Patient care during COVID-19, thriving survivors of mesothelioma and gemstone jewelry hazards were among the most popular blogs of 2020.
Also part of the mix at The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com were blogs about the asbestos crisis in Philadelphia schools, toxic talc leading to ovarian cancer and Healthy Lung Month.
Together, these stories were inspiring, enlightening and more than a little eyeopening this year, breaking new ground as the 10 most-circulated blogs.
Mesothelioma Survivor Thrives with Alternative Medicine
Pleural mesothelioma survivor Tammy House reached the three-year mark early in 2020, getting surprisingly good results from the holistic, alternative medicine route.
House, who lives in a small fishing village on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, beat long odds after opting against major surgery and standard chemotherapy at a big-city specialty center.
Instead, she chose an aggressive regimen of products and procedures she could do at home, many of which had no scientific evidence to prove they would work.
But they did. She has become an inspiration to many.
Asbestos in the Jewelry Box
The risk of a problem is low, but many people are surprised when they learn that asbestos exposure could be lurking in the jewelry box at home.
Gemstones, often referred to as gems, jewels or semiprecious stones, are pieces of mineral crystal that have been cut and polished and sold as jewelry.
Many contain toxic asbestos, which is not a problem typically for the collector, unless the gems are broken or sanded and polished.
Mesothelioma Survivor Leaving a Legacy
John Stathas dedicated his life to helping others. It’s what he did until the end.
Stathas was an inspirational mesothelioma survivor who died in May, but not before leaving his mark on all those he touched, in so many ways.
He talked to The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com in March, about his life, his career and what he still wanted to accomplish.
“I’m ready for the inevitable. I’ve had an awesome life and an incredible family. I’m grateful for that,” he said. “If I can be a role model for them, and for others around me, I will gladly take it to the end.”
Cancer Patients Take Extra Precautions During Pandemic
Patients with thoracic malignancies, such as pleural mesothelioma, were alerted early in 2020 that they were especially at risk during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic that has changed everyone’s lives this year.
The compromised integrity of their immune systems and respiratory structures make mesothelioma survivors among the most vulnerable, according to the medical experts advising that extra precaution should be taken.
Cancer therapy, clinical trials and research studies also were put on hold because of COVID-19.
Philadelphia Schools Face Asbestos Crisis
Asbestos is a problem in older schools throughout the country, but nowhere is it worse than in Philadelphia, the epicenter of this national issue.
Remediation efforts at 11 schools throughout the city were partially or fully halted in 2020 because of environmental hazards, primarily toxic asbestos.
It became a national issue after one teacher was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer after working for 30 years in two asbestos-contaminated schools.
Talc Lawsuits Illuminate Ovarian Cancer
Multimillion-dollar lawsuits involving asbestos-contaminated talc products brought unprecedented attention to ovarian cancer in 2020.
The U.S. office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs increased funding for ovarian cancer by 75% after a rash of lawsuits involving plaintiffs claiming the disease was caused by toxic talc products.
A month after Johnson & Johnson suspended sale of its talc-based baby powder in the U.S., the company was ordered to pay $2.12 billion in a case involving 22 women.
COVID-19 Anxiety Rises for Mesothelioma Patients
It is no surprise that mesothelioma patients and their caregivers are reporting increased anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Patient Advocates at The Mesothelioma Center say there has been an increase in calls from caregivers looking for guidance in managing medical and emotional challenges.
Pandemic Dominates 9/11 Anniversary Events
The 19th anniversary commemorative events involving the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City were dominated by the coronavirus pandemic. And with good reason.
The pandemic has targeted those 9/11 first responders, an especially vulnerable group of Americans, because of compromised immune systems and pre-existing conditions brought on by rescue and cleanup efforts.
Annual events were limited dramatically by COVID-19 and the way it has changed the American way of life. Crowds were limited, events went virtual and people were socially distanced and masked.
Lung Cancer Advancements Made
Deaths from lung cancer – including those caused by asbestos exposure – are declining, thanks to treatment advances, research efforts and earlier detection methods.
Immunotherapy, biomarkers, robotics and improved radiation therapy have all played a role in advancing treatment, yet lung cancer still accounts for 25% of all cancer deaths in the country.
Healthy Lung Month in October was a time for reflection and awareness, as science moves closer to finding a cure.
Clinical Trial Helps Mesothelioma Survivor
Ron Green, who now lives in Florida, celebrated his fourth year as a pleural mesothelioma survivor, benefiting immensely from a clinical trial involving pembrolizumab, known by the brand name Keytruda.
Although the trial was stopped for a general lack of success, the immunotherapy drug worked especially well for Green for more than a year.
He later enrolled in a second clinical trial involving anetumab ravtansine. He also attributed his success to cannabis oil with especially high levels of THC.
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