Pancreatic cancer caused by toxic exposure at military bases

By Treven Pyles

Posted on September 09th, 2022

While pancreatic cancer may be the consequence of a family history of various genetic syndromes, obesity, tobacco smoking, diabetes, and pancreatitis, exposure to benzene and PFAS was also found to increase the risk for this disease. These chemicals were present on military bases during the last century.

By the end of 2022, over 62,000 people across the country will have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The prognosis of this malignant disease is grim, as 42% of patients with localized pancreatic cancer and 11% of those with metastatic pancreatic cancer will live for five years or longer. Since pancreatic cancer is often found when it has already spread to nearby organs, most people have a low survival rate. Up to 25% of cases are the result of tobacco smoking, and smokers are twice more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than non-smokers. Still, exposure to benzene and PFAS is also a significant risk factor for this disease. The following toxic agents may also contribute to the development of pancreatic cancer:

  • pesticides
  • certain dyes
  • petrochemicals
  • carbon tetrachloride
  • trichloroethylene
  • methyl chloride

Between 1953 and 1987, one million people lived at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. If you are one of them, you are at risk of coming to struggle with pancreatic cancer. Numerous solvents and PFAS, which are known as "forever chemicals", lurked on the military base during that period, and toxic exposure was inevitable. So, if you are a veteran who trained at this facility or a family member of one and have pancreatic cancer, we advise you to get in touch with our specialized attorneys. You are most likely eligible to file a Camp Lejeune toxic water claim or lawsuit, which will result in considerable financial compensation to help you with the costs of your healthcare and treatment.

The link between pancreatic cancer and toxic exposure

Regular exposure to benzene and chlorinated hydrocarbons is associated with a high risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a study from the medical journal Cancer Causes & Control. Although the mechanisms by which these chemicals trigger pancreatic cancer are not completely understood at the moment, scientists believe they may reach the pancreas through the bloodstream or refluxed bile and subsequently cause damage to the organ. Furthermore, benzene exposure was associated with a higher frequency of K-ras mutations in pancreatic tumors, and a higher benzene level was also found in bile aspirates of pancreatic cancer patients than in those with benign biliary conditions.

During a study published in Toxicology Reports, mice were given PFOA for seven days, and researchers found that the chemicals had accumulated in their blood, liver, and pancreas. Moreover, "forever chemicals" triggered oxidative stress in the pancreas, which is associated with impaired pancreatic enzyme secretion and inflammation. These symptoms increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. In mice, long-term PFOA exposure was shown to induce pancreatic acinar cell tumors. The conclusion of this study was that exposure to PFOA may cause an inflammatory response that may contribute to the development or progression of pancreatic cancer.

File your toxic exposure claim with the help of our resourceful attorneys

Our law firm has been successfully pursuing toxic exposure cases for the past 25 years, and we are glad to offer you the quality assistance you deserve. If you spent time at a military base where toxic chemicals were known to lurk during the last century and developed pancreatic cancer, you should get in touch with our experienced attorneys. As a veteran, you will only have to provide our legal team with your military records, which you must retrieve, and your medical records.

If you are a family member of a veteran who lived at a military base and has a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, you are also entitled to financial compensation. To file a claim, we will request evidence of your stay at the military base in question and your medical records. Having these documents will allow us to evaluate your case and determine whether you can file a claim. If we deem you eligible, we will promptly begin working on it, and, in the end, you will obtain the compensation you are entitled to.