20 From Camp Lejeune Marine Base Developed Male Breast Cancer, Blame Toxic Water

Monday, August 31, 2009

Less than 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States each year, compared with 192,000 cases for women. The rare occurrence of this condition in men has many wondering about the water supply at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, one of the U.S. Marine Corps’ primary bases, where 19 men who once lived there have developed breast cancer.

Turns out the water supply for Camp Lejeune from the 1950s to the mid-1980s was contaminated with chemicals from an off-base dry-cleaning company and industrial solvents used to clean military equipment. Even though Marine Corps commanders issued an order in 1974 to safely dispose of solvents, dangerous chemicals were still dumped near water wells for years. And it wasn’t until 1984 that the Corps completed its testing of underground wells that revealed the presence of harmful chemicals, forcing the closure of many. By then, thousands of Marines and their families had been exposed to the tainted water.
In addition to the unusual incidence of male breast cancer, there are nearly 500 others who were at the base and have contracted other forms of cancer or illnesses. More than 1,600 former base residents have filed claims against the federal government, seeking $34 billion total in damages.
On July 27, 2009, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced a bill, the Caring for Camp Lejeune Veterans Act of 2009, to furnish medical care for victims of the water contamination.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


Rachael 9 years ago
I was born in 1978 at Lejeune. My mother's entire pregnancy was also here. I am wondering if unexplained seizures that began @ age 6 & continued all the way until I was 15 has anything to do with this?
Debbie 10 years ago
My husband and I lived on base from 1971-73, and our daughter was conceived and born in the naval hospital in 1973. I had a miscarriage in 1972 and numerous problems during my pregnancy with my daughter. After leaving LeJeune and going back to civilian life, I got pregnant, had another miscarriage. Two years later I was pregnant again and during my 5th month, I started bleeding from both breasts. I was checked by a surgeon, who told me this was usually caused by breast cancer. I was 23 years old and this was 1976. My son was born and I was re-examined by the surgeon a few weeks later and no tumors could be detected; their only answer was a hormonal problem. Two years later I became pregnant again and miscarried. A few months after the miscarriage I was diagnosed with a pre-cancerous condition of the cervix and had to undergo a cone biopsy and treatments. I ended up having a hysterectomy at age 34. I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis at age 35 and fibromyalgia at age 38. My daughter (who was born at Lejeune in '73) is now 36 years old and was diagnosed 5 years ago with fibromyalgia and 3 years ago she was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse. My son (born in '76, after leaving Lejeune) developed a seizure disorder when he was 8 years old; doctors could not determine what caused it. In 2006, at age 30, he almost died from Complete Heart Block, a congenital heart condition we were not aware of. He had to have a pacemaker. One of my grandchildren has a heart murmur and one was just diagnosed with PFO at age 13. Coincidence? Bad genes? Or, bad water I was drinking while pregnant?
Keith Flood 10 years ago
I was marine at camplejune nc from 1978 to 1992 im very concern i all ready regesterd to D O D allready. They had contacted me i just need to know the risks .

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