Brothers David and Dennis Roscher have a lot in common. They both served as military policemen in the U.S. Army, they were both stationed together in Germany in the 1970s, and they both choose VA for their medical care.

“We are twins, so when we were stationed together in Germany, we frequently confused the Germans,” David said.

David and Dennis are also cancer survivors, and they receive comforting and consistent care from the Veterans Health Administration. Each year, approximately 50,000 Veterans like them are diagnosed with cancer.

Twin cancer journeys with VA

Dennis Roscher Cancer Care

Dennis Roscher

Dennis is one of the 3,200 Veterans diagnosed with bladder cancer each year. In January 2021, Dennis noticed blood in his urine just before a routine primary care appointment. A cystoscopy, a procedure that allows physicians to focus on the inner surface of the urinary tract, revealed a spot on his bladder. Since Dennis noticed the signs and spoke up, the cancer was caught early. His medical team at Kansas City VA Medical Center will continue to monitor him in the coming months.

“My doctor said that so many guys see blood in their urine, and they’re embarrassed to say anything,” Dennis said. “If I see blood in my urine, I’m going to say something about it. If I had not had it checked out, I wouldn’t have known.”

Dennis is currently doing well, with some occasional pain in his bladder.

David recently survived kidney cancer. After his VA doctors noticed spots on one of his kidneys, the cancerous kidney was removed in 2018. His doctors at Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital in Columbia, MO, take a CT (computerized tomography) scan every six months on his other kidney to monitor his health.

“I don’t let it slow me down,” David said. “I still get up and do things, like babysit our granddaughters five days a week. I feel very fortunate.”

High quality care – with a smile

David Roscher Cancer Care

David Roscher

Both Dennis and David had only kind words for the quality of care they received at VA. The care they experience is efficient, compassionate and comes with a sense of humor. David fondly remembers cracking jokes with his nurses when he had separate surgery for his bladder.

“If you have something serious going on and you crack a joke, they understand that and laugh with you,” David said. “They are professional but have a sense of humor, too.”

David also appreciates that he can always get his questions answered promptly by messaging his provider through MyHealtheVet, VA’s Personal Health Record.

“If I need anything, I send a message through MyHealtheVet, and they’ll get back to me right away,” David said.

Continuing to choose VA

David and Dennis continue to choose VA for their health care needs. They encourage other Veterans to do the same.

“VA health care is there for us,” David said. “Take advantage of it. You’ve earned it.”

If you notice unusual symptoms such as painful urination or blood in your urine, or if something doesn’t feel right, visit your VA primary care provider to get it checked out. Your VA providers are here to answer your questions and connect you to the best quality care. Remember to use tools like My HealtheVet to stay in touch with your care team for anything you need along the way.

For more information on how VA works shoulder to shoulder to provide best-in-class cancer care, please visit cancer.va.gov, or contact cancer@va.gov.


Courtney Franchio is a program manager with VA’s National Oncology Program. 

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