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A 70-year-old Philadelphia man, who made a career of sculpting the heads of the victims of murder and those who were missing, died recently of mesothelioma, The New York Times reports.
Mesothelioma in Washington D.C. and throughout the United States is a big problem because this form of rare cancer is not only incurable, but is fast to kill once it is diagnosed. Our Mesothelioma Lawyers have seen the devastation caused by this cancer. In many cases, a dormancy period of three decades or longer means those hitting retirement age are most at risk.
Many older buildings in the nation’s capital and in the older cities and towns of our country were made with asbestos. Because of its fire-resistant qualities, it was a popular choice for buildings as well as in everyday products, such as brake pads, cement, caulking, tiles, peat moss and other things.
And it’s exposure to asbestos that can lead to a diagnosis of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses. Once a person is diagnosed with mesothelioma, the median life expectancy is 12 months. A popular building material into the 1970s, today’s retiring generation may face a diagnosis and never connect it with exposure to asbestos because of the long period between exposure and diagnosis.
According to an obituary in The New York Times, Frank Bender died after being diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a form of the cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs.
Bender got his start in photography, taking classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Because the academy had no night classes about anatomy, one day, he visited the local morgue. There, he saw a woman who had been shot in the head and was unrecognizable. He told the medical examiner he knew what she looks like. He produced a bust of a woman that led to her identity — a Phoenix woman who traveled east to collect money after being swindled and ended up being killed by a mob hitman.
His career took off from there, as local law enforcement, the FBI and other agencies used him to help identify victims of homicide. His work was featured nationally on America’s Most Wanted and has led to the capture of many criminals nationwide.
Bender was born in Philadelphia and grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood. He served in the U.S. Navy and took up photography after that. That fact is significant because the U.S. Navy used asbestos in its warships and in shipyards, causing many people to become exposed to the harmful material.
Many older buildings throughout Philadelphia, New York, and New England may have been made with asbestos and could have left many people exposed. Exposure over a period of years can lead to a mesothelioma diagnosis. The news has reported recently on teenagers who have died after being diagnosed with this form of cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions: Mesothelioma & Asbestos
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a carcinogenic, naturally occurring fibrous mineral. Known for its heat resistance and durability, asbestos has historically been used in insulation, construction materials, automotive parts, and shipbuilding materials.
Why is asbestos dangerous?
Asbestos is made up of small shard-like fibers that can easily become airborne when disturbed. If inhaled or ingested, these fibers can embed within the lining of the lungs, heart, stomach, or testes where they can cause cancer to form years or decades later.
What are asbestos-related diseases?
Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
What causes mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until decades after exposure.
What are the different types of mesothelioma?
Three of the most common types of mesothelioma are pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma.
What are common mesothelioma symptoms?
Common symptoms of mesothelioma include difficulty breathing and chest pains. Peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the stomach, may cause abdominal swelling, loss of appetite, constipation, abdominal pain, and nausea.
Do I qualify for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a preventable form of cancer most commonly caused by asbestos exposure. If you were exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. military or while working in construction, mechanics, or a similar field, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact The Ferraro Law Firm for a free legal consultation.
What is the life expectancy for someone with mesothelioma?
There is no cure for mesothelioma. However, patients can receive treatments for mesothelioma that may extend their initial prognosis with proper treatment. Those diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma usually have a life expectancy that is greater than three years, though a large part of this depends on the stage the patient is diagnosed. The earlier the diagnosis, the longer the life expectancy and chance of long-term survival.
Do I qualify for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should immediately seek long-term medical treatment. After that, you should contact our firm to examine your legal rights. Since 1985, The Ferraro Law Firm has represented individuals with asbestos-related diseases and pursued fair compensation on their behalf. Our firm is one of the top five law firms in the U.S. handling mesothelioma and asbestos cases.
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