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Mesothelioma Law Blog

International play spotlights the emotional side of mesothelioma

People turn to entertainment for a variety of reasons. Many famous works of entertainment are lighthearted to create an escape for the audience. However, other works aim to shine a light on some of the serious situations real people face.

Frances Poet, a playwright from Glasgow, Scotland, recently wrote a play about mesothelioma. The play’s characters are fictional. However, the situations they encounter are based on real experiences.

Artificial intelligence may lead to better mesothelioma outcomes

At this point, there’s no reliable cure for mesothelioma, but researchers keep looking for new treatments. The trick is that there are so many variables among patients’ cases it’s often hard to know which treatments might work best.

That’s where the new artificial intelligence from Owkin may come into play. According to the findings it published in Nature Medicine, Owkin developed a deep-learning program it calls MesoNet. The program is designed to analyze biopsies and predict how the cancer may evolve. The program also found patterns tied to patient outcomes, which may help victims get better treatment.

Why isn't asbestos banned in the United States?

Scientists have been aware of the dangers of asbestos for decades. Thousands of people die every year from mesothelioma, a disease for which asbestos exposure is the only proven trigger. The mineral is banned throughout Europe and other nations. But the United States has not yet banned it.

There have been efforts, but at this point, United States businesses can still import, recycle and use the known carcinogen. As PBS reports, the United States has imported more than 6,000 tons since 2011. This raises the question: Why?

What is the value in a cancer support group?

If you have mesothelioma, are a survivor or are doing your best to support a loved one through their diagnosis and treatment, you understand many of the complexities surrounding the disease. The associated thoughts, fears and emotions can vary, and they are often challenging to process.

No matter where you are on your journey, you might benefit from participating in a support group. You may appreciate the opportunity to share space with others in a similar situation. Having the chance to talk openly about your disease may provide necessary encouragement – or at the least the sense that you are understood. 

Can cancer screenings prevent mesothelioma?

Many people do not visit a doctor unless they are experiencing symptoms of some ailment. This can be a good strategy in many instances. However, those who may have an increased risk of developing cancer may consider scheduling more regular check-ups.

Asbestos exposure has been linked to aggressive forms of cancer, such as mesothelioma. People who have potentially inhaled asbestos fibers at work or at home may have a higher than average risk of developing mesothelioma or other cancers. However, mesothelioma often does not develop until decades after someone inhaled asbestos fibers.

How difficult is it to rid a building of asbestos?

For many years, manufacturers used asbestos in all kinds of building and construction materials. The material’s natural strength and heat resistance made it useful for insulation, floor tiles, ceiling tiles and other products. But scientists have since learned more about how dangerous the material is.

People exposed to asbestos can breathe the fibers into their lungs or absorb the fibers through their skin. Those fibers can then cause diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. As a result, homeowners and people who work in buildings laced with asbestos are right to be concerned when those buildings start to wear and fall apart. If building materials release asbestos into the air, they could put you, your family and your coworkers at risk.

At-risk community receives federal funding for health screening

A health clinic in Libby, Montana that specializes in asbestos-related diseases will be receiving almost $2.5 million in federal funding. This funding will help cover the cost of screening area residents for illnesses caused by asbestos exposure.

The residents of Libby have an exceptionally high risk of developing asbestos-related diseases. This may be because of the vermiculite mine that operated there for many years. The mine closed in 1990 after people discovered that the vermiculite mined there was contaminated with asbestos. Since the mine’s closure, hundreds of area residents have passed away. Thousands more have developed asbestos-related diseases.

Are there health dangers present in your children's schools?

As a parent, you do everything possible to provide your children with a safe environment in which they will learn, develop and thrive. And when you send them to school, you trust all will be well. However, if your children attend classes in an older building, they could be around materials which contain asbestos.

Over time, exposure to asbestos could cause your children to develop mesothelioma. Though, it is often difficult to determine precisely how much asbestos may be lurking in the construction materials used to build your children’s schools.

Asbestos exposure could occur when prepping a garden for winter

As you work on completing fall chores, it is a good idea to exercise caution. Some tasks, like prepping your garden for winter, may lead to you inadvertently becoming exposed to asbestos. People commonly consider gardening to be a healthy hobby that people of all ages can enjoy. However, even an activity that is generally healthy can have hidden risks.

Asbestos is a group of minerals known for their durability. Exposure to these minerals, which often occurs when someone inhales asbestos particles, can lead to aggressive health problems, such as mesothelioma.

Women and mesothelioma

The good news is that Americans have become more and more aware of the dangers of asbestos. This may be part of the reason that we’ve seen the rate of mesothelioma diagnoses trend downward since the early 1990s. The bad news—for women—is that that downward trend owes entirely to the lower rate of male diagnoses.

While we see mesothelioma affecting a smaller and smaller portion of the male population, the rate of women affected remains pretty much the same as it has since the late 1980s. As a result, women now account for roughly one-quarter of all new mesothelioma cases.

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