Camp Lejeune water contamination health problems include, but are not limited to:
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Miscarriage and other fertility problems
- Neurobehavioral effects
Some residents of Camp Lejeune also suffered serious illnesses that resulted in their passing.
Cancer and Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
“Cancer” is a frightening word for many. It encompasses a wide range of conditions, all of which are characterized by mutated cells growing out of control. Per the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), at least nine different types of cancer have been associated with the Camp Lejeune water contamination:
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Adult leukemia
The symptoms you experience will vary depending on what type of cancer you have, what stage it is in, and more. Cancer progresses as follows:
- Stage I is the earliest, least serious stage. If caught and treated early, you have a better chance of survival.
- Stage II and Stage III mean the cancer has spread somewhat but is still fairly localized and potentially treatable.
- Stage IV means the cancer has spread from its point of origin to other places in the body. Treatment at this stage is very difficult.
If you served at Camp Lejeune from August 1953 to December 1987, you could seek compensation for these and other conditions related to the water contamination.
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a particular type of cancer that attacks the immune system, according to Mayo Clinic. It may cause symptoms such as:
- Swollen lymph nodes or abdomen
- Weight loss
Treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma depends on how far it has spread, your age, any other health conditions you have, and your personal preference. After diagnosing you, your doctor may recommend chemotherapy, immunotherapy, a bone marrow transplant, or another type of treatment.
Leukemia and Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Leukemia is a type of blood cancer, according to Cleveland Clinic. It is often most associated with the childhood variety, but adults can develop it as well. Symptoms include:
- Weight loss
- Pain in the bones
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Bruises, rashes, or bleeding
You could qualify for compensation whether you developed leukemia as a child or as an adult. Both types have been associated with the Camp Lejeune water contamination.
There are many different types of leukemia. Your doctor can run tests to determine if you have it and which type you have.
Parkinson’s Disease and Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
As the National Institute on Aging (NIA) explains, Parkinson’s disease occurs when nerves in a particular part of your brain die or are damaged. This part of the brain, the basal ganglia, is what allows you to control your body’s movements. As the nerve cells within it cease to function, you could experience symptoms like:
- Stiffness or an inability to move
- Uncontrolled shaking
- Trouble speaking or swallowing
- Lack of facial expression
Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, and your symptoms will get worse over time. However, there are several treatments (including medications) available that can reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Myelodysplastic Syndromes and Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
This is a collection of conditions that affect blood cell production. Also called myelodysplasia, it can lead to:
- Breathing problems
- Excessive bruising
- Excessive bleeding
According to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), myelodysplasia is very rare and affects fewer than 50,000 people in the United States. As such, you may have trouble finding a doctor with enough experience with this condition to properly treat you.
If you suspect you have a myelodysplastic syndrome, feel free to bring it up to your doctor and ask for their help in finding a qualified specialist.
Fertility Issues and Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
If you lost a pregnancy at or soon after leaving Camp Lejeune, or if you have had trouble conceiving since your time at the base, the chemicals in the water may have been responsible for these health problems.
While miscarriage is very common—probably even higher than the reported 10 to 20 percent of all pregnancies cited by Mayo Clinic—do not dismiss your chances of receiving compensation. According to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, U.S. Congress only requires you to prove your condition was “at least as likely as not” related to the contamination.
In other words, if a doctor declares that there is a 50/50 chance of your miscarriage or infertility being related to the water contamination, you could receive compensation.
Neurobehavioral Effects and Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Neurobehavioral effects refer to a wide range of conditions that affect how you use your mind and body. Parkinson’s disease is one prominent example of a neurobehavioral issue.
Other such health problems linked to the Camp Lejeune water contamination include:
- Trouble concentrating or paying attention
- Sensory issues
- Alzheimer’s disease
As this list demonstrates, the effects of the water contamination can present themselves in many ways. They even impacted children who were in utero at the time, leaving them with cognitive or behavioral disorders that affect how they can learn, express themselves, and hold a job.
Other Health Issues and Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Other conditions that have been linked to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water supply include:
- Renal toxicity
- Hepatic steatosis
If you have received a formal diagnosis of any of these conditions, part of the money set aside for Camp Lejeune lawsuits could rightfully be yours. If you do not have a formal diagnosis, consider seeing a doctor as soon as possible. A doctor can work to relieve your symptoms, and your medical record can provide vital evidence if you pursue compensation.
Effects of Water Contamination Health Problems
The illnesses discussed above are all very serious, if not life-threatening, and can permanently affect the victim’s:
- Health: These conditions can cause both physical pain and emotional trauma.
- Quality of life: Any serious health condition can make it hard to enjoy your life.
- Career: Having to miss a lot of workdays can put your job in jeopardy. If your condition is very severe, you may have to quit working altogether.
- Finances: Aside from preventing the affected person from working, these conditions often necessitate costly treatments like hospital stays, medication, and radiation therapy.
- Relationships: It is difficult—and sometimes impossible—to maintain healthy relations with friends and loved ones when you have a serious illness.
This is why Congress passed a law giving Camp Lejeune victims the right to seek compensation. You were sickened and had your life upended through no fault of your own. It is only fair that you have the chance to seek compensation for your medical problems.
Why did the Water Contamination Cause Health Problems?
The well water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated for over thirty years, from 1953 to 1987. During this time, anyone who drank, bathed in, cooked with, or washed clothes with this water was exposed to numerous hazardous chemicals, including but not limited to:
- Vinyl chloride
These chemicals are known carcinogens, or substances that have been scientifically proven to increase your risk of cancer and other serious illnesses. They are used in a variety of industrial capacities. For example, vinyl chloride is used to make plastics, and tetrachloroethylene is used in dry cleaning. They are certainly not safe for human consumption in the quantity found in Camp Lejeune’s water supply.
What to Do About These Health Issues
If you notice anything out of the ordinary, seek professional medical help as soon as you can. A doctor can:
- Ask you about what symptoms you have and how long they have bothered you for
- Run diagnostic tests to determine the source of your symptoms
- Talk to you about the test results and answer any questions you have about them
- Suggest which treatments are appropriate based on your condition, age, and general health
- Tell you whether or not the Camp Lejeune water contamination may have caused the condition
Once you receive a diagnosis, it is vital that you follow all of your doctor’s instructions. This can:
- Save or prolong your life
- Reduce pain and prevent unnecessary suffering
- Prove that you really have the condition and are taking it seriously—which, in turn, could make it easier to get compensation
These Health Problems Can Be Fatal
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, cancer fatality rates have declined over the past two decades. Unfortunately, over 600,000 people still passed away from cancer in 2020.
If you are in very poor health, do not let this stop you from considering legal action. Even if you pass away from your illness before the case is concluded, your family could still receive compensation on your behalf.
It is understandable if you feel angry, frustrated, hopeless, or powerless after a cancer diagnosis. Coping with a terminal or chronic illness is never easy. In addition to seeking monetary compensation to pay for treatment and secure a form of justice, you can take care of yourself by:
- Opening up to loved ones and letting them support you
- Seeking professional psychiatric care
- Spending time doing things you enjoy
- Identifying the positive things in your life
Physical ailments can have very real, very serious mental consequences. Do not hesitate to get help if you need it.
Seeking Compensation for Water Contamination Health Problems
If you decide that seeking compensation is a good option for you, you have the right to hire a lawyer to help with your case. This could be especially helpful if you:
- Have no personal experience with pursuing a lawsuit
- Have a serious health condition that takes a lot of your energy
- Have other responsibilities, whether familial or professional, that require your attention
Your lawyer and their team would complete most of the tasks associated with filing and fighting your case. You would have opportunities to ask for advice and make decisions at every step, but the law firm would do all of the hard legal work, including:
- Negotiating for the settlement you need
- Representing you in the courtroom, if your case ends up going to trial
- Collecting evidence that proves you qualify for and require damages
- Dealing with all legal paperwork, even filling out forms on your behalf
- Dealing with all communications, contacting the other side as often as necessary, and keeping you informed about the case’s progress
- Determining how much compensation you are entitled to receive
- Responding to any questions you have about the case or your rights
Seeking compensation for an illness you never should have developed can be emotionally draining. It does not, however, have to take up all of your time and attention. An attorney can champion your rights throughout your partnership.
Proving You Have Contaminant-Related Health Problems
Getting the money you need is not as simple as asking the government to pay your medical bills. Your attorney can collect various types of evidence to prove that you have an illness and were at Camp Lejeune during the specified period.
Evidence of illness could include:
- Your medical records, including your official diagnosis
- Medical bills or prescriptions, or receipts for medical products
- Testimony from you and anyone else who has watched your condition progress
Evidence that you were at Camp Lejeune could include:
- Your (or your loved one’s) military records
- Mail you received while at Camp Lejeune
- Photos of you at Camp Lejeune
- Testimony from anyone who knew you when you were at Camp Lejeune
Get Compensation for Your Health Problems
If you have health problems related to the Camp Lejeune water contamination, you have enough to worry about. Let the team at Van Law protect and fight for your rights. We want you to focus on your health and well-being while we build your injury case.
During your free case review, we can discuss your legal options, recoverable damages, and other related matters. You served your country while residing a Camp Lejeune. Now, we’re ready to serve you and advocate for what you need. Call today to learn more. We serve people in both Washington State and Las Vegas.