• 9 Investigates woman's battle with VA to get cancer treatment


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A Channel 9 investigation found a second local woman who said the Veterans Association isn’t giving her the cancer treatment she needs.

    She contacted Channel 9’s Lori Brown after Brown told another veteran’s story about how she had to go elsewhere to get a similar treatment.

    The treatment the VA is refusing was ordered by one of the VA’s own doctors.

    When Vietnam War veteran Pamela Paddock saw Brown’s story about retired E4 specialist Dawn George, it sounded all too familiar.

    “I think they need to stop playing with people’s lives,” said Paddock.

    The VA refused to give George an MRI before giving her a lumpectomy, then the hospital refused to give her a biopsy.

    The nonprofit Libby’s Legacy, which usually helps people with no insurance, stepped in to pay for both tests.

    The tests revealed that George’s cancer was far more extensive than her doctors thought.

    “When women would like to proceed with additional testing, it should not be denied to them,” said Dr. Susan Curry, of the Women’s Center for Radiology.

    Channel 9 found out additional testing is being denied to breast cancer survivor Paddock, who served in the air force.

    “My VA doctor, he’s told them three times, ‘I want to biopsy it.’ All they do is a mammogram, ultrasound,” she said.

    With her own history of breast cancer, Paddock worries every day about the lump she can feel.

    “In July, I can see another doctor though Medicare and maybe get something done,” she said.

    Paddock worries that may be too late.

    Even with the test results, the VA still refused to give George a mastectomy and the less extensive surgery they did give her left cancer behind.

    She now wants a double mastectomy, but the VA will only give her a single one.

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