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Liver cancer, more prevalent in Camp Lejeune veterans

Occurring in more than 41,000 people nationwide every year, liver cancer is a disease in which malignant cells develop in the tissues of the liver, one of the largest organs in the body.

While the disease usually arises from heavy alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking, hepatitis B, and cirrhosis, a more insidious cause of liver cancer is toxic exposure, which is the case of Camp Lejeune veterans and family members who drank toxic water at the military base between 1953 and 1987.

Vinyl chloride and trichloroethylene exposure increases the risk of developing liver cancer by five times. According to a study from the World Journal of Gastroenterology, exposure to vinyl chloride causes liver angiosarcoma and hepatocellular carcinoma. Exposure has a synergistic effect with other risk factors, such as alcohol consumption and chronic viral infection. If a person has vinyl chloride exposure and one or multiple risk factors in their life, their liver cancer risk becomes significantly higher. A considerable increase in mortality from liver cancer among vinyl chloride workers has been observed by numerous studies performed in the past decades. Occupational exposure to vinyl chloride can be compared to military vinyl chloride exposure, as the solvent level in the water at Camp Lejeune was very high.

As a Camp Lejeune veteran or family member, your risk of developing liver cancer is greater than that of the general population, which is why it is crucial to look out for the symptoms of this disease and seek medical attention immediately if you notice one or more. These are the most common symptoms of liver cancer:

  • pain in the abdomen
  • yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • pain in the right shoulder
  • swelling of the abdomen
  • appetite loss and feeling sick
  • pale bowel motions

The risk of hepatocellular carcinoma became significantly higher with increasing employment duration and vinyl chloride cumulative exposure among workers, according to the researchers. It is worth noting that vinyl chloride is mutagenic, meaning it causes a change in the DNA of a cell. The chemical is associated with the following, which often precede the occurrence of liver cancer:

  • chromosomal aberrations
  • micronucleus formation
  • sister chromatid exchange
  • Ki-ras and p53 gene mutations

Trichloroethylene exposure also contributes to the development of liver cancer

When it comes to exposure to trichloroethylene, another solvent that was lurking in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune, a study from Environmental Health Perspectives found that exposure to it can cause liver cancer in mice. These metabolites were found to contribute to the development and progression of the disease:

  • chloral hydrate
  • dichloroacetate
  • trichloroacetate

Vinyl chloride exposure causes a tremendous burden of liver diseases, including liver cancer. According to the last update of an Italian cohort, almost 30% of deaths occurring in workers in the highest exposure category were from liver cancer or cirrhosis. The studies reviewed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer confirm the link between vinyl chloride exposure and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Are you a Camp Lejeune Marine or a family member of one who struggles with liver cancer? If so, we advise you to contact our team of professionals, who can easily help you find out whether you are eligible to file a claim and recover financial compensation for your unjust suffering. Since we are well aware of how physically and emotionally draining having cancer can be, we will do all in our power to ease the process so that it will require minimal involvement from you.

Atraxia Law can efficiently help you file your Camp Lejeune toxic water claim

With over 35 years of experience in reviewing toxic exposure claims, our team of experts is ready to offer you the assistance you need if you were stationed at Camp Lejeune and developed liver cancer. The only documents necessary to assess your case are your military records or evidence of your stay at the military base and your medical records. If you are entitled to compensation, we will direct you to a reliable, specialized attorney.