Although pleural mesothelioma and other forms of the deadly disease have grown increasingly common in Madison County and throughout the country, they are still largely misunderstood and, unfortunately, misdiagnosed. This is largely due to the symptoms of the disease and their similarity to symptoms of similar but much less harmful ailments.
A federal judge has dismissed about 1,600 asbestos lawsuits filed by former merchant marines who allege that they were exposed to asbestos during the course of their employment and that they suffered irreversible harm as a result. The judge disagreed with that claim, stating that the plaintiffs did not provide sufficient proof that their asbestos exposure had caused them significant injury, only showing that they had suffered physical impairment.
Although mesothelioma has been affecting people for several decades, doctors and researchers still have much to learn about the deadly disease. For example, one of the standard diagnostic tests for pleural mesothelioma often returns a false negative result, delaying the critical treatments that patients need to survive.
After being diagnosed with mesothelioma one year ago, a former plastics company employee filed a lawsuit against his former employer and a company that provided the raw asbestos with which he worked for more than 10 years. Under the laws of New York, where the lawsuit was filed, the severity of the man's mesothelioma entitled him to an expedited lawsuit. Earlier this week, the jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff, awarding him damages of approximately $2 million.
Earlier this month, we wrote about a $2.4 million verdict that was awarded to a former Navy veteran who had developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos throughout his decade of service on Navy ships. Now, another former naval shipyard employee has been awarded damages after almost 20 years of working in the boiler rooms of several Navy vessels resulted in a diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma.
Before Frank Bender became a forensic sculptor and an invaluable asset to several Philadelphia-area police agencies, and before he became a savior to the families of murder victims who had gone years without answers, he was a member of the United States Navy who spent many years sleeping on Navy vessels. And it was because of those years that Bender developed the mesothelioma that would ultimately take his life when he was just 70 years old.
Earlier this week, we began a two-part series discussing a new mesothelioma treatment breakthrough that was achieved by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. Aside from potentially erasing the need for a complete lung removal in patients suffering from pleural mesothelioma, the combination of a partial removal plus photodynamic light therapy may extend the life span of mesothelioma patients.
Last month, we wrote about a recent study at the University of Pennsylvania which indicated that a new combination of less-invasive mesothelioma treatments and surgical procedures may be more effective at treating pleural mesothelioma than the more radical lung removal surgery. Although much has yet to be learned about these new medical innovations, researchers are encouraged by the positive early results.
Across the pond, cities, agencies, and individuals are joining forces to spread knowledge and awareness about mesothelioma and other potentially fatal effects of exposure to asbestos. To mark Action Mesothelioma Day 2011, groups will gather to hear speakers, share experiences, watch multimedia presentations and meet with mesothelioma lawyers to learn about the legal options.
A recent study has indicated that a new combination of less common mesothelioma treatment methods may more effectively increase the chances of survival of those who suffer from the deadly disease. According to researchers at the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the new findings have the added bonus of reducing the need for surgical lung removal in mesothelioma patients, allowing patients to have more normal lives following their mesothelioma treatment while also removing some of the risk of surgery.