Imagine dedicating your life to serving your country, only to be betrayed by the very land you swore to protect. This is the harsh reality for many who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune, a military base tainted by one of the most severe water contamination incidents in US history.
But the story doesn't end there. For numerous veterans and their families, exposure to this toxic mix has resulted in a devastating array of health conditions, including various cancers—what's commonly known as the Camp Lejeune cancer list. The chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune didn't just cause cancer, but they caused folks to suffer a variety of life-threatening illnesses and conditions.
In this post, we aim to delve into understanding the diseases associated with exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. We'll explore the various cancers and other conditions caused by exposure to the dangerous Camp Lejeune water, as well as their symptoms. We will walk through the Camp Lejeune cancer list and talk about the manifestations and symptoms of the illness, as well as what chemicals are most likely responsible for causing it.
However, before we get started with the Camp Lejeune cancer list, we'll start out with some basic information about Camp Lejeune and some of the updates regarding avenues of financial recovery for folks who have suffered from a illness or condition after being exposed to the toxic water.
History of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Imagine waking up one day to discover that the water you have been drinking for years is contaminated with toxic substances like trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride (VC), and benzene. This was the tragic reality at Camp Lejeune, where thousands of people from the 1950s to 1980s faced the consequences of drinking water tainted with these harmful chemicals.
The interesting part about this is that many of the folks I've talked to said they knew there was something wrong with that water, but they just never thought in a million years that the water was contaminated with deadly chemicals. I've heard people say the water had a strong smell or a strong odor, like a rotten smell. Others have told me they could taste an odd metallic taste. Some have told me they noticed a strange color when they were pouring it into a glass.
Their instincts were right. The water supply at Camp Lejeune had been contaminated with a dangerous mix of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including known carcinogens. This contamination was not the result of a sinister plot or sabotage, but rather a result of negligence. Fuel leaks and improper chemical disposal methods led these harmful toxins into Camp Lejeune's groundwater system, posing a serious threat to Marines and their families, as well as to folks working on the Base.
However, before we start letting people off the hook, we have to ask ourselves why this went on so long. Are we so naive to think that nobody knew -- that this was all just a big accident? I don't buy it, and most people who have read up about the suspicious timing of various events related to this fiasco would tell you there was an active cover up. How deep you want to dive into the rabbit hole is up to you, but I can tell you it runs pretty deep, and the further you go, the more disturbing information you'll uncover.
Aside from the "who knew what, and when," let's move onto talking about where all this contamination occurred and what areas were affected most.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Locations
There were three main water distribution plants that supplied water to a majority of the families at Camp Lejeune.
Hadnot point began operations in 1942 and provided water to the mainside barracks, Hospital Point family housing, as well as family housing at Midway Park, Paradise Point, and Berkeley Manor. Up until June of 1972, Hadnot point supplied water to Midway Park, Paradise Point, and Berkeley Manor. However, Hadnot Point supplied contaminated water to other housing units until February of 1985, when most of the contaminated wells were ultimately shut down.
The main contaminant found in the water at Hadnot Point was trichloroethylene (TCE), and the maximum level of this harmful compound was found to be roughly 1,400 parts per billion. For reference, the "safe" limit for TCE in drinking water is 5 parts per billion. The water at Hadnot Point also included other harmful compounds, including tetrachloroethylene (PCE), Trans-1,2-dichlorotheylene, vinyl chloride, benzene, and refined patroleum products.
The sources of contamination at Hadnot Point were leaking underground storage tanks and waste disposal sites.
Tarawa Terrace began operations in 1952 and provided water to Tarawa Terrace family housing and the Knox trailer park. The most contaminated wells at Tarawa Terrace were ultimately shut down in February 1985.
The main contaminant found in the water at Tarawa Terrace was tetrachloroethylene (PCE), and the maximum level of PCE that was detected in the drinking water was 215 parts per billion. This test was done in February of 1985, around the same time as the wells with the contaminated water were shut down. For reference, the current "safe" limit for PCE in drinking water is 5 parts per billion.
PCE degrades over time into other compounds, like trichloroethylene (TCE), trans-1,2-dichloroethylene (DCE) and vinyl chloride. These chemicals were also found in the water there. Although benzene was found in the Tarawa Terrace drinking water during the 1985 water test, it was detected at 2 parts per billion, which is lower than the current "safe" limit in the US of 5 parts per billion.
The source of contamination at Tarawa Terrace was a dry cleaner, ABC One-Hour Cleaners, which was an off-base dry cleaning business. The ABC One-Hour Cleaners began operations in 1953.
Holcomb Boulevard (HB) began operations in June of 1972 and supplied water to housing at Midway Park, Paradise Point, Berkeley Manor, and Watkins Village. HB also supplied water to Tarawa Terrace family housing after March of 1987.
The Holcomb Boulevard system was not contaminated, except for periodic transfers of water from the Hadnot Point Water System. In other words, the source of the contamination at Holcomb Boulevard was transfers of contaminated water from Hadnot Point to Holcomb Boulevard. Water was transferred from Hadnot Point to Holcomb Boulevard periodically, when demand for water was high, and this occurred from 1972 to 1985. So, HB had seriously contaminated water in the hot months, Spring and Summer, when folks used more water.
What Cancers and Health Conditions Qualify for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?
The VA established a list of presumptive conditions resulting from exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. These conditions are the conditions where there was sufficient scientific and medical evidence to support the presumption that the exposure to the volatile organic compounds in the water was the cause of the condition. Those conditions are as follows:
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Parkinson's disease
The VA also established a list of conditions that qualify for cost-free health care. These conditions ostensibly had a weaker link to the exposure to the dangerous chemicals in the water than the presumptive conditions, and they include the following:
- Esophageal cancer
- Breast cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Renal toxicity
- Female infertility
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Lung cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Hepatic steatosis
- Neurobehavioral effects
Conditions That Qualify a Claimant for the Elective Option
More recently, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Navy announced an "Elective Option" for claimants under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act to receive faster payments and to streamline the process for some qualifying claimants that are interested in a quick settlement, albeit a potentially lower-value settlement.
Whether a claimant qualifies for payment under the Elective Option is based on (1) the duration of exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and (2) the condition a person suffered from. The conditions were separated into Tier 1 Diagnoses and Tier 2 Diagnoses.
Tier 1 Diagnoses Under the Elective Option
The Tier 1 conditions are those conditions for which the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) found the strongest evidence of causation. Those conditions include:
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Bladder cancer
Tier 2 Diagnoses Under the Elective Option
The Tier 2 conditions are those conditions for which the ATSDR found possible evidence for causation. In other words, the causal link between exposure and the Tier 2 conditions was not as strong as the causal link between exposure and the Tier 1 conditions. Tier 2 conditions include:
- Multiple myeloma
- Parkinson's disease
- Kidney disease
- End-stage renal disease
- Systemic sclerosis
- Systemic scleroderma
Conditions Associated with Toxic Exposure and the Camp Lejeune Cancer List
High levels of volatile organic compounds in Camp Lejeune's water have been linked to a range of health issues, the effects of which may not be immediately apparent. The symptoms vary depending on the condition a person is affected by, and each of these conditions can be linked to one or more chemicals found in the water at Camp Lejeune. Below is the Camp Lejeune cancer list and a list of other relevant conditions with links to exposure to the chemicals found in the water.
Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the body's blood-forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system. There are different types of leukemia, with some being more common in children and others more prevalent in adults.
With leukemia, the bone marrow produces an excessive amount of abnormal white blood cells, which impairs their normal functioning. Normally, white blood cells play a vital role in fighting infections, growing and dividing as needed by the body. However, in people with leukemia, this process is disrupted.
Symptoms of leukemia can vary depending on the type. Common signs and symptoms of leukemia include the following:
- Persistent fatigue
- More frequent or severe infections
- Weight loss
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Enlarged liver or spleen
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Recurrent nosebleeds
- Tiny red spots in your skin (petechiae)
- Excessive sweating and night sweating
- Bone pain or bone tenderness[i]
The chemical found in the water at Camp Lejeune that is most likely to cause a person to develop leukemia is benzene. However, there is also evidence linking leukemia to exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE). Accordingly, folks with leukemia who spent time at Camp Lejeune have some of the stronger claims for damages.
Bladder cancer is a common type of cancer that, as you might have guessed, affects the cells of the bladder. The bladder is a hollow organ in your lower abdomen that stores urine.
Bladder cancer usually begins in the cells (urothelial cells) that line the inside of your bladder. These cells are also found in your kidneys and the tubes (ureters) that connect the kidneys to the bladder. Urothelial cancer can occur in the kidneys and ureters as well, but it is more frequently seen in the bladder.
Most bladder cancers are detected at an early stage, which is highly treatable. However, even early-stage bladder cancers can recur after successful treatment. As a result, individuals with bladder cancer typically require follow-up tests for several years to monitor for recurrence.
Signs and symptoms of bladder cancer may include:
- Blood in urine (hematuria)
- Frequent urination
- Painful urination
- Back pain[ii]
The chemical found in the water at Camp Lejeune that is most likely to cause a person to develop bladder cancer is tetrachloroethylene (PCE). In fact, sufficient evidence for causation was found, meaning there's a strong link between bladder cancer and exposure to PCE in the water at Camp Lejeuene. Thus, folks with bladder cancer that spent 30 or more days at Camp Lejeune likely have some of the stronger claims under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. Bladder cancer is one of the most well known cancers on the Camp Lejeune cancer list, and it's a prime example of a condition caused by toxic exposure.
Kidney cancer is a type of cancer that affects the tissues of the kidneys. Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They are situated behind your abdominal organs, with one kidney on each side of your spine.
The most common type of kidney cancer in adults is renal cell carcinoma. There are also less common types of kidney cancer. In young children, a type of kidney cancer called Wilms' tumor is more likely to develop.
The prevalence of kidney cancer seems to be on the rise. One potential factor contributing to this trend is the growing utilization of imaging technologies like computerized tomography (CT) scans. These diagnostic tests may inadvertently uncover a higher number of kidney cancers. Typically, kidney cancer is detected at an early stage, when the tumor is still small and localized within the kidney.
In the early stages, kidney cancer often remains asymptomatic, making it difficult to detect. However, as the disease progresses, individuals may begin to experience the following symptoms:
- Blood in the urine, which can be pink, red, or cola-colored
- Persistent back or side pain
- Decreased appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
The chemical found in the water at Camp Lejeune that is most likely to cause a person to develop bladder cancer is trichloroethylene (TCE). Sufficient evidence for causation was found regarding exposure to TCE in Camp Lejeune water and the likelihood of developing kidney cancer. As a result, folks with kidney cancer who spent 30 days or more at Camp Lejeune likely have strong claims for damages. This is one of the main cancer types on the Camp Lejeune cancer list.
Liver cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the liver cells. The liver, a football-sized organ located in the upper right part of the abdomen, below the diaphragm and above the stomach, can be affected by various types of cancer.
Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most frequently occurring type of liver cancer, originating in the primary liver cell known as the hepatocyte. Less common are other types such as intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and hepatoblastoma. It is worth noting that cancer that spreads to the liver is more prevalent than cancer originating in the liver cells.
When cancer starts in one part of the body, like the colon, lung, or breast, and then spreads to the liver, it is referred to as metastatic cancer rather than liver cancer. This type of cancer is named after the organ where it first appeared, like metastatic colon cancer when it spreads from the colon to the liver.
Most people do not experience signs and symptoms in the early stages of primary liver cancer. However, when they do appear, they may include the following:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the upper abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- General weakness and fatigue
- Swelling in the abdomen
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Pale stools[iv]
The ATSDR found a strong connection between liver cancer and exposure to vinyl chloride in the Camp Lejeune water. There is also evidence linking liver cancer to exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) and cirrhosis of the liver to exposure to vinyl chloride.[v] Thus, liver cancer is listed as a "Tier 1" condition under the Elective Option guidance, and it's on the Camp Lejeune cancer list. Folks with liver cancer who spent time at Camp Lejeune likely have some of the stronger claims for damages.
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer originating in the lymphatic system, plays a role in the body's immune defense. This condition arises from the abnormal proliferation of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, leading to the development of tumors throughout the body.
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma encompasses a wide range of lymphomas, each with distinct subtypes. Among the most prevalent are diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma. The other major category is Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Common signs and symptoms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can include:
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin
- Abdominal pain or swelling
- Chest pain, cough, or difficulty breathing
- Persistent fatigue
- Night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss[vi]
The ATSDR found strong evidence linking Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to trichloroethylene (TCE) exposure and benzene exposure. The study also found evidence that is equipoise and above for causation between exposure to tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is listed as a presumptive condition and a "Tier 1" condition, and thus folks with this illness who spent time at Camp Lejeune may have a strong claim for damages.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the nervous system and the functions it regulates. Symptoms usually develop gradually, often beginning with a subtle tremor in one hand. While tremors are common, this condition can also lead to stiffness and bradykinesia, which is a slowing of movement.
During the initial phases of Parkinson's disease, individuals may experience diminished or absent facial expressions, restricted arm swing while walking, and a soft or slurred speech. As the condition advances, these symptoms tend to exacerbate. Common symptoms of Parkinson's may include:
- Slowed movement (bradykinesia)
- Stiff muscles
- Problems with posture and balance
- Difficulty with automatic movements
- Changes in speech
- Changes in ability to write[vii]
The ATSDR found evidence that is equipoise and above causation between exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) and developing Parkinson's disease. This means that there was enough research to support a link between the condition and exposure to TCE in the water at Camp Lejeune but not enough research to definitively conclude that exposure causes Parkinson's disease. Thus, Parkinson's disease was listed as a "Tier 2" condition on the recent Elective Option guidance documents.
Aplastic Anemia & Myelodysplastic Syndromes
Aplastic anemia is a condition where the body doesn't produce enough new blood cells. This can lead to fatigue, increased susceptibility to infections, and uncontrolled bleeding. Aplastic anemia is a rare and serious condition that can develop at any age. It can occur suddenly or gradually worsen over time. The severity can vary from mild to severe.
Aplastic anemia may not show any symptoms. However, when symptoms do manifest, they can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid or irregular heart rate
- Pale skin
- Frequent or prolonged infections
- Unexplained or easy bruising
- Bleeding gums
- Prolonged bleeding from cuts and scrapes
- Skin rash
The chemical found in the water at Camp Lejeune that is most likely to cause a person to develop aplastic anemia or myelodysplastic syndromes is benzene.[ix] Although aplastic anemia and myelodysplastic syndromes were listed as one of the 8 presumptive conditions on the VA's website, these conditions are not listed as "Tier 1" or "Tier 2" conditions under the Elective Option guidance, for whatever reason.
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that develops in a specific white blood cell known as a plasma cell. Plasma cells normally produce antibodies to fight infections. However, in multiple myeloma, cancerous plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow, which is the soft tissue inside bones where blood cells are produced.
As a result, healthy blood cells are crowded out by the cancer cells, leading to complications. Treatment for multiple myeloma may not be immediately necessary for slow-growing cases without symptoms, but there are various approaches available to manage the disease.
In the early stages of multiple myeloma, there may be no symptoms. However, when signs and symptoms do appear, they can include:
- Bone pain, especially in the spine, chest, or hips
- Loss of appetite
- Mental fogginess or confusion
- Increased susceptibility to infections
- Weight loss
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination[x]
The ATSDR found evidence that is equipoise and above causation between exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) and benzene and developing multiple myeloma. This means that there was enough research to support a link between multiple myeloma and exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) in the water at Camp Lejeune, but there was not enough research to definitively conclude that exposure to TCE causes multiple myeloma.
Nonetheless, multiple myeloma is on the Camp Lejeune cancer list, and it is listed as a "Tier 2" condition under the Elective Option guidance. Thus, multiple myeloma is on the Camp Lejeune cancer list, and folks with this condition that spent 30 or more days at Camp Lejeune can likely seek compensation for their injuries.
End-Stage Renal Disease
End-stage renal disease, also known as end-stage kidney disease or kidney failure, occurs when chronic kidney disease progresses to an advanced stage. In this condition, your kidneys no longer function adequately to meet your body's requirements.
If you have end-stage renal disease, you typically have two options to stay alive: dialysis or a kidney transplant. However, you can also choose conservative care to manage your symptoms and focus on having the best possible quality of life during the time you have left.
During the early stages of chronic kidney disease, it is possible to experience no noticeable signs or symptoms. However, as the disease progresses towards end-stage renal disease, various signs and symptoms may start to manifest.
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue and weakness
- Changes in urination frequency
- Chest pain due to fluid accumulation around the heart lining
- Shortness of breath caused by fluid buildup in the lungs
- Swelling of feet and ankles
- Difficult-to-control high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Sleep difficulties
- Decreased cognitive sharpness
- Muscle twitches and cramps
- Persistent itching
- Metallic taste in the mouth[xi]
The indications and manifestations of kidney disease are frequently nonspecific, implying that they can also be attributed to other ailments. As your kidneys possess the ability to compensate for lost functionality, signs and symptoms may not manifest until irreversible damage has already taken place.
End-stage renal disease is a condition that has been linked to exposure to the chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune. It's one of the conditions listed as a Tier 2 condition under the Elective Option framework we discussed earlier, and it's one of the conditions that is equipoise and above for causation for both trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE).
Scleroderma, also known as systemic sclerosis, encompasses a group of rare diseases characterized by the tightening and hardening of the skin. It can also affect blood vessels, internal organs, and the digestive tract.
There are two common categories of scleroderma: "limited" and "diffuse," which refer to the extent of skin involvement. However, both types can present issues in vascular and organ systems. Another form, known as localized scleroderma or morphea, solely affects the skin.
Symptoms of scleroderma can vary depending on the individual. One of the most prevalent symptoms is the hardening or tightening of the skin, often experienced in areas like the fingers, hands, feet, face, arms, legs, stomach, or chest.
In addition, scleroderma can manifest in the digestive system, with symptoms depending on the affected part. Some symptoms may include:
- Trouble swallowing food or drink
- Bloated stomach
In addition to the skin and the digestive system, scleroderma may affect the heart or the lungs. This can cause shortness of breath, dizziness, or even excess fluid in the legs, feet, or around the heart.
Scleroderma is a condition that has been linked to exposure to the trichloroethylene (TCE) in the water at Camp Lejeune. It's one of the conditions listed as a Tier 2 condition under the Elective Option framework we discussed earlier. In other words, it's another one of the conditions that is equipoise and above for causation for exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE).
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cells of the breasts. It is the second most common cancer in women in the United States, following skin cancer. Although breast cancer can affect both men and women, it is more frequently diagnosed in women.
Significant support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has contributed to advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. As a result, survival rates for breast cancer have improved, and the number of deaths related to the disease is gradually decreasing. These positive outcomes can be attributed to factors such as early detection, personalized treatment approaches, and a better understanding of the disease.
The signs and symptoms of breast cancer can vary and may include:
- Presence of a breast lump or thickening that differs from the surrounding tissue
- Alteration in the size, shape, or appearance of a breast
- Changes to the breast skin, such as dimpling
- Newly inverted nipple
- Peeling, scaling, crusting, or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or of the skin on the breast
- Redness or pitting of the skin over the breast[xiii]
Although breast cancer was not listed as a presumptive condition, the ATSDR listed breast cancer as one of the health effects with positive findings in at least one study that evaluated health conditions associated with exposure to tetrachloroethylene (PCE).[xiv] Thus, even though it's not listed as a presumptive condition on the VA's website or a "Tier 1" or "Tier 2" condition under the Elective Option guidance, breast cancer has been linked to chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune, and it is a part of the Camp Lejeune cancer list. The link, however, is not as strong as it is for conditions like kidney cancer or bladder cancer.
Ovarian cancer occurs when cells in the ovaries multiply rapidly, invading and damaging healthy body tissue. The female reproductive system comprises two ovaries, one on each side of the uterus. These almond-sized organs produce eggs (ova) and hormones like estrogen and progesterone.
Common signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer may include:
- Abdominal bloating or swelling
- Feeling full quickly when eating
- Weight loss
- Pelvic discomfort
- Back pain
- Constipation and other bowel issues
- Frequent need to urinate[xv]
Ovarian cancer was not listed as a presumptive condition on the website for the US Department of Veterans Affairs, but the ATSDR listed ovarian cancer as one of the health effects with positive findings in at least one study that evaluated medical conditions associated with exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE)[xvi], and it is on the Camp Lejeune cancer list.
Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the cervix, the lower part of the uterus connecting to the vagina.[xvii]
Cervical cancer has not been listed as a presumptive condition, but the ATSDR listed ovarian cancer as one of the health effects with positive findings in at least one study that evaluated medical conditions associated with exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE).[xviii] Thus, cervical cancer is on the Camp Lejeune cancer list, even though it's not a presumptive condition.
Prostate cancer is a prevalent form of cancer that develops in the prostate, a small gland shaped like a walnut found in males. The prostate is responsible for producing seminal fluid, which nourishes and transports sperm.
While many cases of prostate cancer progress slowly and remain localized within the gland without causing significant harm, there are aggressive variants that can rapidly spread. The treatment approach may vary depending on the specific type and stage of the cancer.
Prostate cancer in its initial stages may not exhibit any signs or symptoms. However, as the disease advances, it can manifest the following indications:
- Difficulty urinating
- Weaker urine flow
- Blood in the urine
- Blood in the semen
- Bone pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Erectile dysfunction[xix]
Prostate cancer, like other types of cancer we've talked about here, was not listed as a presumptive condition on the VA's website, but the ATSDR listed prostate cancer as one of the health effects with positive findings in at least one study that evaluated medical conditions associated with exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE).[xx] Thus, although prostate cancer is not a presumed condition, it's on the Camp Lejeune cancer list.
Rectal cancer is a specific type of cancer that originates in the rectum, which is the terminal part of the large intestine. It initiates at the junction of the final section of the colon and extends towards the narrow passage leading to the anus. The broader term "colorectal cancer" encompasses both rectal cancer and colon cancer.
Signs and symptoms associated with rectal cancer may include:
- Changes in bowel habits like diarrhea, constipation, or more frequent bowel movements
- Dark maroon or bright red blood in stool
- Narrow stool
- Feeling of incomplete bowel emptying
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Weakness or fatigue[xxi]
Rectal cancer, like other types of cancer we've talked about here, was not listed as a presumptive condition, but the ATSDR listed rectal cancer as one of the health effects with positive findings in at least one study that evaluated medical conditions associated with exposure to tetrachloroethylene (PCE).[xxii] Thus, rectal cancer is another type of cancer on the Camp Lejeune cancer list.
Esophageal cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the esophagus, which is a long, tube-like organ connecting the throat to the stomach. The esophagus plays a role in moving food from the throat to the stomach for digestion.
The cancer typically originates in the cells lining the inner wall of the esophagus and can occur at any point along its length. It is more common in men than women.
Signs and symptoms of esophageal cancer may include:
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Unintentional weight loss
- Chest pain, pressure, or burning sensation
- Increased indigestion or heartburn
- Persistent cough or hoarseness[xxiii]
Esophageal cancer is not one of the cancers listed on the presumptive condition list, nor is it listed as a "Tier 1" or "Tier 2" condition in the Elective Option guidance documents. However, several studies have linked esophageal cancer to exposure to tetrachloroethylene (PCE).[xxiv] Thus, esophageal is on the Camp Lejeune cancer list, even though it's not a presumptive condition.
Infertility occurs when a couple tries to conceive for at least a year without success. The primary indication of infertility is the inability to conceive. An irregular menstrual cycle, whether too long (35 days or more), too short (less than 21 days), or absent, may suggest a lack of ovulation. In some instances, there may be no other discernible signs or symptoms.[xxv]
The presence of volatile organic compounds in the water at Camp Lejeune has been linked to female infertility. This is one of the health conditions that may qualify individuals for healthcare benefits from the VA under the 2012 Camp Lejeune healthcare law. Additionally, if a causal link between toxic exposure and the condition can be established, this may qualify a person for benefits under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
Hepatic steatosis is sometimes referred to as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and it refers to a variety of liver conditions that affect people who don't drink alcohol or who don't drink much alcohol. The main characteristic of hepatic steatosis is too much fat stored in the cells of the liver.
This condition typically does not present with any noticeable signs or symptoms. However, if they do occur, they may include:
- Pain or discomfort in the upper right abdomen[xxvi]
The volatile organic compounds found in the water at Camp Lejeune have been linked to hepatic steatosis, and this is one of the health conditions that may qualify a person for healthcare benefits from the VA under the 2012 Camp Lejeune healthcare law. Additionally, if a link between exposure to the chemicals and the condition can be established, this condition may qualify a person for benefits under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
Lung cancer originates in the lungs, two spongy organs located within the chest. These vital organs facilitate the intake of oxygen as you inhale and the release of carbon dioxide as you exhale. Regrettably, it stands as the leading cause of cancer-related fatalities across the globe. While smoking escalates the risk, it's important to note that lung cancer can also affect individuals who do not smoke.
During its early stages, lung cancer typically remains asymptomatic, making it challenging to detect. Symptoms typically surface as the disease progresses. Some common symptoms associated with lung cancer include:
- Coughing up blood, even a small amount
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bone pain
Lung cancer is not one of the presumptive conditions for the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. However, there has been a study that linked lung cancer to exposure to tricholoroethylene (TCE)[xxviii] and another study that linked lung cancer to exposure to vinyl chloride[xxix], and both of these harmful chemicals were found in the water at Camp Lejeune. Accordingly, lung cancer is one of the covered conditions that may qualify a person for healthcare benefits from the VA, and it's a part of the long list of cancers caused by exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Miscarriage refers to the unexpected loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week. Approximately 10% to 20% of pregnancies that are known end in miscarriage. However, the actual number is probably higher since many miscarriages occur early on, before individuals are aware of their pregnancy.
Most miscarriages occur within the first trimester of pregnancy, typically within the first 13 weeks. The symptoms may include:
- Vaginal bleeding, with or without pain, including light bleeding known as spotting.
- Pelvic area or lower back pain or cramping.
- Passage of fluid or tissue through the vagina.
- Rapid heartbeat.[xxx]
Miscarriage is not one of the presumed conditions, but it has been linked to exposure to tricholoroethylene (TCE)[xxxi], tetrachloroethylene (PCE)[xxxii], and benzene.[xxxiii] Thus, miscarriage is one of the conditions that may qualify a person for healthcare benefits from the VA, and it may qualify a person for benefits under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The key here would be to establish the link between the chemicals and the water and the miscarriage.
Neurological and neurobehavioral effects can encompass a number of different problems. Some of the issues that could constitute a neurobehavioral effect might include:
- Delayed reaction times.
- Problems with short-term memory.
- Visual perception issues.
- Attention problems.
- Color vision.
- Confusion, depression, or tension.
Although neurobehavioral and neurological issues are not considered presumed conditions for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit, studies have linked these issues to exposure to tetracholoroethylene (PCE)[xxxiv] and trichloroethylene (TCE).[xxxv] Thus, assuming a link between toxic exposure and the condition can be established, this may form a basis for a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
FAQs in Relation to Camp Lejeune Cancer List
Q1: What cancers qualify for Camp Lejeune water contamination?
A1: There are strong links between the chemicals found in the water at Camp Lejeune and kidney cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, leukemia, bladder cancer, and multiple myeloma.
Q2: What cancers qualify for the Camp Lejeune lawsuit?
A2: Although any cancer on the Camp Lejeune cancer list may qualify a person to seek damages under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, some cancers, like kidney cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, leukemia, bladder cancer, and multiple myeloma have been found to have the strongest connection to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Q3: Is lung cancer a presumptive condition for Camp Lejeune water contamination?
A3: Lung cancer is not currently on the presumptive list related to water contamination at Camp Lejeune. The situation can change based on ongoing research, and thus folks with lung cancer who were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune may consider seeking damages under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.
Q4: Is skin cancer part of the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit?
A4: A wide range of conditions have been reported among those exposed at Camp Lejeune including various types of cancers, birth defects in children born there, and neurobehavioral effects due to toxic substance exposure. However, skin cancer has not been linked to the contaminants found in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune.
Q5: What cancer is Camp Lejeune linked to?
A5: A number of cancers have been placed on the Camp Lejeune cancer list. However, certain cancers have been found to have a stronger link to exposure to the toxic water.
Q6: How long before Camp Lejeune cases are settled?
A6: The big questions on everyone’s mind is when the Camp Lejeune lawsuits will settle. This all depends on the Government’s timeline, as well as the condition a claimant suffered from and how long the person was at Camp Lejeune.
Contact Us for Your FREE Legal Consultation with a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Attorney
Our legal consultations for all cases, including the Camp Lejeune lawsuits, are free. All you have to do is contact us on our website or call us at (321) 352-7588 to schedule your free consultation with a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney.
If you have been diagnosed with one of the conditions linked to the contaminants found in the water at Camp Lejeune and if you were at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, we may be able to help you. If we can take your case, our fee is 20% pre-suit (before a lawsuit is filed) and 25% once a lawsuit is filed. Even if you don't have a condition that has been formally linked to the contaminants found in the water at Camp Lejeune, do not hesitate to give us a call because we may be able to connect you with an attorney that will take your case for the same fee we are offering.
DISCLAIMER: Fee agreements include a percentage fee to the law firm, as well as any case costs. The percentage fee to the firm is often referred to as "attorney fees" or the "attorney's fee." Case costs, on the other hand, include things like the costs associated with filing a lawsuit, hiring experts, mailing, printing, retrieving documents, and any other costs associated with filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
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