. I have an appointment with a recruiter who told me to bring a letter from my doctor stating that I am in fact cured. Then when I called today another recruiter told me I was disqualified? I'm so lost I could really use some advice!
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What Are The Rules Regarding Disqualifications For Leukemia In The Us Coast Guard?

Postby adalberto » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:49 am

I can tell you, if you have any kind of pre existing condition, they will disqualify you. Unfortunately, in the eyes of the Military (Yes, this includes the Coast Guard) you have a pre existing condition. Even though they used the term "Cured" the government and the military will not look at it this way. The doctors cannot guarantee you will not have a relapse or another cancer related issue down the road that the Chemo and/or Radiation may have caused. The reason, causal links have been proven that Chemo and/or Radiation can cause another cancer in the future. This is the explanation they will use.

This is one of the reason I hate the word "Cured" when it comes to cancer. I still prefer the older, less used term of "remission". I am a 2.5 year survivor of cancer and they used the term "Cured" with me too. I feel the term cured indicates the disease is gone, it will not come back, you are good to go. Well, this is not the case with cancer. With people living longer, especially beyond the 5 year mark for cancer, they are starting to track people who were supposedly "Cured" of cancer up to 10 years and more. What they are starting to discover as research moves into people living longer after cancer, people are being diagnosed with a relapse of the cancer or a new cancer that is either related to the original cancer or related to the Chemo and/or radiation. Again, this is not a cure.

Even though they used the term "Cure" with me, I have discovered that I have as high as a 20% rate of a relapse or getting another cancer related to my treatments and the two primary cancers are Leukemia and Lymphoma.

Sorry to give you a long explanation and the bad news, but I figured you would want to hear it straight..

Dont give up, it does sound like this is something you really wanted to do. Try to find something else in another are that you may be interested in doing....
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What Are The Rules Regarding Disqualifications For Leukemia In The Us Coast Guard?

Postby colis » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:56 am

The recruiter may have given you the wrong information.
A history of leukemia is not an automatic disqualification - qualification is subject to review of your medical records.
Generally, you have to documentation that you have been free of leukemia for the entirety of the last 5 years.
Go back to the recruiter and ask how what you can do to have your record reviewed or to get a waiver.
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What Are The Rules Regarding Disqualifications For Leukemia In The Us Coast Guard?

Postby Ryley » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:57 am

The best thing I can tell you is that the official reference is CIM 6000.1E, the Coast Guard Medical Manual.
The part dealing with what's a DQ and what's not is Chapter 3D.
You can read it all for yourself here: http://www.uscg.mil/health/cg1121/docs/p...

Chapter 3D runs from page 242 to 285 of the .pdf.

Regarding how the specifics of your individual medical case are going to be interpreted, the only parties that can give you a completely accurate answer are the recruiter and the doctors at MEPS.

Some things to remember as you approach them:

Remember that military service is not a right.
It's a job application, one for which the current acceptance rate in the Coast Guard is around 4%.
If the recruiter just doesn't like you, they're not required to deal with you, whether you're officially DQ'd or not.
Keep that in mind in your dealings and keep it respectful.
Don't get adversarial (you won't win), you need a recruiter on your team.

For now, I'd focus on the recruiter who asked for the doctor's letter, even if it's a service recruiter that may not ultimately prove your first choice.
Don't argue with the one who says it's a DQ (again, you won't win, even if you're right).
It's also unwise to assume the service that is your first choice will even have a spot for you (even if you are fully qualified), so keep your options (and your mind) open.
If you clear MEPS medically, any recruiter from any service is going to be OK with your medical.
You don't sign a contract before you go to MEPS, so you can still pretty easily change what service you're targeting at any point up until you sign.
They're not going to rush; you shouldn't either.

If the doctor at MEPS disqualifies you, it's over, for any and all military services, USCG included.

Forget about waivers, at least for the Coast Guard.
No USCG recruiter is going to talk about waivers when the acceptance rate is 4%.
You're either fully medically qualified or your not.
I wouldn't even utter the word "waiver", as chances are, that will cause them to lose any and all interest they may have had.

Good luck!
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