Which New Cancer Types Are Associated with Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

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Camp Lejeune in North Carolina was home to thousands of Marines and their families for many years. But lurking beneath the surface was a sinister threat that would have devastating health consequences. Most people were unaware that the base’s water supply had been tainted with hazardous substances for more than 30 years.
For the past few decades, countless former residents and their families have grappled with an uncomfortable question: What illnesses might this unknown exposure have caused? A growing body of research has begun to provide answers, linking the contaminated Camp Lejeune water to several types of rare cancers.
This article examines the current scientific understanding of which new cancer diagnoses have been associated with exposure to toxic tap water at one of the largest US Marine Corps bases.

History of Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune

Between the early 1950s and the late 1980s, individuals who worked or resided at the USMC Base in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, may have been exposed to contaminated drinking water. This exposure potentially posed health risks to those affected.
Tests showed that industrial solvents from dry cleaning waste, such as trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE), had seeped into the water supply. Additional contamination from leaking underground fuel storage tanks, including benzene, was also discovered.

Consequently, the Department of Veterans Affairs developed presumptive service connections for veterans, reservists, and National Guard members.
These connections apply to individuals who were subjected to toxins in the Camp Lejeune water system between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, and later acquired a medical diagnosis.
The assumed diseases included multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, adult leukemia, aplastic anemia, and various myelodysplastic syndromes.
By establishing presumptive service connection, the VA aims to streamline the disability claims process for veterans who developed health issues potentially linked to their exposure during service at Camp Lejeune.

Health Risks of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

A recent government study suggests increased cancer risk for individuals who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina from the mid-1970s to the 1980s. This applies to both military personnel and civilians.

This is in contrast to those serving at a comparable military installation in California at the same time. The latest Camp Lejeune contaminated water update offers important information about the health consequences of drinking contaminated water there. It could pave the way for expanding the roster of illnesses recognized as resulting from the decades-long exposure.

The research, carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has the potential to broaden the range of illnesses eligible for compensation from the government. This would apply to both veterans and civilians who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. It holds the potential to broaden the scope of conditions eligible for compensation.

The study tracked over 400,000 people at Camp Lejeune, according to TorHoerman Law. It found an increased cancer risk linked to the base’s contaminated water supply.

These comprise soft tissue sarcoma, marginal zone B-cell lymphoma, esophageal, laryngeal, thyroid, and some types of lung cancer, as well as polycythemia vera, myelodysplastic and myeloproliferative syndromes. Male breast cancer also appeared significantly more commonly in those impacted by the contamination.

The findings pointed to slightly different but still heightened risks for civilians compared to military personnel.

Named the Camp Lejeune Cancer Incidence Study, this research offers a crucial understanding regarding the health impacts of consuming contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

It has the potential to facilitate the expansion of the catalog of illnesses acknowledged as stemming from the prolonged exposure endured over decades. The study’s implications are meaningful in understanding the consequences of the contaminated water.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act was part of the broader PACT Act, legislation providing expanded veterans benefit eligibility. The act enables veterans and their families affected by toxic water at Camp Lejeune to pursue justice and compensation for illnesses linked to contamination.

For decades, Camp Lejeune victims had few avenues for seeking justice—even obtaining VA benefits proved difficult.

However, the PACT Act now permits many to file Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits and apply for financial aid due to suffering. Similarly to veterans with occupational diseases like mesothelioma, those stationed at Camp Lejeune can achieve legal recourse.
The Camp Lejeune Justice Act has significantly increased opportunities to pursue both VA benefits and other claims for veterans and families harmed by the water crisis.

By April 2023, the VA had paid veterans and their families more than $1 billion, and more than 500,000 PACT Act applications had been filed. When more people become aware of their options, these numbers should increase.

Moreover, the act allows impacted individuals to file Camp Lejeune lawsuits for increased compensation separate from VA disability pay or healthcare. These legal claims address pain/suffering, lost income, and medical costs rather than replace existing VA support.
Anyone exposed to the base’s drinking water for 30+ days from 1953-1987 may be eligible. However, the deadline to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit is fast approaching – only until August 10, 2024, with just over one year remaining.

FAQs

1. What defines a Tier 1 cancer related to Camp Lejeune?

A: A Tier 1 designation indicates robust scientific evidence, including peer-reviewed studies, linking the specific cancer to the contaminated carcinogenic water at Camp Lejeune. These cases are anticipated to yield the most substantial settlements or verdicts if the government fails to adequately evaluate a claim.

2. What is the estimated value of settlements for Camp Lejeune claims?

A: Settlement payouts for individuals affected by the contaminated water exposure at Camp Lejeune are projected to exceed $21 billion. Those pursuing claims related to toxic water exposure could potentially receive settlements surpassing $1 million in certain instances.

3. Does colon cancer typically cause pain?

A: Primary tumors in the colon, as well as those that have metastasized to other organs, can indeed induce significant pain. Patients with a complete obstruction may experience intense discomfort. However, individuals without obstruction might only experience mild discomfort or occasional cramps.

While the full scope of health impacts may never be known, the Camp Lejeune Cancer Incidence Study has shed light on how toxic exposures can have far-reaching consequences. As more conditions are recognized and victims pursue justice, we must ensure continued support for those suffering due to circumstances outside their control.

Addressing past wrongs is the only way to prevent such contamination from threatening future generations. The findings remind us of our grave responsibility to protect human life and our environment.

Annie Jones
Annie Jones
I'm Annie Jones, Megri contributor, cook healthy food and makeup obsessive. I write for health, fashion and finance sections of the site from past 7 years.

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