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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for iStock-460053679.jpgMaryland’s Court of Appeals is slated to hear an important mesothelioma lawsuit brought by the family of a former pipe fitter that could have a tremendous impact on other claims challenging the statute of limitations under state law to bring mesothelioma claims. Currently, Maryland state laws allows victims or those representing their estates to bring mesothelioma lawsuits 20 years after exposure to asbestos, but the plaintiffs’ challenge could greatly extend that time period.

The plaintiffs in this case brought the lawsuit on behalf of their loved one, who worked as a steamfitter at the Morgantown Generating Station in Charles County, Maryland. A nearby Westinghouse turbine was insulated with asbestos in 1970, which the plaintiffs claim caused the victim’s passing in 2013 due to mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer, commonly affecting the thin lining of tissue surrounding the lungs and abdomen. The disease is caused by asbestos exposure and while there are numerous promising scientific breakthroughs being made every year to treat the cancer, there is still no definitive cure to rid patients of mesothelioma.

Every day, firefighters face danger. Unfortunately, not all of that danger stems from the fires they fight. Some of that peril is in the carcinogens enmeshed in their gear from fighting those fires. In fact, their dirty turnout gear and the time they spend battling fires, absorbing carcinogens, is increasing the risk for cancer and increasing cancer-related deaths in firefighters.

Preventing Asbestos Exposure

But what can fire departments do to help prevent asbestos exposure? They’re already wearing protective gear, but that gear, may have been exposed to clouds of asbestos fibers. When they remove their gear, those fibers can spread. If it’s not handled properly, it can then pose a risk to those around it. Anyone who breathes in the fibers or touches the gear can be at risk.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and rare form of cancer that attacks tissues lining the lungs, heart or abdomen. Most people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos at some point in their lives. Why is it so difficult to diagnose? Here are three major reasons that can help individuals and families understand why.

  • Rarity

Even though thousands of people are diagnosed each year, mesothelioma is still a rare form of cancer. Due to its rarity, many doctors are not familiar with the symptoms, which can lead to a misdiagnosis.

A judge in a Pennsylvania state court recently issued a ruling siding with the plaintiff in a mesothelioma cancer lawsuit, denying the defendant’s motion to transfer the case to another court over a legal technicality. By keeping the case in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas for Allegheny County, the case will continue to move forward despite the best efforts of the defendant’s attorneys to deny, delay, and defend the claim that would help compensate victims and hold the liable parties responsible for causing the victim’s cancer diagnosis.

In her lawsuit, the plaintiff claims that her mesothelioma cancer diagnosis was caused by the defendant, Colgate Palmolive, manufacturing talcum powder contaminated with asbestos fibers from the mine where the mineral came from. The case is one of several talcum powder asbestos cancer lawsuits filed by victims across the country, arguing that their diagnosis was caused by carcinogenic cosmetic products manufactured by Colgate Palmolive.

For their part, the defendant’s attorneys asserted that employment records at Naval Support Activity, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania showed good enough cause to have the case removed from Allegany County and transferred to Mechanicsburg County Court. As is common in many asbestos cancer lawsuits, the defendants appear to have attempted to blame the plaintiff’s condition on another party, despite any evidence showing so. Fortunately, the judge hearing the case rejected the defendant’s motions and kept the litigation process moving in court.

superstock_1098r6319_medium_6z03_100.jpgA recent study published in the Annals of Surgical Oncology highlighted a promising treatment that could possibly extend the life expectancy for patients suffering from malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. According to the report, a large portion of patients in a studying undergoing two-stage cytoreduction and intraperitoneal chemotherapy regimen had a significantly longer lifespan thanks to the treatment.

The treatment worked by first putting the patient through cytoreductive surgery, a procedure that removes tumors from inside the abdominal wall of mesothelioma patients. After undergoing surgery, doctors treated the patients with intraperitoneal chemotherapy to help kill any mesothelioma tumors possible left over from the surgery.

Doctors then monitored patients with CT scans of the abdomen, chest, and pelvis every six months for signs of tumor growth. Patients with tumors received a second round of cytoreduction and intraperitoneal chemotherapy while those without tumors only received the chemotherapy portion of the treatment.

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