Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer usually caused by asbestos exposure. Unfortunately, mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly disease; currently, there is no cure for it. Recently, a bipartisan bill was sponsored to create a nationwide mesothelioma registry aimed at tracking mesothelioma cases in the U.S. to improve treatment and care. This bill would establish a national patient registry for mesothelioma at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). A mesothelioma registry would give patients and researchers access to crucial data with the goal of improving treatment and care. If the bill passes, the U.S. will join other countries, like Australia, that already have mesothelioma registries.
The Existing Cancer Database Has Shortcomings
Currently, there is a cancer registry in the U.S. However, this registry has several shortcomings. First, it takes too long for data to join the United States Cancer Statistics database. Before data enters the database, it has to go through a process that can take months or even years. Unfortunately, some mesothelioma patients do not have months or years to make critical treatment decisions. So, this means that a patient or doctor could end up making decisions using outdated information or not finding the database helpful.
Purpose of the Mesothelioma Registry
The primary purpose of the registry would be to gather crucial information that can be used to develop and improve standards of care and identify gaps in mesothelioma treatment and prevention. Data from the mesothelioma registry would be used to facilitate and enhance research on this deadly disease by allowing:
- Development of new standards of care and treatment for mesothelioma patients;
- Revision of standards of care and treatment for mesothelioma patients;
- Sharing of evidence-based information between physicians across America;
- Identification of hospitals or centers that provide the most beneficial care to mesothelioma patients; and
- Implementation of benchmarks to improve care in mesothelioma clinics.
Mary Jo Lawyer Spano Mesothelioma Patient Registry Act
The idea for a nationwide mesothelioma registry is not a new one. The bill was first introduced in 2015 and named in honor of Mary Joe Lawyer Spano, a New York native who died from mesothelioma. Spano’s father got exposed to asbestos while working for an elevator company. Unfortunately, Spano’s family suffered second-hand asbestos exposure. Mary Joe Spano battled mesothelioma for four years and died in 2014. Mary’s sister, who was also an advocate for a National Mesothelioma Patient Registry, also died from mesothelioma in 2015.
Sadly, many Americans are suffering from this deadly disease. This includes many 9/11 responders who got exposed to asbestos during recovery, rescue, and cleanup efforts at the World Trade Center, NY. In 2001, when the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed, a plume containing hundreds of tons of pulverized asbestos was released across lower Manhattan. More than 400,000 people, including 90,000 first responders, were exposed to the toxic dust.
It is the belief that a nationwide mesothelioma registry will help the U.S take meaningful steps to understand, treat, and eventually cure mesothelioma.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.