Liver cancer usually refers to hepatocellular carcinoma, which begins in the hepatocytes, the main cells that make up the liver. Less common forms of liver cancer include intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma and hepatoblastoma, and it’s also important to note that cancers found in the liver have normally started elsewhere in the body and metastasized than started in the liver. Nevertheless, eligible veterans diagnosed with liver cancer should be aware that kidney cancer is on the list of presumptive conditions linked to toxic exposure from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at U.S. Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Background on Camp Lejeune Toxic Exposure
Service members and their family members who were stationed at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between the mid-1950s to the mid-1980s may have been exposed to dangerous levels of toxins like trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride. These toxins were improperly stored and disposed on and nearby the base, infiltrating the local water supply.
Veterans who have been diagnosed with kidney cancer and were on active duty for a period of no fewer than 30 days at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 may be eligible for additional healthcare benefits and compensation from VA. VA has also established a list of presumptive conditions so that veterans with certain diagnoses do not need to provide a medical nexus linking an active diagnosis to their service record. Some healthcare benefits also extend to affected family members of service members.
For more information on presumptive conditions related to toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune, you can read the following blogs:
- TCE exposure benefits
- Immune Disorders
- Aplastic anemia
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney Cancer
- Multiple Myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
- All types of respiratory cancer
Liver Cancer Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Treatment
Liver cancer symptoms include unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, upper abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, nausea, vomiting, weakness and fatigue, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes), and white, chalky stools.
Risk factors for liver cancer include chronic infections for HBV and HCV, cirrhosis, certain inherited diseases like hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease, diabetes, fatty liver tissue, exposure to aflatoxins (poisons formed by mold grown on poorly stored crops), and excessive alcohol consumption.
Surgical treatments for liver cancer include surgery to remove the tumor or a liver transplant. Localized treatment options include cryoablation (freezing cancerous cells) or radiofrequency ablation (heating cancerous cells), pure alcohol injection, chemotherapy injections, or placing beads with radiation in the liver. Other treatments include radiation therapy, targeted drug therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and supportive (palliative) care to deal with pain
VA Disability Ratings for Liver Cancer
Active liver cancer is for an eligible veteran who can prove a direct service connection between their service history and their active diagnosis, grants you a 100% disability rating for up to six months following your last treatment. After that, a mandatory C&P exam will follow, and your rating will change based on the residuals of your original cancer.
Assistance With Your Claim
The Camp Lejeune Act of 2012 and the Honoring Our Pact Act of 2022 have increased the benefits available to veterans and affected family members. Because of this, veterans are more eager than ever to collect the compensation due to them. And if family members have been affected, it also requires filling out a separate form: VA Form 10-10068: Camp Lejeune Family Member Program Application.
For assistance with your claim for liver cancer disability benefits, you can contact VA Disability Group PLLC at 844-VET-LAWS.