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Thank you for visiting the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog. Our authors are dedicated to providing timely, informative, and inspiring articles about mesothelioma.

2 0 1 5Jan22

Why, When, and How to Talk to Your Children About Cancer

Cameron and Lily

Talking about cancer is never easy, but talking about cancer with your children may be one of the most difficult conversations to think about having. It’s one of those things no parent plans on having to deal with.

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DNA

Many chemotherapy regimens can damage nerves that serve most of the body, called peripheral nerves. This damage, technically called chemotherapy-induced peripheral neurotherapy (CIPN), causes pain in about 60% of chemotherapy- treated patients.1 While it often begins after the later cycles, it can linger for years.

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Olivia Current

We are pleased and proud to award the first Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship to Olivia Current.

Olivia is a four-year cancer survivor. In 2011, at the age of 16, she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, and her subsequent treatment required not only rounds of intense chemotherapy but also a bone-marrow transplant to address a DNA mutation. Olivia’s experience was fraught with complications from infections to graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a condition in which the newly transplanted tissue attacks the receiver’s system.

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Understanding immunotherapy

Tumors, including mesothelioma and the deadly skin cancer melanoma, use several methods to hide from the immune system. Since mesothelioma and melanoma tumors have similar characteristics, some melanoma treatments are being tested for their efficacy on mesothelioma tumors. Many tumors express proteins that turn off the T cells that would normally kill them. Blocking that “off signal” or “checkpoint signal” is a very promising type of immunotherapy for cancer. It’s like opening the handcuffs on a person’s immune response so their immune system can kill the cancer cells.

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2 0 1 5Jan08

Reflecting on the "Firsts" of 2014

Von St. James family golfing

As a society, we put a huge emphasis on our children’s “firsts”: baby’s first tooth, baby’s first steps. The first birthday, the first day of school. Oh my, how I remember that day with Lily! So many of her firsts were milestones simply for the fact that I was not supposed to be alive to see them. I treasured each of those firsts, and marked the occasions with pictures and videos. I even still have her first tooth somewhere.

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2 0 1 5Jan05

W.R. Grace Asbestos Trust is Accepting Claims

W.R. Grace

After 13 years, W.R. Grace & Co. is accepting and paying asbestos-related personal injury and death claims for which they, their predecessors, and their successors have legal responsibility, through a trust established under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

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2 0 1 4Dec29

Libby, MT Introduces Asbestos Resource Program

MCA

The city of Libby, Montana, has a long, sordid history with asbestos exposure. Now, however, administrators in Libby and surrounding Lincoln County are looking to give residents new ways to deal with asbestos safely.

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2 0 1 4Dec23

Eat to Defeat: Stress-Free Holiday Meal Planning

Eat to defeat for the holidays

Research shows that one of the most important things you can do to manage mesothelioma and other forms of cancer is to keep stress low. You want your immune system humming, and stress can sabotage that. The holidays can be a very stressful time, especially when it comes to meal planning for those looking out for their health.

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2 0 1 4Dec19

Is a Clinical Trial Right for Me?

Clinical trial doctor

We often discuss the results of clinical trials so let’s discuss clinical trials in more depth: who participates, what’s being tested, how clinical trials change treatment of future mesothelioma patients.

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DNA strand

While a cure for mesothelioma does not exist currently, doctors are working tirelessly to gain a greater understanding of genetic cues that can potentially lead to a cure for mesothelioma. Understanding genetic cues, like genomic mutations, can inform doctors of how mesothelioma develops in patients, which could lead to earlier detection of the disease and creation of individualized treatments for improved prognoses for patients.

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2 0 1 4Dec01

Advocate of the Month - December 2014

Francesca Govier and her dad

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance would like to thank Francesca Govier for sharing her story with our community as December's Advocate of the Month. Francesca's dad passed away after battling mesothelioma and taught Francesca about appreciating her family and being a strong woman at a young age. Share Francesca's story and spread her message of love and support to the cancer community.

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2 0 1 4Nov17

The Importance of a Second Opinion

Medical Consult

Quite frequently, patients may receive a cancer diagnosis from their primary care physician or a doctor at the local hospital rather than from an oncologist specializing in mesothelioma.

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2 0 1 4Nov11

Talcum Powder as a Cause of Mesothelioma?

Talcum powder

A woman came down with mesothelioma but she could not recall any obvious source for exposure to asbestos. Neither she nor any family member worked in a shipyard. No asbestos insulation was reported in her house. The roads did not contain any gravel containing asbestos fibers.

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2 0 1 4Nov03

Advocate of the Month - November 2014

November Advocate Amanda Linehan

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance would like to welcome Amanda Linehan to our blog to share her story of how cancer has affected the lives of her loved ones and the impact it's had on her life. Amanda writes on her blog at Organicglory about living a healthy lifestyle. Read and share her story below.

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Testing Pleural Effusions

One of the major challenges of mesothelioma is early or earlier diagnosis. Mesothelioma causes pleural effusion or fluid build-up between the layers of the lining of the lung cavity in about 70% of its cases.1 About 1.5 million people are diagnosed with pleural effusion in the US each year. Since about 3000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year, most cases of pleural effusions are not due to mesothelioma. However, finding mesothelioma in the pleural effusion or pleural soup could provide an early or earlier diagnosis.

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Doctor

Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is cancer that develops in the abdominal cavity (peritoneal cavity), like polka dots on the lining of the intestines and the cavity. Peritoneal cases account for approx. 18%- 20% of all mesothelioma diagnoses,1 with approximately 400 new cases in the USA each year.2

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SMART Treatment

Any treatment that doubles the length of survival for cancer patients is a SMART treatment for any cancer, especially mesothelioma. The “SMART” treatment stands for Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy.1 Drs. Cho and colleagues tested the feasibility of treating mesothelioma with precisely delivered radiation therapy first, before surgery in 25 patients.1 The idea is to fry most of the mesothelioma cells with radiation therapy and then remove any remaining tumor and any damaged lung tissue.

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MCA Scholarship

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is proud to announce the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship program to benefit college students whose lives have been affected by cancer. $4,000 will be awarded each semester (Spring 2015 and Fall 2015) to one student who has battled any kind of cancer or who has witnessed the personal struggle of a parent, sibling or other immediate family member or close friend.

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2 0 1 4Oct01

Advocate of the Month - October 2014

MCA Logo

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance would like to thank Melinda for contributing as October's Advocate of the Month. Melinda, who writes on her blog The Discerning Reader, shares the story of how mesothelioma took her mother's life and affected her own.

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2 0 1 4Sep26

10 Facts You Should Know About Mesothelioma Cancer

Mesothelioma Awareness Day

This year, September 26th marks the 10th annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Mesothelioma Awareness Day was created to promote awareness about this rare and deadly disease. Unfortunately, it’s a disease that lacks widespread awareness. In honor of the 10th annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day, we want to publish 10 key facts about the disease that can be shared with your family and friends to help educate loved ones about this preventable disease.

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