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MCA Staff Writers

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One of the primary treatments for pleural mesothelioma is radiation therapy. Often used as an adjuvant therapy (i.e., as a secondary treatment after surgery and/or chemotherapy), radiation helps reduce the size tumors in the chest and can alleviate pain. However, radiation cannot distinguish between cancerous cells and noncancerous cells, which means that it can damage healthy tissue – sometimes significantly.

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Already, in 2016 great strides have been made in the effort to ban asbestos. While it’s still not completely banned yet, the passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (text of the act) – with strong bipartisan support – opened the door for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban asbestos.

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2 0 1 6 Aug 16

The Effects of Cancer on Fertility

When someone thinks “cancer,” the first thing that comes to mind may not be starting a family. However, for many younger people who may be thinking about having children, a cancer diagnosis may be prohibitive at first – and certainly worrisome at best.

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Earl Dotter is an award-winning photojournalist who has spent the last four decades documenting the American laborer. Starting in the coalfields of Appalachia in the late 1960s, Dotter has focused much of his career on not only telling the stories of industrial workers, but also using his photography as a tool to spur change in the conditions in which his subjects toil daily. His efforts have earned him a host of awards and recognitions, up to and including a more than decade-long visiting scholar appointment at The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the entry of his photograph series on coal mining into the Permanent Collection of the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institute.

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Earlier this year, Wolverhampton model Ricki Hall set a goal to raise awareness for mesothelioma. His plan: to shave off the beard that he has been curating over the last six years.

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2 0 1 6 Jul 28

Asbestos in Older Homes

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Asbestos has been used for thousands of years in textiles and construction, due to its impressive resistance to heat, fire and moisture. Then, in the late 1800s, it became common to use asbestos in housing, as insulation, floor tiles, and other products. These practices continued into the 1980s, and such homes are still standing today. For those considering purchasing or renovating a house built before 1990, there is always the risk of asbestos in various parts of the home. Though usually innocuous if left undisturbed, when doing renovations it is important to know what to look for, and how to safely deal with any asbestos found in the process.

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Resources for Mesothelioma Patients and their Families

Paolo Monico is an award-winning filmmaker who has directed more than 150 commercials for companies like Volkswagen, Honda, and Coca-Cola, as well as more than two dozen music videos. Earlier in his career, he worked as an animator, cartoonist, storyboard artist, and a number of other jobs in the film and television industry. His commercial work has received critical acclaim, and he has been featured in industry journals such as Shots Magazine.

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2 0 1 6 Jul 21

Joe Biden's Moonshot Initiative to Cure Cancer

Earlier this year, the White House introduced a Cancer Moonshot Initiative, a new program designed to search for a cure for cancer. In his State of the Union Address in January, President Obama discussed the new initiative, asking for nearly $1 billion of extra spending over the next couple of years. Cancer centers, advocacy groups, government agencies, and companies are all working together to coordinate efforts to dismantle the barriers that often slow this process down. Vice President Joe Biden is at the helm of the initiative – his 46-year-old son having died last year due to brain cancer.

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In November 2012, James Dunbar “Dun” Stockwell went to the doctor’s office for a routine physical exam. When the doctor took an x-ray, however, he discovered Dun had a collapsed lung. The discovery led to multiple surgeries and the need to return to the hospital every few months due to pleural effusion (buildup of fluid in the lungs).

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Recent developments on the horizon regarding treatment for mesothelioma hold promise for future patients. There could soon be another medication introduced as a first-line treatment chemtherapy option. Rather than reinvent the treatment wheel, this particular drug would compound the effects of current chemotherapy treatments, to the benefit of many mesothelioma patients.

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