Our lawyers are currently seeking individuals eligible to bring a Camp Lejeune cancer lawsuit involving soft tissue cancer. Anyone who worked or lived at Camp Lejeune before 1988 and was later diagnosed with soft tissue cancer can bring a case and seek compensation.
Soft tissue cancer is considered a Tier III injury in Camp Lejeune cases. This means there is some evidence indicating that it is connected to Camp Lejeune but there may be a battle in court as to whether there is sufficient causation evidence.
If you have a potential Camp Lejeune soft tissue cancer lawsuit, contact us today for fee case evaluation.
On this page, we provide:
- A summary of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune
- examine the connection between exposure to the toxic water at Lejeune and soft tissue cancer
- explain who may be eligible to bring a Camp Lejeune case for soft tissue cancer
- provide estimated settlement value for Camp Lejeune soft tissue cancer lawsuits.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
Camp Lejeune in North Carolina is a major Marine Corps facility that has been in operation since WWII. With housing and facilities to accommodate an on-base population of over 50,000, Lejeune is like a small town. Like most small towns, Camp Lejeune has its own water supply system.
For about 34 years, the water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with toxic chemicals known to cause cancer and a host of other health conditions. Thousands of veterans and civilians who resided at Camp Lejeune or worked there between the 1950s and the 1980s have contracted cancer and other serious diseases as a result of their exposure to the contaminated water.
Chemicals in the Water at Camp Lejeune
The harmful chemicals that were polluting the water at Camp Lejeune included tetrachloroethylene (also known as perchloroethylene or “PCE”), trichloroethylene (“TCE”), dichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and benzene. All of these chemicals are known to be toxic to the human body and have been scientifically shown to cause cancer.
So how bad was the water at Lejeune? The level of contamination in the Camp Lejeune water was incredibly high. 5 parts per billion (ppb) is the maximum safe level for PCE and TCE in drinking water, as set by the EPA. The Camp Lejeune water contained these chemicals are several thousand times above this maximum limit. One particularly bad test in the early 1980s found that a well near the elementary school at Lejeune had TCE at 18,900 ppb.
Camp Lejeune’s Water Was Toxic From 1953 to 1987
Historical reconstruction modeling and extensive testing of the water supply and contamination at Camp Lejeune has been done by Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), which is part of the CDC. The ATSDR uncovered that toxic levels of chemicals were present in the Lejeune water system since the 1950s. The investigation ultimately concluded that the water contamination began in August 1953 and ended in December 1987.
Soft Tissue Cancer
Soft tissue cancer or soft tissue sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that originates in the tissue that connects the body structures such as muscle, fat, blood vessels, nerves, and tendons. There are over 50 different subtypes of soft tissue cancer. Soft tissue cancer can occur anywhere in the body, but it is most commonly found in the limbs, trunk, and retroperitoneal space (the area behind the abdominal cavity).
There are many different types of soft tissue cancer. The common thread is they have abnormal growth of cells in the soft tissues. The most common types of soft tissue cancer include sarcomas and lymphomas. Sarcomas are cancers that originate in the connective tissues, such as bones, muscles, and cartilage, while lymphomas are cancers that originate in the lymphatic system, which is responsible for fighting infection and disease in the body.
Symptoms of soft tissue cancer may vary depending on the location of the tumor. But they are similar to other cancers. Symptoms often include pain or discomfort in the affected area, a lump or swelling, and limited mobility or range of motion. Soft tissue cancer may also cause fatigue, weight loss, or other systemic symptoms if it has spread to other parts of the body.
The causes of soft tissue cancer are not fully understood, but they may include genetic factors, exposure to certain chemicals or radiation, and… other environmental factors like contaminated water. There are also some inherited conditions – Li-Fraumeni syndrome is a notable example – that may increase the risk of developing soft tissue cancer.
Soft tissue cancer is typically diagnosed through imaging tests, such as CT scans or MRIs, and confirmed through a biopsy, which is the removal of a small sample of tissue for analysis. Treatment for soft tissue cancer may involve surgery to remove the tumor, radiation therapy to kill cancer cells, and/or chemotherapy to kill cancer cells throughout the body.
Prognosis for soft tissue cancer varies depending on the type and stage of the cancer. Some types of soft tissue cancer are highly curable if detected early and treated appropriately, while others are more difficult to treat and have a poorer prognosis. Regular medical checkups and monitoring for signs of soft tissue cancer can help with early detection and treatment, leading to better outcomes.
Softer tissue cancer can potentially occur in any areas of the body. The most common points of origination for soft tissue cancer, however, are the arms, legs and abdominal areas.
Only around 13,000 cases of soft tissue cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. annually. That accounts for less than .5% of all cancer cases.
The overall survival rate for soft tissue cancer is 65%.
Evidence Linking Camp Lejeune Water Contamination to Soft Tissue Cancer
Epidemiological studies by ATSDR and other agencies were done to determine if people who were exposed to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune suffered adverse health consequences. The studies found that the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune resulted in an increased rate of specific types of cancer and other health conditions.
Soft tissue cancer was not one of the specific cancer types that was listed as presumptively linked to the water at Camp Lejeune by the ATSDR or the Veteran’s Administration (VA).
This does not mean that soft tissue cancer has no connection to the Camp Lejeune water. Some epidemiological evidence exists which shows that occupational exposure to the types of chemicals found in the water at Lejeune are associated with increased rates of soft tissue cancer.
One of the chemicals that has been linked to soft tissue cancer is trichloroethylene (TCE). This solvent was ubiquitous at Lejeune. The mechanisms by which TCE may cause cancer are not fully understood. But the conventional wisdom is that TCE interferes with DNA repair mechanisms and cause DNA damage, which can lead to the development of cancer. We know that TCE causes kidney cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – cancers that are easy to study. Does anything thing that massive TCE exposure would not cause soft tissue cancers?
That is the point. The fact soft tissue cancer was not identified in the ATSDR studies may be partly due to the fact that soft tissue cancer is rare compared to other types of cancer. This makes it difficult to identify causal relationships in studies involving smaller groups.
The ATSDR studies were based on health surveys voluntarily provided by former residents and employees of Camp Lejeune. Surveys were sent out to a large group of former Lejeune residents and only a certain percentage of them were completed and returned.
Soft Tissue Cancer as Tier III Camp Lejeune Injury
Our attorneys have ranked soft tissue cancer as a Tier III injury in Camp Lejeune cases. Tier I injuries are those that have been tagged as “presumptively connected” to Camp Lejeune by the ATSDR and VA. Tier II injuries are those that have been named as presumptively connected to Lejeune by at least one of these agencies, or that are otherwise supported by strong epidemiological evidence with respect to occupational exposure.
Soft tissue cancer and other Tier III injuries include cancer types that have not been expressly connected to the Camp Lejeune water by any study, but there is still enough independent evidence to make a legal causation argument and bring a lawsuit. Camp Lejeune cases involving Tier III injuries will face an uphill battle, but there is still a real possibility that they will end up getting compensation.
Estimated Settlement Value of Camp Lejeune Pancreatic Cancer Cases
Our lawyers predict that a successful Camp Lejeune case involving soft tissue cancer could have an average settlement payout of around $75,000 to $210,000. The settlement value estimate for soft tissue cancer cases is lower because it is a Tier III Camp Lejeune injury. The lack of very strong evidence on causation for soft tissue cancer toxins makes these cases weaker and drives down their potential settlement amounts. This could change in the future.
Contact Us About a Camp Lejeune Soft Tissue Cancer Cases
If you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and you (or a deceased relative) were later diagnosed with soft tissue cancer, call us today at 800-553-8082 to see if you have a case. You can also get a free, no-obligation case review online.