In addition to the physical, mental, and emotional impacts of surviving cancer, there is also a major impact on the interpersonal relationships of a cancer survivor. Many of the various role and relationship changes can begin even before diagnosis, affecting everyone that a cancer patient interacts with and the social situations in which they find themselves. After diagnosis and treatment, there are other issues to be dealt with, which can have an effect on the survivor’s role in the family and social circles.
This morning, President Obama signed the historic Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, potentially creating a path to a full ban on asbestos – and other toxic chemicals – in the United States.
Overcoming cancer is a great feat. But the effects of treatment and recovery can often linger for a long time afterward. Treatment itself can lead to other physical problems, such as causing chemical imbalances or leaving the immune system susceptible to other illnesses.
The primary risk factor for mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. However, genetic factors also can play a part in determining who develops the disease.
These days many people will get cancer simply by living long enough, as the disease manifests in a third of the population in one of its many forms. As of 2014, cancer drugs with the FDA's blessing cost more than $120,000 annually – and according to a recent CBS News report, that cost increased 11.5 percent last year. Taking into consideration that the median gross income for American households is $52,000, along with the fact that insurance companies often ask families to pay upward to 30 percent of the total cost of cancer treatment, the bottom line is that cancer treatments are becoming much too costly for the average patient.
This past Friday, June 3, the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance hosted our first National Cancer Survivors Day (NCSD) tweet chat, where the cancer awareness community had an opportunity to share their stories by answering questions about survivorship. Inspired by Heather Von St. James and her recent survivorship series, we hoped to gain perspective from more survivors and people that support the fight against cancer.
For more than a decade, Paul Zygielbaum had beaten the odds, but now he was certain his time was up. He’d survived four surgeries and three chemotherapy regimens since being diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 2004, but by last summer his tumors had spread to his chest and grown massively, he had difficulty breathing and he had lost a significant amount of weight.
On Tuesday night, the U.S. Senate passed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act on a voice vote, sending it on to the next, and final, step of the legislative process, to be signed into law by President Obama. The President has previously indicated that he will sign the bill.