People who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma have already been victimized once: exposed to asbestos by companies that were well aware of the dangers of the carcinogenic material, they now face a grim prognosis and an expected survival rate that rarely exceeds two years. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that they risk being harmed by yet another set of people putting profit over people: companies that are marketing false hope of a cancer cure in pill or bottle form.
Malignant mesothelioma claims 3,000 lives in the United States every year, and tens of thousands worldwide. Other asbestos-related diseases claim an estimated 100,000 lives around the globe each year. Yet despite these frightening statistics, the world’s largest exporters of asbestos continue to put profits over people. At this year’s meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention, Russia and six other countries stood in the way of placing tough trade restrictions on chrysotile asbestos. The world organization is now discussing steps that may change the existing rules in order to remove the countries’ veto powers.
Mesothelioma is a cruel disease. It is caused by exposure to the mineral asbestos, and it sneaks up on its victims decades after that exposure takes place. The symptoms of the condition are far from obvious – they often are mistaken for the flu or a stomach bug, pneumonia or heartburn. It is only once treatments for those common illnesses fail that suspicions rise and physicians begin ordering tests: in the meantime, each day that goes by is a treatment day lost, and brings the victim closer to the day when mesothelioma finally claims their life.
The tests that confirm a diagnosis of mesothelioma are still being developed. Physicians often order a series of diagnostic imaging studies or blood work that can take an extended period of time to provide definitive results, but now a study published in the journal Cellular Oncology points to a more accurate test that not only confirms the presence of mesothelioma, but also provides a clearer picture of the patient’s prognosis. This test takes a close look at cells found when patients undergo removal of pleural effusion, which is a gathering of fluid in the lungs. When the pleural effusions of patients who were confirmed to have malignant pleural mesothelioma were analyzed, researchers found that there were high levels of tumor cells and other biomarkers that provided an accurate assessment of the patient’s condition as well as how long they were likely to survive.
Being diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma is never a good thing, but with the certainty of the diagnosis patients are able to move forward with important life decisions about how they want to spend their remaining time, how aggressively they want to fight the disease, and what type of actions they want to take against those who are responsible for having exposed them to asbestos in the first place. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you would like to explore your legal options, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244. Our mesothelioma lawyers have the experience and knowledge you need to guide you to the right decision for you and your family.
One of the cruelest aspects of a mesothelioma diagnosis is the fact that – in most cases – the disease is not diagnosed until patients are close to retirement age: just as they are anticipating spending their golden years doing all of the things that they pushed off for the future, they receive word that their future has been dramatically foreshortened. Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive disease that generally claims the lives of its victims within two years of diagnosis. Suddenly men and women in their late 50s or beyond find themselves having to decide whether to pursue aggressive medical treatments and having difficult and painful discussions with their loved ones as they prepare for the end of their lives.
A recent article in the New York Times puts one of the most difficult decisions facing mesothelioma patients into sharp focus: when is it okay to stop fighting the disease. The author describes the ravages of what she calls “treatment fatigue” and the pressure that is put on patients by the use of military-style language to describe the “battle” or “war” on disease. She makes the point that by urging patients to maintain a positive attitude and battle bravely, well-intended loved ones may put additional and painful pressure on people who are exhausted by the emotional, physical and financial impact of the ordeal.
Each mesothelioma patient will have to make their own decision as to when their body and mind have had enough of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery – the multi-modality treatment protocol that is favored in the treatment of their disease. These treatments may be used simply for pain relief or in an attempt to extend life and buy a few more critical months. For those who are viewing the situation from an economic perspective or who are concerned about the financial security of those they will leave behind, there are options available through the legal system. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, and because many in the asbestos industry were aware of its dangers, they have been held legally responsible for the damage that they have done.
If you would like to discuss your legal options, we can put you in touch with an experienced and knowledgeable mesothelioma attorney. Contact us today at 1-800-966-2244 to set up a free consultation.
This coming Sunday marks the annual celebration of National Cancer Survivor’s Day, and mesothelioma patients and their loved ones are marking the event with mixed emotions. The celebration’s name suggests that it is specifically meant for those who have beaten cancer, and though event coordinators contradict this and say that it is an all-inclusive term, it still brings home the difficult fact that mesothelioma patients face a grim prognosis and a cruelly shortened life expectancy. Even with aggressive treatment, most mesothelioma patients live less than two years from the time that they’re diagnosed.
Mesothelioma is a disease that is caused by exposure to asbestos. The disease is extremely rare, and is only diagnosed in about 3,500 patients per year. In most cases the patients’ disease is advanced: this is in part because the disease has an extremely long latency period – mesothelioma only begins to show symptoms decades after exposure to the carcinogenic material. Most mesothelioma patients’ exposure to asbestos occurred in their work environments, though in some cases people have been sickened in other environments or as a result of second-hand exposure from the clothing worn by loved ones who worked near asbestos.
The emotional impact of a mesothelioma diagnosis is often just as devastating as the physical impact. While patients are facing the disease’s painful and debilitating symptoms and undergoing invasive treatment protocols, they are also forced to come to terms with the fact that their disease was entirely preventable: had their employer or the suppliers that provided their employers with asbestos-contaminated products acted more responsibly, they could be enjoying the long life that they have been cheated of. Many are bitter and angry: others are more resolute, but still realistic enough to know that they need to take action to protect their families against mounting medical bills and an uncertain economic future.
Mesothelioma victims do have options and resources available to help them seek compensation and justice for the wrongs that have been done to them. These options include filing a mesothelioma lawsuit against the manufacturers who exposed them to asbestos, and filing claims with asbestos bankruptcy trusts against others. For more information on how you can get the help you need in exploring these options, call us at 1-800-966-2244. We are here to help.
One of the most challenging aspects of a mesothelioma diagnosis is often figuring out exactly where your illness came from. Though it helps to know that the disease is caused exclusively by exposure to asbestos, because so many years generally pass between exposure and a mesothelioma diagnosis that victims who did not work in obviously contaminated environments – like insulators or construction workers – are sometimes left scratching their heads trying to figure out how it happened. This was not the case with the late Marianne M. Geier, who had taught school for one year for the Pittsburgh School District. Though fifty years had gone by, when Mrs. Geier was diagnosed with mesothelioma in October of 2013 she clearly remembered that during the one year she taught math at South High School, from the fall of 1958 through the summer of 1959, her classroom had a floor-to-ceiing steam pipe that was fitted with a covering to protect against heat. She also remembered that repairs were made to that covering using materials whose bags were marked with the word “asbestos“. She also remembered that the same bags were lying around the hallways of the school, where the material in them was used to make other repairs.
Mrs. Geier died from malignant mesothelioma in July of 2016, but before she did she filed a lawsuit against the Pittsburgh School District’s Board of Public Education for failing to provide her with a safe work environment. The school district argued that the case should be dismissed because they were entitled to governmental immunity from the duty to protect their employees. The case was recently heard by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, which agreed with the victim’s family that the school board was not entitled to the special protection that they sought. The school board filed for summary judgement, making the argument that though there are specific exemptions from their immunity against being sued, Mrs. Geier’s case did not fall under any of those eight highly specific exemptions.
Upon hearing arguments from both sides, the judges in the case emphatically agreed with the argument made by Mrs. Geier’s mesothelioma attorneys. They ruled that the family was within their rights to file the lawsuit and that the school district would have to face the possibility of being legally responsible for the damages that the teacher suffered. This is another example of the kind of difference that a well-versed, experienced mesothelioma attorney can make when you are seeking justice.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you need an aggressive and experienced mesothelioma attorney working on your behalf. For help finding a mesothelioma attorney in your area, contact Mesotheliomalawyers.com at 1-800-966-2244. We will get you the information you need to move forward.