At the core of the Camp Lejeune community lies a united resolve to confront and lessen the impending cancer risks. The military base’s history is stained by environmental contamination, which brought significant threats. In response, the community has embarked on a collective journey to protect its residents from these health vulnerabilities.
Through a tapestry of strategic measures, informed decisions, and a resilient spirit, the Camp Lejeune community can curb cancer risks.
This exploration delves into the comprehensive approach that can be undertaken to address this issue.
Get Tested for Exposure to Contaminated Water
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) recommends that people who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune get tested for exposure. This testing can help people determine their risk of developing cancer.
The story of Ronald Lawson, as reported by Keloland, underscores this. When Lawson concluded his service with the U.S. Marine Corps in 1983 after a six-year tenure at Camp Lejeune, he was a robust figure.
However, about ten years ago, his health and life began to shift drastically. Over approximately eight years, his knees and back started to fail him. His vision also diminished in one eye, and he grappled with intense stomach and intestinal pain. And one day, he discovered a lump on his neck, which was diagnosed as Stage 4 throat cancer.
During a visit to a Veterans Administration hospital, a doctor posed a question that aligned with all the TV commercials Lawson had seen. These advertisements focused on veterans from Camp Lejeune who now grapple with cancer and other severe illnesses, creating a startling connection.
If you have been exposed to contaminated water, you should get tested so that you can understand your risk of developing cancer. It will also help you to take steps to protect your health.
Get Regular Cancer Screenings
Cancer screenings are tests that can help detect cancer early before it has spread. Early detection is important because it can lead to more effective treatment and a better chance of survival.
There are several different cancer screenings. The specific screenings that you need will depend on your age, gender, and risk factors. For example, women over the age of 40 should get regular mammograms to screen for breast cancer. And men over the age of 50 should get regular colonoscopies to screen for colorectal cancer.
Even if you have not been tested for exposure to contaminated water, it is still important to get regular cancer screenings. This is because the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune has been linked to a variety of cancers. And early detection is the best way to ensure a successful outcome.
Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Amid the endeavor to mitigate cancer risks, embracing healthy lifestyle choices stands as a fundamental pillar. Nurturing a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and refraining from smoking emerge as impactful ways to fortify defenses against cancer.
Fortune advises balancing your plate with two-thirds of fruits and vegetables and the remaining portion with nutritious proteins like fish and poultry. Diversify your diet for optimal results.
The color of your food matters. Prioritize dark green, red, and orange vegetables alongside fiber-rich options like beans and peas. Embrace whole grains and a vibrant array of fruits. Steer clear of heavily processed foods.
Prioritize regular physical activity, aiming for 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 to 100 minutes of vigorous activity weekly.
These choices extend their protective mantle irrespective of prior exposure to contaminated water, emphasizing their universal significance. By adopting these measures, individuals can secure their overall well-being and resilience. It bolsters their ability to confront cancer risks and fosters a holistic approach that complements broader community efforts.
Be Aware of the Symptoms of Cancer
Here are some specific signs and symptoms of cancer that you should be aware of:
- Lump or swelling: A lump or swelling in any part of the body can be a sign of cancer.
- Unexplained weight loss: Losing weight without trying can be a sign of cancer, especially if you are also feeling tired.
- Persistent fatigue: Feeling tired all the time, even after getting enough sleep, can be a sign of cancer.
- Changes in bowel movements: Changes in bowel movements, such as diarrhea, constipation, or blood in the stool, can be a sign of colon or rectum cancer.
- Changes in urination: Changes in urination, such as pain or burning when urinating, or more frequent urination, can be a sign of balder or prostate cancer.
- Bleeding or discharge: Unexplained bleeding or discharge from any part of the body can be a sign of cancer.
- Sore that doesn’t heal: A sore that doesn’t heal after a few weeks can be a sign of cancer.
- Skin changes: Changes in the skin, such as a new mole or a change in an existing mole, can be a sign of skin cancer.
- Hoarseness: Hoarseness that doesn’t go away can be a sign of cancer in the larynx or throat.
- Persistent cough: A cough that doesn’t go away, especially if it is accompanied by blood, can be a sign of cancer in the lungs.
- Pain: Pain, especially new or unexplained pain, can be a sign of cancer.
You need to remember that not everyone with these signs and symptoms has cancer. However, it is always better to be safe than sorry and get checked out by a doctor.
File a Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Claim
Recently, a pivotal development has arisen within the Camp Lejeune community’s efforts to address cancer risks: the Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit. 2022 witnessed Congress enacting the Camp Lejeune Justice Act that enabled individuals exposed to the contaminated water to file a lawsuit.
This legal recourse opens avenues for compensation encompassing medical costs, wage losses, and emotional distress.
TorHoerman Law notes that for those affected by the Camp Lejeune water crisis, seeking legal counsel to explore their options becomes paramount. This legislation is a tangible step towards justice for those who have been impacted by the contamination.
Get Involved in Advocacy Efforts
Numerous organizations diligently champion awareness of cancer risks within Camp Lejeune’s community. By engaging in these initiatives, individuals can contribute substantially. Attending rallies and protests amplifies the collective voice, underscoring the urgency for action.
Public Radio East reported many such gatherings to address the prolonged water contamination issue at Camp Lejeune. They aim to furnish information for those affected and introduce advocates supporting these individuals.
One of the most persistent champions seeking aid for those impacted by the hazardous drinking water is retired Marine Corps Jerry Ensminger. Ensminger’s connection to the cause runs deep. His daughter Janey, who was born on the base, was diagnosed with cancer.
This sorrowful experience spurred Ensminger’s determination to advocate. He did not work solely as a tribute to his daughter’s memory but also for the thousands exposed to toxic chemicals.
Becoming an advocate unites community members toward a common cause. It galvanizes tangible strides in cancer risk mitigation and embodies the spirit of shared responsibility.
As the community navigates its past, it boldly shapes its future through vigilant awareness campaigns, scientific advancements, and united efforts. From transforming lifestyles to advocating for change, Camp Lejeune’s determination to conquer cancer risks will illuminate a path of hope and action.
Amid challenges, the community’s resolve shine. It demonstrates that with a shared vision, unyielding dedication, and the power of collective endeavor, a healthier, safer tomorrow can be crafted.