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Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma

Listen to audio about the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is dedicated to serving mesothelioma victims and their families.

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells lining the body's internal organs, known as the mesothelium. There are three recognized types of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease, accounting for roughly 70% of cases, and occurs in the lining of the lung known as the pleura. Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneum and pericardial mesothelioma originates in the pericardium, which lines the heart.

An individual may be at risk to develop mesothelioma if he or she was exposed to asbestos in the workplace or at home. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and the inhalation of asbestos particles. In most cases, mesothelioma symptoms will not appear in an individual exposed to asbestos until many years after the exposure has occurred. Those with a past asbestos exposure history experiencing symptoms should consult a physician with experience in accurately diagnosing mesothelioma. The earlier mesothelioma is diagnosed, the more likely it is to be caught at an early stage. At earlier stages of mesothelioma progression, more treatment options are available and oftentimes a better prognosis is given. Additional mesothelioma information and statistics can be found in this section.

Mesothelioma Treatment

Mesothelioma Treatment Once an individual has been diagnosed by a qualified mesothelioma doctor, the next step is to discuss mesothelioma treatment options and to develop a treatment plan. Recent scientific research has produced significant breakthroughs with regard to treatment protocols for mesothelioma patients and more options are now available for managing mesothelioma and supporting improved quality of life. Newly diagnosed mesothelioma patients often have many questions for their doctors about the treatment options that would be most effective for them. Conventional treatment options for mesothelioma include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Recently, chemotherapy drugs including Alimta® and Cisplatin have showed promising results in some patients.

Mesothelioma clinical trials as well as experimental treatments are other options that certain mesothelioma patients may be eligible to participate in. Our site features a comprehensive mesothelioma cancer treatment section that includes important information for patients and families. We've included resources on top mesothelioma experts such as Dr. Sugarbaker, as well as a comprehensive list of cancer centers where mesothelioma treatment takes place. Beyond the conventional treatments for mesothelioma, certain alternative therapies may provide assistance to mesothelioma patients. We continually update this section of our site as new mesothelioma treatment information becomes available. Check back often to read about the most recent advances.

Asbestos Exposure and Cancer

Asbestos Exposure Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma cancer. Inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers may cause an inflammation of internal tissue and disrupt organ function which leads to the development of mesothelioma. Asbestos products were used extensively throughout the 20th century in a wide variety of applications. Asbestos companies continued to produce these products even after they were known to be hazardous and harmful to workers and their families. Many of these products were responsible for asbestos exposure sustained by both the individuals who manufactured the products as well as those who used them at commercial, industrial and military jobsites. Renovation and construction both at home and in schools and other public facilities also posed high risk areas for asbestos exposure.

Asbestos related cancer is common among military veterans who we exposed on naval ships, in shipyards and at military bases. Naval ships where exposure occurred include aircraft carriers, battleships, destroyers, submarines, warships and others. Some prominent shipyards where asbestos was prevalent include Brooklyn Navy Yard, Norfolk Navy Shipyard, Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Long Beach Naval Shipyard and Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. At commercial and industrial locations including refineries, power plants, steel mills, auto production facilities and large construction sites, many workers were put at risk. Some of the occupations of workers at risk include electricians, plumbers, boilermakers, carpenters, mechanics , machinists and more. Additionally, if you lived with someone who was regularly exposed to asbestos and washed their clothes, you could be at risk for second hand asbestos exposure.

Veterans and Mesothelioma

mesothelioma veteransAlthough rare, mesothelioma affects veterans from all branches of service: Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. As mesothelioma has a long latency period and can remain dormant for several decades, veterans who served our country from 1930 through 1980 are just now being diagnosed with the disease.

Navy veterans who worked in navy shipyards and or served on our nation's warships and submarine's from WWII through the Vietnam War were exposed to high concentrations of deadly asbestos and are at a high risk for developing mesothelioma. Boiler rooms, engine rooms, sleeping quarters, and other areas of naval vessels were the most common areas where asbestos was present. As a result, Navy veterans are at a greater risk of developing mesothelioma. Medical support and treatment centers are available to veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. If you are a veteran and believe that you were exposed to asbestos, you should inform your physician during your next visit.

Mesothelioma Lawyers

Asbestos manufacturers and distributors made a concerted effort to hide the dangers of asbestos from the public, while at the same time profiting heavily from the sale and manufacture of harmful asbestos products. Those suffering from Mesothelioma can seek compensation from the manufacturers of asbestos and asbestos-containing products by hiring a competent mesothelioma lawyer. When deciding whether or not you should pursue your legal rights as a mesothelioma victim, you should think about the following three things. First, asbestos manufacturers had knowledge of the dangers of asbestos and knowingly put hardworking men and women at risk. Second, treatment for mesothelioma can be very expensive. Third, by exercising your legal rights, you can protect your loved ones in the future.

Once you make the decision to pursue your rights, a competent asbestos attorney will maximize recovery from both viable and bankrupt asbestos defendants. Over 65 asbestos trusts have been established holding billions of dollars combined across them. These asbestos trust funds have been set aside to help compensate those workers who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer or other asbestos related diseases. The legal process to compensate mesothelioma victims is not overly burdensome and should be strongly considered to help offset treatment costs and to provide financial security for loved ones.

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog

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July 23, 2014
Barbara O'Brien

Did the DC Court of Appeals Doom the Future of Obamacare?

“On July 22, two judges on a three-judge panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, ruled that “Obamacare” insurance exchange subsidies are illegal in 36 states. If this decision is upheld, that means about 4.5 million people in those states will lose subsidies intended to help them afford insurance — which means they probably will lose their insurance as well. The decision threatens to throw the entire program into chaos. Insurance companies that were deeply into planning for the fall open enrollment period now have no way to know what to plan for. Further, the consulting firm Avalere Health calculated that cutting those subsidies would cost the affected states billions of dollars and push premium costs up by an average of 74 percent in those states. Even if you aren’t receiving a subsidy, the insurance companies may have to charge you more for insurance if fewer people in your state are insured. Some pundits also think that if the subsidies do stop in the 36 states, under the wording of the law many employers in those states also would no longer be penalized for not offering insurance to employees.  The loss of subsidies could then set up a ripple effect that could be devastating to many people who didn’t even use the exchanges.People who need treatment for chronic or life-threatening diseases such as asthma, epilepsy or cancer have a particularly hard time getting medical care in the U.S. if they don’t have insurance. But it may not yet be time to panic. Here is what you need to know about the insurance exchange ruling.The Reason Behind the DecisionWhen the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”) was being written and debated in 2009 and 2010, it was assumed that the states would create their own insurance exchanges. The law as written offers subsidies to those enrolled “through an Exchange established by the State.” However, more than half of the states either couldn’t or wouldn’t create a state exchange, so the federal government stepped in and did it for them, which the law allows. In those states, the majority appeals court decision says, the subsidies are illegal because the exchange was not “established by the State.” People critical of this ruling say that it ignores the obvious intention of the law. The purpose of the exchanges was to make it simple to apply for policies and subsidies at the same time. Those who didn’t qualify for a subsidy had no need to go through the exchange to buy insurance; they could go to a broker or just contact insurance companies directly.What You Need to Know NowIf you are among the 8 million people who purchased insurance through the exchanges, be assured the subsidies, if you receive one, are still in place at the moment. You can go ahead and pay your next month’s premium. Next, see “How the New Obamacare Ruling Would Hurt Americans' Wallets” to see how your state might be affected if the subsidies are cut. It may be that your state wouldn’t be affected at all.Also, there is a good chance this ruling will be overturned before it ever goes into effect. There are no guarantees, however, especially if the Supreme Court gets involved.What Happens Next?Just an hour after the 3rd District Court issued its opinion, the 4th District Court of Appeals ruled on a very similar case and upheld the subsidies everywhere.  Most of the time when something like this happens, the two cases would go directly to the Supreme Court for a final decision. However, it’s very likely the White House will ask the entire 3rd District Court to re-hear the case. This means that instead of being heard by just a three-judge panel, all eleven 3rd District Court judges would be involved. If the full Court reverses the three-judge panel decision, that may be the end of the challenge to the subsidies. And until that happens, the 3rd District Court decision is on hold, and subsidies will continue.If the full 3rd District Court upholds the panel’s decision, however, then the case certainly would go to the Supreme Court. Opinions vary about what the Supreme Court justices might decide.It is also possible that, if the full 3rd District Court upholds the panel’s decision, Congress might open the law for revision. Such a move could turn into the legislative equivalent of the Gunfight at the OK Corral, especially in the House, which has voted more than 40 times to repeal the law altogether.The majority of legal experts commenting on the situation expect the subsidies to continue.  But nothing is certain at the moment.”

Mesothelioma News

July 01, 2014
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Asbestos Case Plaintiffs Awarded $4.5 Million Have Verdict Reversed

“Philadelphia Appeals Court Reverses Guilty Verdict in Asbestos Case”


June 26, 2014
Seattle, Washington

Judge Does Not Accept Expert Testimony as New Evidence in Widow's Asbestos Case

“Widow Denied Reconsideration After Mistrial in Asbestos Case”

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