As our mesothelioma injury attorneys have reported, this particularly aggressive form of cancer is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos decades before a victim is diagnosed with the disease.
As we reported on our Mesothelioma Lawyer Blog, most treatment options have a life expectancy ranging from 1 to 5 years. Frequently, a victim is exposed to asbestos in the workplace many years before diagnosis. Tragically, employers have known of the risks since the early 1900s but have too often failed to protect employees.
Those employed in mills and shipbuilding are among the most likely victims. Those in the construction industry are also at high risk, as asbestos was used for many years in drywall, ceiling and floor tile and other building materials. And, tragically, we have reported about the elevated risk of loved ones in a household, perhaps due to second-hand exposure on clothing or hair.
The disease has claimed the lives of some legends as well. Actor Steve McQueen was diagnosed in 1979 and was not offered surgery or chemotherapy because of how far the cancer had advanced. It’s theorized that he was exposed to asbestos from proximity to brakes on race cars or while serving in the military. Warren Zevon, the rock and roll legend, was diagnosed in 2002 and died the following September.
Several famous patients have defied the odds, living well past the 1 to 5-year survival rate typical of even the most successful treatment options. Stephen Jay Gould was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma in 1982. He later wrote a published article challenging the use of statistics and median survival rates. And he lived another 20 years.
And Author Paul Kraus was diagnosed in July 1997, and given less than a year to live. He went on to write a patient’s guide on surviving the disease and is alive today. He has declined conventional treatments, including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, and was 66 years old at the dawn of 2011.
The Ferraro Law Firm represents victims of mesothelioma and asbestos exposure. Call 1-800-275-3332 for a free and confidential consultation. Offices in Miami, Washington, D.C., and New York City.