Male Breast Cancer patients blame water at Marine base

Jim Fontella was based at Camp Lejeune in 1966 and 1967. He was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998.

Male breast cancer patients blame water at Marine base

From Abbie Boudreau and Scott Bronstein
CNN Special Investigations Unit

TAMPA, Florida (CNN) — The sick men are Marines, or sons of Marines. All 20 of them were based at or lived at Camp Lejeune, the U.S. Marine Corps’ training base in North Carolina, between the 1960s and the 1980s.

They all have had breast cancer, a disease that strikes fewer than 2,000 men in the United States a year, compared with about 200,000 women. Each has had part of his chest removed as part of his treatment, along with chemotherapy, radiation or both.

And they blame their time at Camp Lejeune, where government records show drinking water was contaminated with high levels of toxic chemicals for three decades, for their illnesses.

“We come from all walks of life,” said Mike Partain, the son and grandson of Marines, who was born on the base 40 years ago. “And some of us have college degrees, some of us have blue-collar jobs. We are all over the country. And what is our commonality? Our commonality is that we all at some point in our lives drank the water at Camp Lejeune. Go figure.”

“How could they do this to me after I served the country faithfully?” retired Marine Rick Kelly told CNN. “How could they do this to my fellow Marines?”

Excerpt taken from CNN via Youtube:http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/09/24/marines.breast.cancer/index.html