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Mesothelioma Law Blog

What is it like to treat mesothelioma with Optune Lua?

Every year, thousands of Americans learn they have mesothelioma. Most of them realize it only after the disease has progressed too far for surgery to be a viable option. This means their treatment largely consists of trying to slow the cancer’s progress to live longer and enjoy a better quality of life.

For years, this most often meant chemotherapy or radiation, frequently paired with other drugs or treatments. Then last year the FDA approved the first new mesothelioma treatment in over 15 years. But what is it like to live with this new treatment? The story of one Pittsburgh man offers some insight.

Which companies still use asbestos?

Despite everything we know about the dangers of asbestos, companies worldwide still use the carcinogenic mineral in their products. Some of these companies may even have ties closer to home than most would expect.

An analytic company recently released a report on the asbestos industry. It looks at some of the major players and is a reminder that they are still willing to use asbestos. The study pits the interests of corporations against what we know about product and consumer safety.

A Canadian town named after asbestos opts for a change

Recently, the residents of Asbestos, a town in Quebec, Canada, chose a new identity. Rather than allowing their town to continue being named after the hazardous mineral formerly mined there, they have chosen a free name from such negative connotations. Beginning in December, their town will be known as Val-des-Sources, which means ‘valley of the springs’ in French.

Asbestos was once home to the Jeffrey Mine, which had been the largest chrysotile asbestos mine in the world. According to a report published by National Public Radio, the town developed around the mine in the late 1800s. It was given its name by the Royal Mail, which began simply referring to it as the mineral mined there.

Some asbestos rules suspended to speed Oregon's wildfire cleanup

The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission recently approved temporary suspension of certain regulations that affect how solid waste and asbestos-containing materials are handled. These changes come in response to recent wildfires in the state that burned over 1.2 million acres of land.

According to Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality, these temporary changes are necessary because the fires cause such a large amount of debris.  These changes, which went into effect on October 9, are intended to allow the debris to be cleaned up quicker, reducing the risk it poses to human health and the environment.

New study may offer hope for mesothelioma prevention

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That's the saying, but what can you do when it's too late to take most preventative measures?

That's frequently the question mesothelioma victims must face. Every year, doctors diagnose roughly 3,000 Americans with mesothelioma. However, because mesothelioma is notoriously difficult to diagnose, those diagnoses often come too late for the most aggressive and effective treatments. And that's why the findings of a recent study may offer new hope for those most at risk.

How much does it cost to treat mesothelioma?

A mesothelioma diagnosis is a shock to the system. It means coming to grips with the fact you or someone you love has cancer. But it also means struggling with more than the disease; it means struggling with the treatments, which do not come cheap.

Cancer treatments have become so expensive that one AARP article opened by asking if you would be better served by first seeing a medical specialist or a money manager. Even more startling? The magazine suggested that visiting the money manager first might lead to better outcomes.

FDA approves the first drug regimen for mesothelioma in 16 years

At the beginning of October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug combination to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma that cannot be otherwise removed by surgery. This approval is the first the FDA has made for a mesothelioma drug treatment regimen in 16 years. It is also the second-ever systemic therapy for mesothelioma approved by the FDA.

The newly approved drug combination includes nivolumab and ipilimumab. These drugs are both immunotherapy drugs developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb. Studies have shown that when used together, they can enhance T-cell function, which can lead to a decrease in tumor growth.

Asbestos can be recycled, but is this safe?

Asbestos is known for causing various health conditions, such as mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. However, its other properties historically made it a common addition to numerous products, especially building materials.

Although many applications for asbestos are now banned in the U.S., old asbestos-containing products remain in use throughout the country. When these products are removed, they must go somewhere.

Improper asbestos disposal carries both legal and safety risks

A man from West Virginia was recently convicted and sentenced for dumping asbestos-containing materials in a national forest. His penalties reportedly include over $14,000 restitution for cleanup costs, $100 fine and court costs. He also received a six-month jail sentence, which was suspended.

According to media reports, the West Virginia Natural Resources Police discovered a dumpsite in the Monongahela National Forest in early April. The items dumped at the site contained siding and shingles that were made with asbestos.

Scientific advisory committee critical of EPA's asbestos report

For many years, Americans have accepted and valued the role that science can play in advancing human life. The nation’s scientists were the first to send a man to the moon, develop personal computers, and break countless technological barriers. Good science can also protect the environment and improve human health.

So, why would anyone want to make use of second-rate science? Why would anyone fail to use all the data available to them to find real solutions to real problems? These are just two of the questions that lurk behind one science advisory committee’s recent rebuke of the EPA's draft asbestos risk report.

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