According to the US Department of Defense, over 600 military sites are currently placed on the National Priorities List for clean-up under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Veterans who served on military bases in the United States were exposed to several hazardous, persistent, and harmful chemical compounds used in regular military tasks. Chemical contaminants, including elemental mercury, degreasers, dry-cleaning solvents, and flammable liquids at concentrations much higher than the permitted safety standards, were found at hundreds of current and former U.S. military bases.
The toxic substances identified at U.S. military bases can increase the risk of prostate cancer
Like all types of cancer, prostate cancer occurs when a normal cell stops functioning properly and begins to grow and divide uncontrollably. While researchers argue that almost all cancers occur due to hereditary and gene defects, it has also been found that ingestion of harmful substances creates a measurable risk for cancer.
There are currently several types of research into the causes, prevention, and treatment of prostate cancer, one of the health conditions linked to prolonged exposure to heavy metals, benzene, toluene, xylene, and styrene, chemicals that are present at hundreds of current and former U.S. military bases.
According to a series of studies, exposure to these toxins at a young age may increase the chance of prostate cancer development in adulthood because it may mimic or interfere with certain hormones in the body, such as estrogen. For example, mercury is an important endocrine disruptor that mimics the effect of estrogens and activates the estrogen receptors, leading to cell proliferation changes, thereby contributing to prostate cancer development and progression.
If you were stationed at one of the targeted military facilities and experience the following symptoms, we strongly advise you to seek medical attention immediately, as you may have developed prostate cancer as a consequence of toxic exposure to different types of contaminants while serving on active duty:
- frequent need to urinate, especially at night
- a painful sensation during urination
- difficulty stopping or starting urination
- bleeding while urinating
- lower back pain