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Could the Future of Mesothelioma Research be in Jeopardy?

Scientists, doctors and researchers have made great strides in cancer treatments and therapies over the past few decades due to an infusion of public and private funding for cancer research. Although survival rates for some cancers are higher than ever, other types of cancer – such as mesothelioma – still require significant study and exploration before more effective and less toxic drugs and treatments become available.

Mesothelioma is a rare, but serious form of cancer that affects approximately 3,000 people in the the U.S. every year. The cancer is caused by prior exposure to asbestos – a substance that is now strictly regulated. Although not all individuals who were exposed to asbestos will develop mesothelioma, those who do may undergo months or years of surgeries, drug treatments and palliative therapies in an effort to prolong life expectancy and slow the progression of the cancer.

Because mesothelioma is such an aggressive disease, many mesothelioma patients and their families have placed their hopes in cancer research. But unfortunately, the progress that has been made in understanding and fighting mesothelioma may soon slow significantly if federal sequestration is carried out on March 1, 2013.

What is Sequestration and How Will it Affect Mesothelioma Research?

Sequestration is a series of automatic spending cuts scheduled to go into effect unless congress intervenes. The spending cuts have garnered much attention primarily because of their effect on national defense. However, other cuts are lurking in the shadows – including spending cutbacks for medical and scientific research programs. In the long term, this could mean fewer clinical trials and research programs available to mesothelioma patients. It is estimated that the National Institutes for Health will be among those government health programs most affected.

Some worry that promising drugs and therapies will fail to be tested in a timely way, potentially slowing mesothelioma cancer research by years. This is not good news for patients, who according to The American Cancer Society, have an average life expectancy of between 4 and 18 months following an initial diagnosis. Furthermore, raising private funding for mesothelioma research is especially difficult considering it is a disease that is very rare and affects only a few thousand people in the U.S. each year.

Patients and proponents of mesothelioma research are encouraged to contact their representatives and senators to encourage members of congress to reach a budget agreement that does not prevent the continuation of cancer research or hamper the momentum that has been established in developing promising new drugs and therapies. Mesothelioma lawyers will continue to fight for just compensation for their clients who have been affected by asbestos cancer and will be urging Congress to act responsibly in the face of this threat. The federal government has a responsibility to help protect the health of its citizens, including those who are suffering with or who will eventually be diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Australian Experts Discover Breakthrough Mesothelioma Treatment

A new radiotherapy technique has been discovered by researchers at the Austin Health Centre in Victoria, Australia. The radiotherapy is said to improve the life expectancy of mesothelioma sufferers, which, sadly, is often around just two years from diagnosis.

For seven years Dr. Malcolm Feigen, an Austin Health Centre Radiation Oncologist, has been researching and developing new mesothelioma treatment techniques which make use of high dose radiotherapy. So far, thirteen patients have been involved in the trial procedures. Dr. Feigan reports that advances in technology and available equipment have allowed the team at the Austin Health Centre to safely increase radiotherapy doses in their mesothelioma patients, and with impressive results.

“… we’ve been very impressed that in most cases there’s a considerable improvement in the activity of the tumour masses that we’ve given high doses of radiotherapy;” Dr. Feigan said, “and most patients have got through the course of treatment with no major side effects and some have had long-term benefits.”

The doctor continued to say that most patients treated exclusively with radiotherapy tend to realize short term benefits before the cancer becomes active again.

“But with radiotherapy it doesn’t come back in the same area and if we find patients early enough we may be able to stop any further developments of their disease,” he added.

Most of the patients involved in the trial treatment had surgery to remove cancerous tumors prior to radiotherapy, which seems to drastically improve the results. Dr. Feigan believes the new radiotherapy treatment in conjunction with other treatments shows plenty of promise, and on average can already give patients another two years to live.

“Some patients go on to have a number of good years before sometimes the tumour comes back in areas that we haven’t been able to give radiotherapy to,” he said.

“Some have had chemotherapy before they see us or afterwards and that does provide an additional benefit, but not always, and we think that most of the symptoms are relieved more effectively by high doses of radiotherapy than these other alternatives.”

A national oncology conference will receive Dr. Feigan next week to present his findings. The doctor hopes to gain some support for his research and encourage other cancer centres to help further his work.

The new treatment has already created somewhat of a stir which has been received by the medical community excitedly, if with some reservation. Professor Ian Olver, the CEO of the Cancer Council of Australia, welcomes further research in this direction and says that the findings to date are promising.

“I think it’s an important finding that radiation has a useful role along with other therapies, not so much on its own, so they’ve really found the niche for radiotherapy in this disease,” Professor Ian Olver said.


The Face Of The Asbestos Epidemic

This short film was produced to raise awareness of the issues surrounding mesothelioma. It includes interviews with people who have the disease. Although the participants of this film live in the U.K. the stories are no different than those of victims and families suffering here in the United States. The disease mesothelioma knows no borders.

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Do You Really Need A Lawyer?

You don’t need one, in the same sense that you need quality medical care. But it is definitely to the benefit of you and your family to engage an attorney and seek compensation for any asbestos related disease that has compromised your health or the health of a loved one.

You are entitled to compensation. The fact is no one asks to be stricken with these diseases, and no one should be the victim of corporate dishonesty. As we now know, early on the dangers of asbestos were well known to the ‘higher ups’. Asbestos miners and manufacturers who used the mineral kept a lid on the information. They chose profits over people.

Fast forward 30, 40 years or more and the effects of those decisions are playing out in your life. The corporations that profited need to be held accountable by the people who have suffered, and for justice to be served you really do need a lawyer. The asbestos companies are being held accountable, one liability claim at a time.

Nobody Likes a Lawyer… Until They Need One

Attorneys are really fighters by trade, and many engage in behavior that offends people. Their principal contribution to our cultural fabric is lawyer jokes. We all know about the ‘greedy’ lawyer or the ‘scummy’ lawyer but when an occasion arises where someone needs an advocate, an attorney that understands the art of confrontation can be a valuable asset. When it comes to facing off with asbestos companies, attorneys have led the way and forced the issue of corporate responsibility. In many ways, that has been a major contribution to civil justice in this nation over the past 30 years.

This website is about: finding you an Asbestos / Mesothelioma Lawyer with credentials. You should have an attorney with real world experience when it comes to asbestos related cases. You are entitled to a lawyer who can answer all your questions. A lawyer who can can work with the asbestos liability claims “trust funds” and with the courts to get your compensation claim handled professionally and paid promptly.

Don’t let this disease and its legal ramifications intimidate you. The legal issues with asbestos diseases provide opportunities for people who have lost their health to asbestos exposure. The notion of hiring a lawyer brings stress to a lot of people, particularly those of us who have never engaged a lawyer in the past.

Understand that hiring an asbestos attorney is just seeking expert help in pursuing the compensation that is owed to you. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have gone before you, down the same path. You’re not engaging in a lawsuit and going to war in a courtroom, you’re beginning an administrative process to obtain what the law says is owed to you. Start the process by having a conversation with us, and then watch the pieces fall into place as we go to work.

Fill out the Free Claim Evaluation form. We will be in touch within 24 hours.

Long Wait for Asbestos Claims

When the story of asbestos and its lethal health effects finally gelled, several companies filed bankruptcy in order to deal with liability issues. Owens Corning was one of them, and was also one of the firms to set up a multibillion dollar trust for the purpose of compensating victims of asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Since starting in late October, 2006, the trust has paid $390 million on 70,000 claims submitted by people — primarily construction workers, ship-builders, and others — who developed lung diseases from working around asbestos-containing insulation and other products once made by Owens Corning and its Fibreboard subsidiary.

As part of Owens Corning’s six-year bankruptcy case, the trust assumed responsibility for compensating victims. OC kicked in a multibillion-dollar pot of cash and stock to shed the liability. The trust has received an additional 256,000 claims and faces new demands for compensation daily.

Most payments have gone to people who settled with Owens Corning years ago but whose settlements were tied up by the firm’s bankruptcy filing in October of 2000. Just $16 million has gone toward 2,500 newer claims, about 9 percent of which involved people with cancer.

The irony in this story is the fact that people who have contracted mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos have a life expectancy of twelve to eighteen months. One attorney in Tennessee filed a number of claims twelve months ago and has yet to see any of his clients receive a dime. The problem is simply the sheer volume of claims to be processed.