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asbestosIt is our mission as lung cancer and mesothelioma lawyers to make sure our clients understand the legal process. Asbestos litigation is complex, but we take great pride in how comfortable our clients are asking questions about any topic related to their case. In this post, we want to shed light on an issue that is rarely discussed but is extremely important in understanding lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestos exposure lawsuits: the scientists who defend asbestos in court.

This post was inspired by an investigative series by VICE News and the Center for Public Integrity. “Science for Sale” addresses the enormous and ever-increasing influence corporations have on scientific and medical research. The first part of this series describes a corporate defense lawyer who invented a scientific theory to help his clients escape asbestos liability. All he needed was a scientist to publish the theory to give it validity in court.

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loaf of breadA new study suggests that non-smokers with diets heavy in carbohydrates and other sugary foods were much more likely to develop lung cancer than non-smokers who better diets. Read on for more information from our lung cancer lawyers on this study and the effect our diet has on our cancer risk.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the country and is most commonly associated with smoking cigarettes. There is an increasing number of “never smokers” (those who consume less than 100 cigarettes in a lifetime) being diagnosed with lung cancer, but no complete understanding as to why. This is why it’s so important to talk about and study other causes of lung cancer, from asbestos exposure to poor diet.

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No smokingFebruary is National Cancer Prevention Month, during which Americans are tasked with taking charge of their health and educating themselves on lifestyle factors that help reduce the risk of cancer. Our lung cancer and mesothelioma lawyers highlight the top prevention news we learned this month.

Benefits and Harms of Cancer Prevention

There are dozens of “official guidelines and recommendations” for preventing various types of cancer. All cancer societies – such as the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the American Cancer Society – release their own guidelines to the public. Many of the recommendations overlap, but many criticize that these guidelines are not properly explained, researched, or supported.

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stem cellsA new, alternative cancer center model is gaining popularity and attracting established doctors and researchers throughout the country. The hybrid approach combines local access to clinical trials and more multi-disciplinary care than traditional settings. Our team of lung cancer lawyers explores this new model and describes five of the most successful centers to date.

These new cancer centers are all directed by doctors with notable successes in comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute. These doctors were recruited to establish new cancer programs in non-profit facilities operating as academic-community hybrids.

These new programs give oncologists a chance to practice medicine and conduct clinical research simultaneously. Normally,  clinical oncologists have to publish and secure grants to conduct trials for cancer treatments. With all of its bureaucratic layers, publishing research and conducting clinical trials is a career unto itself, rendering doctors unable to practice medicine at the same time as pursuing academic goals.

By combining academic research with community-based cancer care, patients are granted more access to early-stage clinical trials while still receiving high-quality care. These centers allow patients to see multidisciplinary specialists – such as oncologists, surgeons and radiation doctors – all in one visit.

Below, we outline the five most prominent hybrid centers in the U.S.

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chemo no moreOur lung cancer and mesothelioma lawyers announce our support and engagement in World Cancer Day 2016. This day is an opportunity to raise awareness about known carcinogens, lifestyle factors, cancer research and new treatments. For more information on this effort, visit World Cancer Day’s website, here.

Yesterday, President Obama signed a directive kicking off the National Cancer Moonshot, chaired by Vice President Joe Biden. The program has a budget of $1 billion; the large budget is meant to bring about 10 years’ worth of change in cancer prevention, treatments and detection in half that time. The funds will be divided between the FDA (to launch new cancer research), National Institutes for Health (for research and to kick-start cancer activities), and the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs (to increase investments into cancer research).

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globeWe recently wrote on the importance of discussing end-of-life wishes for cancer patients and their families. A new study on this topic examines the reality of end-of-life care in the United States and how it compares to other countries. Our team of lung cancer and mesothelioma attorneys details this new study below.

The study compared cancer patients in their finals months of life in seven developed countries based on three factors: site of death, health care utilization, and hospital spending. Aside from the U.S., the remaining six countries were Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, England, Canada and Belgium.

This is the first systemic international comparison of healthcare for cancer patients at the end of their life. Researchers focused on cancer because it is the most expensive type of illness per patient, and is the second-leading cause of death in these seven countries.

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construction workerAsbestos is an internationally-recognized carcinogen, known to cause fatal forms of cancer in any amount of exposure. In 2006, the World Health Organization called for elimination of all asbestos uses. The International Commission on Occupational Health has also called for a global ban on the mining, sale, and use of all asbestos.

Our team of mesothelioma lawyers investigates why the United States has not yet banned asbestos, and the new surge in cancer diagnoses among young men and women exposed to the substance.

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thermometerOur team of lung cancer lawyers previously wrote about how hyperthermia – exposing parts of the body to very high temperatures – could increase the effectiveness of cancer treatments. In the three years since that post, scientists have been studying this treatment and developing new cancer drugs that are activated using heat.

Hyperthermia is also called thermotherapy or thermal therapy, and involves exposing areas of the body to temperatures up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Increasing body temperature to help kill disease has been used for centuries; only recently have we been able to seriously study the treatment and apply it to specific areas of the body, such as the lungs, and how to use it in combination with chemotherapy and radiation.

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pills on cashA cancer diagnosis is often among the most devastating news families receive. For particularly severe cancers like mesothelioma and lung cancer, the effects of treatment can be debilitating not only physically and emotionally, but financially as well. Our team of mesothelioma lawyers has 30 years of experience advocating for lung cancer patients. Here, we highlight some of the financial issues families should address after diagnosis.

At Work

A recent study found that the average American adult diagnosed with cancer of any type will miss five weeks of work, with family income declining by 20%. Unfortunately, the numbers for patients fighting lung cancer or mesothelioma are likely much higher. Making matters worse, most companies in the United States have either no or very limited policies for sick leave, and there are few protections for patients diagnosed with cancer.

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x-ray lungIn an unusual move, the FDA recently announced its approval of a lung cancer drug, Tagrisso, under its fast-track program. The drug treats a specific type of lung cancer categorized by a genetic mutation that causes tumors to resist traditional therapies. Lung cancer lawyers at Pintas & Mullins discuss this new drug, the patients eligible to receive it, and it’s astronomically high cost below.

Tagrisso, manufactured by AstraZeneca, will cost $12,750 for a month’s supply. Financial experts project the drug to generate more than $1 billion in sales in 2020, though AstraZeneca expects peak sales of $3 billion per year. The company claims patients with adequate insurance will not pay more than $25 per month. If a patients’ insurance does not cover Tagrisso, the company will direct the individual to an organization that supports cancer patients.

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