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Mesothelioma Cancer Resource

For those diagnosed with Mesothelioma, an asbestos-related cancer of the lining of the lung (pleura) or the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum), finding a credible source of information about the disease itself and both the medical and financial options available, is of the highest priority and can be a bit overwhelming.

Mesothelioma Help CenterThis site is dedicated to providing important information on Asbestos & Mesothelioma cancers. We help Mesothelioma patients and families make educated decisions about how to proceed with filing asbestos and Mesothelioma claims.

Mesothelioma Experts is a FREE consumer service. We help mesothelioma victims get in touch legal professionals in each state and keep the public aware of new discoveries in treatments for Mesothelioma and asbestos diseases. We also keep you up to date on current news, articles and legal settlements for mesothelioma and asbestos cases.

Mesothelioma Experts is not designed to provide medical advice or is intended to be for educational use only. The information provided through Mesothelioma Help Center is not a substitute for professional care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. If you have, or suspect you may have, a health problem we can refer you to a mesothelioma doctor or lawyer in your state.

Those dealing with Mesothelioma face a number of challenges, including the tremendous costs of treatment. If you were unknowingly exposed to harmful levels of asbestos, you have legal rights and there is help available for you.

HOPE:

This segment begins with more information about malignant mesothelioma, including the causes of the disease and characteristic symptoms. Our comprehensive section on mesothelioma treatment options discusses surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy as well as new types under investigation. We discuss ways to find specialists who treat mesothelioma and some advice on choosing your doctor . The Clinical Trials segment details current clinical studies and links to information specific to those trials.

SUPPORT:

Start planning with Comprehensive Cancer Centers, how to find places to stay near treatment facilities and how to get there in the Travel & Lodging section. Relevant medical journal and mesothelioma news articles are updated regularly. Our SUPPORT segment ends with Survivors & Fighters who have uplifting stories to tell.

HELP:

This segment provides Leading Cancer Links. In Your Peace of Mind you’ll find resources to help you and your family feel secure in the weeks, months and years ahead. Here you can find links to information on financial assistance, compensation, and legal options.

Recently Added Expert Opinions:

Mesothelioma Definitions

July 24, 2008

Housing Project Work Crews Uncover Hidden Asbestos

July 24, 2008 - Known to cause a rare form of cancer called mesothelioma, asbestos was recently found during the development of a new housing project. The area of the site was known as North Miamii’s Pioneer Gardens, located in Denver, Colorado, and was expected to house 136 units for low-income families.


However, when the contractor began digging, it was discovered that workers previously hired to clear the site had mistakenly caused an asbestos leak. The leak was coming from broken asbestos-containing pipes located underground, but was never documented. The workers at the time simply covered up the leak with piles of dirt without following the steps of proper notification required of such hazards.


Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was often used for its insulating properties and fireproofing capabilities. It was fitted in nearly all construction projects before the 1990s, including commercial, domestic, and industrial buildings. When damaged or disturbed, asbestos releases toxic fibers that have the potential to float in the air for weeks at a time and cause serious illnesses such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis.


Due to extreme latency periods, it can take anywhere from 15 to 50 years for some of these illnesses to develop. While this may seem like a blessing to some, it is actually a curse, because the long latency period makes it difficult for doctors to decide on treatment options. By the time a person with malignant mesothelioma begins to show symptoms, they might be in their elderly years and already living with a disease in its latest stages of development.


Local officials are worried for individuals living near the site who may have been exposed to the deadly substance. Because of the increased risk, they are urging everyone nearby to contact a medical professional as soon as possible.


The asbestos contamination has also increased the total cost of the housing project by five times the original estimated amount. This has contractors wondering exactly how affordable the housing development will be, and will likely affect the families who were interested in living there.


By Jensen Whitmer

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July 23, 2008

Lung Cancer Trial Targets Asbestos-Related Disease

Patients are being recruited for a clinical trial of a new targeted radiation and chemotherapy protocol for pleural mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung’s lining that’s almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Currently, the standard treatment is to remove the affected lung.

“Current surgical and chemotherapy treatments of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma are unsatisfactory and have not been shown to significantly prolong survival. In this study, we will investigate whether a combination of chemotherapy and radiation targeted directly at the lung’s lining can improve outcomes while avoiding surgery,” principal investigator Dr. Robert Taub, director of the Mesothelioma Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center, said in a news release.

“The trial is also significant, because our center is the only one nationwide that is offering this experimental therapy to treat pleural mesothelioma,” Taub said.

It’s expected the targeted radiation will kill cancer cells on the surface of the lung while sparing other parts of the lung and surrounding vital tissues.

Patients aged 18 and older who have not had recent radiation therapy or chemotherapy and have not received prior Alimta chemotherapy will be considered for the study.

Patients enrolled in the study will receive several rounds of targeted chemotherapy using the drugs cisplatin and doxorubicin via surgically implanted catheters. Some patients will be randomly selected to receive additional systemic (intravenous) chemotherapy using the drugs cisplatin and pemetrexed. All patients will receive targeted radiotherapy using the P-32 radioisotope.

Patients may elect to receive additional surgical treatment, including removal of the affected lung lining or lung.

For more about the study, call 212-305-6837.

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Asbestos testing ongoing after Hill apartment fire

Environmental experts spent Monday testing and re-testing air levels in a Boulder, CO apartment that caught fire earlier this month, and fire officials said it could be a while yet before tenants are allowed back into the asbestos-contaminated building.

Boulder fire marshal Dave Lowrey said the 50-plus residents displaced from 30 units in the Hill House Apartments at 949 Marine St. could learn more about when they'll be allowed to return after results of new air samples come back.

"We will make a determination as soon as we know how bad it is," Lowrey said.
The four-story apartment building burned for hours July 12, scattering residents, most of whom were University of Colorado students. The blaze, which started about 5:15 p.m., likely was sparked by a cigarette discarded on a patio, fire and police officials said.

The next day, authorities deemed the building uninhabitable because crews found asbestos in the drywall mud. Testing and preliminary clean-up work has been ongoing since.

"The scene has been turned over to the property management company and insurance company," Lowrey said.
The Hill House apartment fire is the most recent of at least four major apartment fires in Boulder since January 2006.

On Jan. 22, 2006, a building at 2990 Shadow Creek Drive in the Gold Run condominium complex caught fire about 7 a.m., displacing about 75 residents from 36 units.
This January, lawsuits started surfacing seeking damages from the 2-year-old blaze. At least three insurance companies have gone to court seeking more than $500,000 from those suspected of starting the fire.

On Oct. 26, 2007, two separate buildings in the Gold Run complex -- at 2800 and 2802 Sundown Lane -- caught fire, displacing about 60 people from 36 units.
Tenants in 18 of the affected units have just been given the go-ahead to move back in.

On May 11, the Holly apartment complex at 1821 22nd St. was burned on one side after a fire started in a bush outside the building. Dozens of tenants in all of the building's 31 units were displaced after asbestos was found in the air, and they've still not been allowed back.

Officials with Matrix Real Estate, the property's manager, didn't return phone calls from the Camera on Monday.

By Vanessa Miller (Contact)


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Asbestos removal at UG started late

The University of Guyana (UG) may not open its doors come September as the contractors working on the removal of asbestos material commenced the task a couple of weeks late, Head of the UG Asbestos Technical Team, Melvin Sankies, said.
Stabroek News contacted Sankies yesterday following reports that there were problems regarding the removal of the material. While Sankies admitted that there were setbacks, he told this newspaper his team was not directly involved in the process.

He said he was unofficially told that the Ministry of Education had placed government engineer Walter Willis in charge of the four contractors involved in the process at UG.

However, when contacted, Willis would neither confirm nor deny his involvement in the process. He said he would “offer no comment on the phone”, but did not indicate whether this reporter could meet him to have a discussion on the matter.

Last month Deputy Registrar of UG, Vincent Alexander, had announced that the $200 million exercise was expected to last two months and it would see asbestos being removed from some 15 buildings at the Turkeyen campus.

The entire campus has been shut down. The administrative staff have been moved to the Dennis Irvine dormitory at Goedverwagting and summer classes are being held at the Tutorial High School. Library services are being facilitated at the university’s location in Pere Street, Kitty.

When contacted yesterday, Alexander could not say whether there were any problems with the process, since it was being overseen by the Ministry of Education. He said he also could not comment on whether classes would resume as per normal in September, but added that they were told that the process would last two months and they are looking forward to that.

Minister of Education Shaik Baksh was said to be out of the country yesterday and Minister in the Ministry Dr Desrey Fox said she could not give an update on the issue as she had only returned to work yesterday after a week’s absence.

According to Sankies, in the initial stages his team had put up a proposal which had suggested that the removal of the material be done over an extended period and this would not have totally disrupted the operation of the university.

However, the Ministry of Education consulted with a consultant and it was suggested that the process be done all at once.

Sankies told Stabroek News that at the last formal meeting his team had with the ministry it was decided that the team would be consulted during the process.

However, since then, he said, he had heard nothing official. Meanwhile, through the unofficial chain of communication he had learnt that Willis would instead be the consultant for the process.
“Nothing official was told to us… there has been no further meeting but we were told Mr Willis has been contracted,” he said.

He said up to late last week the contractors had not touched the library at the university which he said is the most important building at the institution.

“If the library is not finished then it makes no point for students to return to the university,” he said. He also revealed that up to late last week the administrative building had also not been touched.
“The whole thing [the removal process] is not moving as smoothly as it should,” Sankies said, adding that his team was expected to visit the institution some time today or tomorrow.

The asbestos problem was highlighted in the news in the middle of last year following protests from staff members of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Hector Edwards, Head of Business and Management Studies, had told this newspaper that he and staff members were not prepared to continue working in their building as they were exposed to the asbestos.

He had said the issue was pending for a number of years and the administration was doing nothing.
After their protests, Edwards and his staff were moved to another building. The university administration then took samples and sent them to be tested at a Canadian laboratory, Re-source Environmental Asso-ciates (REA), for confirmation during July 14-15, 2007.

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Asbestos trial nixed, case settles

A pool of 40 potential Jefferson County jurors breathed a collective sigh of relief Tuesday, July 22, when defendants reached a asbestos settlement just prior to what likely would have been a protracted asbestos trial.

The case of Belinda Martin vs. Georgia Pacific and Guard-Line was slated for trial in Judge Gary Sanderson's 60th District Court, but the two companies settled for an undisclosed amount before the jury selection process was completed.

Hammering out the deal for Martin was attorney Philip Kanayan of Brent Coon & Associates. The defendants were represented in part by attorney Tracy Richardson of the Strong Pipkin Bissell & Ledyard law firm.

Representing the estate of Charlie Martin, Jr., plaintiff Belinda Martin joined a massive ongoing asbestos lawsuit, Harold Daniels vs. Pittsburgh Corning et al, in July 2005.

The original lawsuit (B150-374) was filed in 1994. It boasts thousands of plaintiffs and has been severed roughly 216 times.

Martin's suit was severed out of the class action in November 2005. Her suit faulted more than 110 defendant companies for the death of Charlie Martin.

Although the settlement amount was not disclosed, plaintiffs from the original lawsuit have won millions of dollars. In 2001, Plaintiff Mat Boney was severed out of the class action and granted a trial against Rapid American Corp. Jurors levied a $4 million verdict in Boney's favor.

The original lawsuit faults defendant corporations for negligently manufacturing, selling and using asbestos containing products.

"All of the asbestos products placed into the stream of commerce by the defendants … were defective and dangerous," the suit says. "Defendants were negligent for failing to adequately test their products."

Case No. B150-374BS

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Interview with Asbestos Attorney Michael Hodges

Mesothelioma Attorney Kansas City, MO: Attorney Michael Hodges of Hodges Law Firm, based in Kansas City, is involved with a group of lawyers who concentrate exclusively on representing people in asbestos litigation. "We represent people across the US who have developed asbestos-related cancer," says Hodges.

His background has been focused primarily with medical cases but over the last several years, Hodges has been involved in asbestos cases with co-counsel in St. Louis. "With these lawsuits, there are so many filed in Madison county that there is a 'fast track' to the litigation, which means cases will normally get set for trial within a year of filing," explains Hodges. "This means that asbestos litigation has become so developed that most of the liability discovery is not necessary for individual cases. In other words, plaintiffs can get fairly fast justice in that county—in many parts of the US it takes years to get your case to trial."

Science has made it clear that mesolthelioma is directly linked to asbestos but Hodges points out that now it has also become clear that a variety of cancers are also caused by asbestos, such as lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and liver cancer, to name a few. Obviously, mesothelioma is a significant illness, but these other cancers have all been related to asbestos.

Many victims develop asbestos-related illnesses from occupational exposure, but you can develop mesothelioma anywhere from 10-50 years after exposure. "We are currently representing a 37-year-old man who was diagnosed with mesothelioma and the occupation of his grandfather was a contributing factor," says Hodges. "Look back at the latency period."

Asbestos related diseases are insidious—an entire family can suffer, both physically and of course, emotionally. "You can be exposed to asbestos in all kinds of products, from shingles on your house to the brake linings of cars to the wrappings around heat pipes," says Hodges. In fact, we have all likely been exposed to asbestos at some time during our lives, particularly anyone growing up pre-1970s.

Sadly, victims are often diagnosed with asbestos-related cancers and mesothelioma with only a short time left to live. Oftentimes their loved ones will file in their stead.

In our next conversation with Michael Hodges, LawyersandSettlements will find out how the passing of the new Asbestos Bill can affect your potential asbestos lawsuit. And Michael Hodges will discuss what information you need and whether you qualify for an asbestos lawsuit, either as a sufferer from asbestos-related illness, or as a family member who is considering filing a suit. And finally, the advantages and/or disadvantages of filing an individual lawsuit versus a class action lawsuit.

Asbestos Legal Help
If you have suffered losses in this case, please send your complaint to a lawyer who will review your possible [Asbestos Lawsuit] at no cost or obligation.

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