The information below is from the hindsight of non-medical victims and families that have gone through a medical journey of misdiagnosis and needless treatment. The Gulf Future Coalition is a page that features various professionals giving advice from their perspective. Click here to go to their website. You should consult your physician.


STAY VIGILANT

Symptoms for Oil-Chemical exposures are identical to many common symptoms that are normally associated with other illnesses. Symptoms of Oil-Chemical illnesses are known to change over time based on a variety of circumstances. This confuses the patients and health care professionals (HCP)!

It is best to see an Occupational and Environmental Medicine Physician, Medical Toxicologist, or a Preventive Medicine Specialists, but otherwise tell all health care professionals you worked on the BP oil spill, lived with a worker or lived near it.

  • Ask your HCP if you should monitor your blood chemistry on a more frequent basis.
  • Schedule bi-annual appointments with your dermatologist
  • Avoid infections and get them treated right away.
  • If you get a fever or bleed go to the emergency room
  • Get second opinions
  • Keep a Symptom and Side Effect Journal for your doctor.
  • Write your questions down as you think of them for your doctor visits.
  • Educate yourself on your diagnosis.

CANCER PREVENTION

Ask your HCP what can be recommended to prepare for or prevent cancer. Some activities you can control that cause cancer are:

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Idling vehicle, pesticides, smelling fumes while pumping gas. improper storage and disposal of harmful materials or chemicals.
  • Obesity and poor diet.
  • Forms of high-energy radiation such as x-rays.
  • Exposure to UV radiation such as the sun.
  • Tobacco use

Symptoms of common oil-exposure related cancers

  Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Symptoms of leukemia may include fatigue, paleness, weight loss, repeated infections, fever, bleeding or bruising easily, bone or joint pain, and swelling in the lymph nodes or abdomen. These signs can appear suddenly in acute leukemia, whereas chronic leukemia typically progresses slowly with few symptoms and is often diagnosed incidentally during routine blood tests.

Multiple Myeloma, Lymphoma, Hodgkins/Non Hodgkins: The most common symptoms of lymphoma are caused by swollen lymph nodes, and include lumps under the skin, chest pain, shortness of breath, and abdominal fullness and loss of appetite. Other symptoms can include itching, night sweats, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and intermittent fever.

Be vigilant about your health and don’t put off seeing a doctor when you notice peculiar symptoms.

Visit the American Cancer Association and other websites for other cancer symptoms.