Veterans who were injured in service are entitled to VA disability benefits. If you are Veteran and you were at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, you are entitled to disability compensation for certain illnesses related to exposure to the contaminated drinking water there. Veterans who are now dealing with kidney cancer are entitled to disability benefits if they can prove it was related to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
What is Kidney Cancer?
Simply put, kidney cancer is a name for any type of cancer that originates in one of your kidneys. For reference, your kidneys are the two bean-shaped organs located behind your abdomen. There are several different types of kidney cancer according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), including:
- Renal cell carcinoma – This is the most common form of kidney cancer. It accounts for approximately 85% of diagnosis.
- Urothelial carcinoma – Also known as transitional cell carcinoma, this type of cancer accounts for 5%-10% of kidney cancer in adults.
- Sarcoma – A rare form of soft tissue cancer.
- Wilms tumor – A tumor that primarily impacts children. Wilms tumor makes up approximately 1% of kidney cancers.
- Lymphoma – A type of kidney cancer that is associated with large lymph nodes.
Kidney Cancer Symptoms
Kidney cancer does not typically show any signs or symptoms in the early stages. However, once symptoms due develop, it is important to visit a medical professional. Mayo clinic lists 6 different symptoms associated with kidney cancer:
- Blood in urine (may appear pink, red, or cola colored)
- A persistent pain in your back or side
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Chronic fatigue
- Unexplained fever
What Causes Kidney Cancer Among Veterans?
Currently, doctors are unaware of what causes most kidney cancers. However, like all forms of cancer, kidney cancer is the result of mutated cells. These cells, known as oncogenes, grow and divide rapidly, resulting in an overabundance of mutated cells. These mutated cells could result in a tumor.
Mayo clinic notes a variety of different risk factors associated with kidney cancers. Some risk factors include old age, smoking, obesity, hypertension, kidney failure treatment, inherited syndromes, and a family history of kidney cancer.
Veterans stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina may be at a higher risk of developing kidney cancer than those who didn’t. This is due to exposure to the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune. Veterans at Camp Lejeune who developed kidney cancer are entitled to disability compensation.
Service Connection for Kidney Cancer from Camp Lejeune
Veterans who want to receive disability compensation for their disabilities must first establish service connection. Typically, a Veteran will need to prove 3 things to receive service connection for a disability:
- A current medical diagnosis
- An in-service event that led to the disability
- A nexus connecting the in-service event to the disability
However, Veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune and later developed kidney cancer do not need to prove the 3 things listed above. This is because the VA lists kidney cancer as a presumptive condition for exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Since kidney cancer is presumed to be connected to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, a Veteran only needs to prove they were exposed to the contaminated water to receive disability compensation.
A Veteran must prove they served at Camp Lejeune (or MCAS New River) for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987 to receive disability benefits for kidney cancer.
Veterans Disability Lawyers
If you are a Veteran and you are dealing with kidney cancer due to Camp Lejuene water contamination, you are entitled to disability compensation. If the VA denied your claim, Berry Law can help you appeal.
Berry Law has helped thousands of fellow Veterans from all over the US successfully appeal their VA decisions. Contact Berry Law today to schedule a free case evaluation.