Liver cancer is the third cause of cancer death nationwide, and it has a quite unfavorable prognosis, with only 20% of patients surviving for five years or longer after diagnosis. While liver cancer is usually the result of smoking, cirrhosis, obesity, and excessive alcohol consumption, exposure to AFFF can also be responsible for this disease in civilian and military firefighters. The reason why this fire suppressant poses a major health threat to firefighters is that it sometimes contains up to 98% PFAS, a group of highly toxic chemicals. With each use of AFFF, these harmful substances are released, and firefighters inevitably breathe them in even if they wear protective gear. According to a study, people with a high level of PFAS in their blood are more likely to develop hepatocellular carcinoma, which is the most common type of liver cancer.
Out of the over 9,000 chemicals making up the PFAS group, one substance has a strong connection with liver cancer – PFOS. Firefighters who have this chemical in their blood are four times more likely to develop liver cancer than the general population. A study found that the blood samples of people with high PFOS levels were associated with metabolic changes in the liver. This suggests that the existence of PFOS in the body increases liver cancer risk by:
Exposure to high PFOS levels was linked to a significantly higher risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, which occurs most likely via alterations in amino acid, glucose, and bile acid metabolism. Civilian and military firefighters who regularly use AFFF have a 20% to 30% greater risk of developing liver cancer than the general population. If you are or were a civilian or military firefighter exposed to PFAS and believe you have liver cancer, these are the signs you should look out for:
When it is the result of AFFF exposure, liver cancer takes approximately 12 years to develop from the first contact with PFAS. Because diseases stemming from toxic exposure are often misdiagnosed, it is essential to seek a second and even a third opinion from different medical specialists if you have symptoms of liver cancer. Not only will receiving a correct diagnosis determine your prognosis, but it will also play a crucial role in determining your eligibility to file a claim for AFFF exposure and obtaining compensation. With over 35 years of experience in assessing toxic exposure claims, our expert team will gladly evaluate your case.
Atraxia Law has plenty of experience in helping toxic exposure victims find out whether they are entitled to financial compensation for their injuries. If you are a civilian or military firefighter and struggle with liver cancer due to AFFF exposure, we encourage you to call us. The process is simple, and you will only have to send our expert team your employment or military records and your medical records. If we determine that you are entitled to compensation, we will promptly direct you to a reliable, specialized attorney so you can have your claim filed.
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