By Treven Pyles
Posted on July 30th, 2023
Every year, over 500,000 veterans receive a cancer diagnosis nationwide. In many cases, the cause of their disease is exposure to toxic chemicals on military bases such as Camp Lejeune, where the drinking water was contaminated for nearly 35 years during the last century.
Camp Lejeune veterans are at high risk of developing cancer, as toxic chemicals were lurking in the drinking water at the military base during the last century, including trichloroethylene, benzene, vinyl chloride, and perchloroethylene. Exposure to such a hazardous concoction of toxic agents can easily result in cancer, particularly if it occurred over several years, which is the case for many veterans. Up to 20% of all cases of cancer are misdiagnosed in our country, and the rate of misdiagnosis is even higher in Camp Lejeune veterans.
Many of these brave people believe their cancer is the consequence of old age or lifestyle factors such as tobacco smoking or obesity. However, in many instances, the real culprit behind their disease is toxic exposure within the military. For this reason, it is crucial for veterans to connect the dots and realize their cancer was caused by drinking toxic water at Camp Lejeune. Let's take the case of a veteran who drank contaminated water at the military base for two years and a half, 74-year-old Richard, whose first symptom was lower back pain on one side.
Because his back pain was worrying him, the veteran decided to seek medical assistance for his symptom. Upon his first medical visit, he was told he most likely had kidney stones and to keep a close eye on his health in case other symptoms appeared. Several weeks after his initial diagnosis, Richard began noticing blood in his urine, which, understandably, was very scary for him. Therefore, he decided to seek a second opinion and undergo more in-depth testing. Luckily, the medical professional he visited this time was more interested to hear about his symptoms and ordered a CT scan.
Unfortunately, because he postponed seeking medical attention for so long, the veteran was diagnosed with stage 3 renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer. Because his disease was quite advanced, Richard needed to have his whole kidney removed surgically. Furthermore, after the surgery, which was successful, he needed to undergo chemotherapy to make sure he was cancer free, as malignant cells might have spread to nearby lymph nodes and blood vessels.
Even so, at first, the veteran failed to make the connection between his diagnosis and drinking toxic water at Camp Lejeune, and medical professionals did not even consider this possibility. The man had no family history of cancer and was leading a relatively healthy lifestyle. Thankfully, he stumbled upon our law firm, and while reading about the association between kidney cancer and contaminated water exposure, he decided to give our attorneys a call. Unsurprisingly, after a comprehensive case evaluation, we found that he was eligible for compensation.
It is important to know that kidney cancer can be misdiagnosed as more common and less serious health issues at first, including but not limited to the following:
Because misdiagnosis is so common and many Camp Lejeune veterans fail to make the connection between their disease and exposure to toxic water at the military base, we strongly encourage these courageous people to seek a second and even a third opinion if they feel something is wrong with their health. Receiving immediate treatment if cancer is diagnosed is of utmost importance, but it is also essential for veterans to seek legal assistance, as the compensation they can obtain by filing a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act can greatly help with the high cost of cancer treatment. For example, the annual costs of the drugs used to treat kidney cancer range from $78,000 to $200,000, which is very expensive for most veterans.
With over 30 years of experience in pursuing compensation for toxic exposure victims, including many veterans, our diligent attorneys will gladly help you file a claim under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and also a VA disability compensation claim. The legal process is simple and will mostly take place over the phone as we realize how physically and emotionally exhausting struggling with cancer can be. If our endeavors are fruitful, Camp Lejeune veterans can obtain the maximum compensation they are entitled to for their unjust suffering.
If you spent time at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, when the drinking water was contaminated with toxic chemicals, and now suffer from a linkable disease, we advise you to get in touch with our skilled attorneys, who will offer you a free case evaluation. As a veteran, the only documents you will have to send our legal team are your military records, which you must retrieve, and your medical records with your diagnosis.
If we deem you eligible, our resourceful attorneys will expedite your claim, so you can obtain the money you deserve as soon as possible. We operate on a contingency fee basis, so you will not have to pay anything out of pocket unless we recover compensation for you, in which case we will keep a percentage of it in exchange for our legal services. Regardless of your diagnosis, if you believe it was caused by living at Camp Lejeune, please call us.