Patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma face a grim prognosis. The rare and fatal form of cancer makes itself known decades after the victim is exposed to asbestos, and by the time it is diagnosed is generally too far advanced for meaningful or effective treatment. The most common approach taken by mesothelioma physicians is a multi-modality protocol that includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This is true whether the patient opts for a curative approach meant to extend their survival time or a palliative approach that is meant to provide them with relief from discomfort and the highest quality of life possible. In their continuing search for improved medical offerings, radiation oncologists are now taking a closer look at the role that radiation therapy can play, particularly in the areas of slowing the return of cancer cells after surgery and of relieving pain.
Month: April 2018
A recent study conducted by researchers at St. Luke’s International University in Japan presents a good news/bad news dichotomy for those diagnosed by mesothelioma, as well as for those providing their treatment. The good news is that more and more patients are living longer after being diagnosed with the rare and fatal form of cancer – with some living more than five years after treatment. The bad news is that for those who are achieving this remarkable level of longevity, their quality of life is reported to be “very unfavorable” in terms of being free from physical pain, as well as for other chronic problems.
Pietro Macaluso was a construction worker who spent years doing demolition work in single-family homes in Brooklyn, but it was only when he was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma at the age of 55 that he was made aware that his work had exposed him to the deadly mineral asbestos. A year later, he had died, leaving behind a girlfriend and his 11-year-old twins. This week a Manhattan jury decided that three boiler manufacturers were negligent in their failure to warn the public of the dangers hidden in their asbestos-contaminated equipment, and ordered that those companies pay the worker’s estate compensation in the amount of $60 million.
Imagine millions of people who use one of the world’s most trusted products finding out that it has caused both malignant mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. That is exactly what is happening, as Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is being named in multiple lawsuits around the country. The most recent of these cases was heard in a New Jersey courtroom, where a jury hearing the plight of 46-year-old Stephen Lanzo first awarded him and his wife $37 million in compensatory damages, and then another $80 million in punitive damages meant specifically to punish the consumer giant for their negligence.
Though the majority of cases of malignant mesothelioma in the United States have been linked to workplace exposure to asbestos, that does not mean that exposure to the carcinogen in an occupational setting is the only way that you can get the disease. There have also been many instances of people being exposed as a result of asbestos in their environment, including within the walls of their own homes in the form of asbestos-contaminated insulation in homes build prior to the 1980s. It has been estimated that there are as many as 30 million houses and residential buildings that are affected in this way, and up until now there has been no good way of determining which they are, but now a new hand-held device created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)may hold the answer to that problem.
When you think of a person being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, you imagine that their exposure to asbestos came from years of factory or construction work or from contaminated insulation in their workplace — not from a household product. But a New Jersey jury hearing a lawsuit filed against Johnson & Johnsons has determined that’s exactly what happened to 46-year-old Stephen Lanzo. After 30 years of using the consumer giant’s baby powder or Shower to Shower talc product, the banker has been diagnosed with the rare and deadly form of cancer, and he submitted evidence showing that it was because the talc in the powder was contaminated by asbestos. The jury has awarded Lanzo and his wife $37 million in compensatory damages, and is currently considering assigning punitive damages as well.
Mesothelioma is widely thought of as a disease that afflicts those working in industrial and construction settings or in the Armed Forces — try to picture a mesothelioma victim and you likely picture a factory worker, a shipyard worker, or a Naval veteran. But a trial that’s been going on in a New Jersey courtroom for the last several weeks turns that idea on its head, and is striking fear in consumers all across the country: a 46-year-old banker diagnosed with the rare and fatal form of cancer is suing pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, claiming that there was asbestos in its iconic baby powder and that it was responsible for his illness.
A young family’s attempts to save money on a home renovation project may lead to sleepless nights ahead, as they recently learned that they and their young children were exposed to “a major asbestos spill” that could eventually lead to mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.