Breast cancer due to AFFF

Breast cancer due to AFFF video

One of the most uncommon malignant diseases in men, breast cancer occurs mainly when a person has the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. Other mutations that may contribute to the development of breast cancer in men include changes to the PALB2, CHEK2, TP53, and PTEN genes. The exact cause of male breast cancer is unknown, but medical researchers have found many risk factors including aging, obesity, and hormone replacement therapy. A more obscure and lesser-known contributing factor to breast cancer in men is exposure to toxic chemicals such as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances from the fire suppressant AFFF. These toxic chemicals were found to promote breast cancer cells' growth and proliferation in male firefighters. Still, the correlation between PFAS exposure and breast cancer remains controversial, as there is not enough scientific evidence to determine a causal relation. Nevertheless, because there is a possible link between the endocrine disruptor PFAS contained in AFFF and breast cancer, if you used AFFF as a firefighter and developed breast cancer, don't hesitate to contact our specialized attorneys. You may be eligible for financial compensation.

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Civilian or military firefighters at risk of developing breast cancer

Breast cancer

Regarding cancers diagnosed in men in general, breast cancer accounts for 0.5% of all diagnoses. Still, there has been recent concern about the rising incidence in the past few decades. According to a study from the medical journal, Toxics exposure to PFAS might be a potential risk factor for breast cancer, but there's not enough scientific evidence to establish a clear correlation.

Nonetheless, PFAS might be a potential risk factor for breast cancer, and the compounds, even in low exposure levels, could have a very harmful impact on human health.

Researchers analyzed multiple studies concerning breast cancer risk and the following chemicals from the PFAS group:

  • PFOA
  • PFHxS
  • PFOS
  • PFNA

The meta-analysis found eight studies providing data appropriate for the evaluation of the correlation between PFOA exposure and breast cancer risk. Furthermore, six studies offered data suitable for the assessment of PFHxS, which also had a positive correlation with breast cancer. Interestingly, PFOS and PFNA were found to have a negative association with breast cancer risk.

PFOA, one of the most known chemicals from the PFAS group, has the strongest link to breast cancer. When it comes to animal studies, PFOA was found to cause significant changes and abnormalities in the mammary glands of lactating mice regularly exposed to it. It is a known fact that altered timing of mammary gland development can increase the risk of breast cancer. In humans, medical studies discovered that exposure to some PFAS can lead to higher growth and proliferation of breast cancer cells.

PFAS can interfere with the functioning of the endocrine system and increase breast cancer risk

Endocrine disruptors such as PFAS may cause a disturbance in the endocrine system, contributing to the development of breast cancer which has a latency of 15 years when it is caused by AFFF exposure.

The activist organization Breast Cancer Action states that PFAS impact the ability of cells to communicate with each other and interfere with normal hormone functioning, which promotes breast cancer. Unsettlingly, in 2019, the company 3M, one of the major AFFF manufacturers, tried to raise awareness of breast cancer, which is known as pinkwashing. One of 3M's own consultants warned that PFAS are "one of the strongest cancer promoters" he has ever seen.

If you are or were a civilian or military firefighter and suspect you have breast cancer, the following symptoms might indicate it:

  • A firm, usually painless lump in the breast
  • Nipple retraction
  • Redness of or discharge from the nipple
  • Dimpling of the skin

If you work or worked as a military or civilian firefighter and experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Male breast cancer caused by AFFF exposure

Finally, the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition is also concerned about how PFAS exposure can alter mammary gland development and may increase breast cancer risk later in life. There are approximately 700 military bases with known AFFF contamination across the US, where in addition to PFAS exposure, firefighters are also exposed to other harmful chemicals from AFFF, such as:

  • hydrocarbon surfactants
  • freezing point depressant
  • viscosity leveler
  • foam booster

Furthermore, the firefighters' protective gear contains PFAS, and these chemicals are more likely to become airborne when the equipment becomes old. Therefore, if you worked as a civilian or military firefighter and now struggle with breast cancer, we strongly encourage you to get in touch with our attorneys.

We can efficiently help you file your AFFF exposure claim if you struggle with breast cancer

Have you used AFFF during your job as a civilian or military firefighter and subsequently developed breast cancer? If so, we encourage you to contact our resourceful attorneys, who have been pursuing compensation for toxic exposure victims since 1990. Before we can determine whether you are eligible to file a claim for AFFF exposure, we will request your employment or military records, which you must retrieve, and your medical records stating your male breast cancer diagnosis. These documents will serve as a starting point in assessing your case to our legal team.

Eligible clients will have their AFFF exposure claims filed with all the responsible manufacturers so that they can obtain the maximum financial compensation available for their unjust suffering. Chances are you used AFFF made by more than one company, so your money will come from multiple sources if you qualify for compensation. We do not shy away from going to great lengths to help our clients, so you can rest assured that by choosing to work with our experienced legal team, you will benefit from top-notch services.