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Pancreatic cancer, more common in Camp Lejeune veterans and family members

Every year, over 64,000 people receive a pancreatic cancer diagnosis across the country. Sadly, the prognosis of this disease is grim, as only 11% of those with metastatic pancreatic cancer live for five years or longer. Because the disease is usually found when it has spread to nearby organs, most people have a low survival rate. While some of the most common causes of pancreatic cancer are smoking, chronic pancreatitis, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, and diabetes, it can also be the result of drinking toxic water at Camp Lejeune.

According to a study from Cancer Causes & Control, exposure to chlorinated hydrocarbons and benzene is associated with a high risk of pancreatic cancer. While the mechanisms by which these harmful chemicals trigger the disease are not completely understood, researchers believe they reach the pancreas through the bloodstream or refluxed bile and subsequently damage the organ. Moreover, exposure to benzene was associated with a greater frequency of K-ras mutations in pancreatic tumors, and a higher benzene concentration was found in bile aspirates of patients with pancreatic cancer than in those with benign biliary conditions.

Exposure to industrial solvents has a significant association with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

The industrial solvents present in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune during the last century were chlorinated hydrocarbons, including trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene, exposure to which is associated with high pancreatic cancer risk. These solvents were used as degreasing agents for the metal components of weapons and equipment and entered and contaminated the drinking water through leakage in storage tanks and irresponsible disposal practices at the military base.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is a very aggressive cancer due to the lack of early diagnosis and limited response to treatment. It is the most common type of pancreatic cancer, and it is developed in the exocrine compartment, accounting for over 90% of cases. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death and is second only to glioblastoma in lethality. According to a study from Molecular Carcinogenesis, the most consistent findings linking occupational exposures with pancreatic cancer risk are for chlorinated hydrocarbons.

If you are a Camp Lejeune veteran or family member and worry you might have developed pancreatic cancer, these are the symptoms you should look out for and for which you should immediately seek medical attention:

  • abdominal pain that spreads to the sides or back
  • yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes
  • diabetes that is getting more difficult to control
  • light-colored stools and dark-colored urine

Some of the chlorinated hydrocarbon compounds associated with pancreatic cancer are trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and perchloroethylene, according to the study, all of which were lurking in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. If you are a Marine or a family member of one who spent time at the military base while the drinking water was contaminated and now struggle with pancreatic cancer, we encourage you to contact Atraxia Law, as we can easily help you find out whether you are eligible to file a claim and obtain financial compensation. Because we understand how overwhelming suffering from this disease can be, we will do all in our power to simplify the process for you.

File your Camp Lejeune pancreatic cancer claim with our expert assistance

With over 35 years of experience in reviewing toxic exposure claims, our team is ready to offer you the assistance you need if you are a Camp Lejeune veteran or family member with pancreatic cancer. The only documents we will request to evaluate your case are your military records or evidence of your stay at the military base and your medical records. Eligible individuals will be directed to a reliable attorney to have their claims filed.