Male breast cancer and Camp Lejeune: Pollution or coincidence?

News — By on July 1, 2009 at 6:50 am

Mike Partain is a walking, breathing anomaly.
After he was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2007, the Tallahassee resident learned just how rare the cancer is in men — fewer than 2,000 new cases each year.

Men who get it are often over 70 with a family history of breast cancer. Partain, then 39 with no family history, felt like the unluckiest guy in the world.

Then Partain got a call from a second anomaly like himself, a breast cancer survivor in his 40s with stunning news.
Both men lived at Camp Lejeune, N.C., during what some scientists call the worst public drinking-water contamination in the nation’s history.
So began Partain’s single-minded quest to find other men with breast cancer and ties to the Marine Corps base. His success has startled scientists: He has found nine others.

And the St. Petersburg Times located a Lejeune breast cancer survivor not on Partain’s list.

Only one of the men was over 70 when diagnosed.
Scientists studying Camp Lejeune water tainted with carcinogens for 30 years ending in 1987 — water consumed by up to 1 million people — say it is extraordinarily difficult to link pollutants to an illness.

But Partain, working alone and without government help, has grabbed their attention.

“This needs to be looked into very seriously,” said Dr. Devra Davis, an epidemiologist preparing a case report on the men. “We all owe a debt to Mike and others who have stepped forward.”
Partain is sure many more cases await discovery.

Two upcoming federal studies will look at the incidence of all disease among base residents. Potentially, there are billions of dollars in health claims by 1,500 people who say the water sickened them that may ride on the results.
So far, nearly 10,000 Floridians with Camp Lejeune ties have signed up for a health survey, the highest total for any state except North Carolina.

Please read the complete article and let us know what you think below.

Were you at Camp Lejeune?
Anyone who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune in 1987 or before can register with the Marine Corps for a health study. To register or to get more information, visit Marines or call toll-free (877) 261-9782.

Also, a private Web site, Camp Lejeune Toxic Water , which is unaffiliated with the Marines, offers a wide variety of information.

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