Veteran calls it murder after he's waited 13 weeks to be treated - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

WACO

Veteran calls it murder after he's waited 13 weeks to be treated for cancer by VA

WACO, TX (KXXV) - A local veteran says he was diagnosed with cancer 13 weeks ago by the Waco VA Hospital and still hasn't received any treatment.

Mike Stroud says it's been extremely frustrating working with the VA since he was diagnosed. At one point he got fed up and tried to contract out to another hospital to get treatment. As of Wednesday, he has not been treated. An oncologist has also told him his cancer is at stage 3 which can be life-threatening. He says he's scared for himself and his family.

"I think about Virginia being by herself and my grandkids not even grown yet and how is she going to live and take care of them and I can't even get life insurance," Stroud said.

Stroud calls it "murder" because he says this has been happening to some of his friends as well. Volunteers at the Veterans One-Stop in Waco say this is a systematic problem with the VA. Peer to Peer facilitator Joe Robert says the issues are veterans aren't getting enough information from doctors, they're waiting to get diagnosed and they're waiting to get treatment.

"If I need help and I go to the VA and I'm put off, and I've got this that or the other and then I don't hear from then again that's criminal negligence in my mind," Robert said.

Robert says he's seen several examples like Stroud's case. He says one veteran was diagnosed with diabetes and he didn't get any treatment for more than six months. Another veteran told the hospital he had bumps under his armpit and didn't get an appointment for 18 months. Another veteran had groin cancer and didn't get an appointment until months later. Now that he has it, Robert says he still doesn't have a lot of information. 

Robert called it borderline criminal because veterans aren't getting treatment when they need it. He also says this is a problem that's been around for a while and usually it gets better when the VA has bad publicity. However, this time, the problem is continuing.

Volunteers say it's part of a culture problem on how hospitals handle cancer patients.

Stroud says his next step is to have surgery at Scott & White in Temple. However, that could take weeks to set up.

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