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Top VA Hospitals

Military veterans who need quality medical care for asbestos-related cancers and other serious illnesses have hospitals and medical centers at their fingertips. Known simply as the VA, these hospitals are specifically for U.S. military veterans.

Overall, there are up to 1,700 VA medical centers, outpatient clinics and community living centers nationwide. The VA system offers as many medical services as any civilian hospital system, including advanced cancer care and organ transplants. Veterans make up an estimated 30 percent of all asbestos-cancer patients, so many of these hospitals have treated the disease.

What are the advantages of a VA hospital?

By law, the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs is required to provide hospital and outpatient care to eligible veterans. Those eligible for VA services include veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. In some case, reservists and National Guard members are eligible as well.

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In many cases, treatment is free or deeply discounted, depending on several factors. In addition, many of the practitioners are known to be experts in their field. For example, among the staff members at the Los Angeles VA is Dr. Robert Cameron, who is also the director of the Comprehensive Mesothelioma Program at nearby UCLA. Cameron has been a vocal opponent to the extrapleural pneumonectomy procedure, instead favoring the successful lung-sparing surgery.

VA Treatment Centers

Like any hospital system, some are better than others in specific treatments:

  • Atlanta VA Medical Center - As a teaching hospital, the Atlanta VA uses state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical technology to treat patients. It has an extensive research program and is known as a leading rehabilitation center.
  • Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare Systems - As the largest VA hospital nationwide, the hospital system serves the 1.4 million veterans in the area. Included in the extensive system are several community-based outpatient clinics and ambulatory care centers. The hospital has a cancer-research center with a wide variety of ongoing clinical trials.
  • Miami VA Healthcare - With nearly 300,000 veterans in its service area, this South Florida locale provides medical, surgical and psychiatric services to veterans of all ages. The hospital is known to have expert thoracic surgeons on staff, including Dr. Dao Nguyen, who is a leading researcher in the field of asbestos cancer.
  • Michael DeBakey VA Medical Center - Located in Houston, this VA medical center attracts patients from around the nation. This hospital is known to specialize in cardiovascular surgery, spinal-cord injuries and ophthalmology. The center is also the home to a post-traumatic stress disorder clinic, a substance abuse research center and a liver transplant center. Many of the staffers also serve as faculty members at nearby Baylor College of Medicine.


U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs. “Health Care.” Retrieved from http://www.va.gov/health/