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National Mesothelioma Awareness Day was recognized on Sept. 26, but there are more than a few people hoping to ensure that mesothelioma care and prevention are year-around efforts.
One such group is the family of Lance Ruble, a former mesothelioma lawyers client who died in 2008, about a year after being diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. His family has made it their mission to spread the word about mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos.
Ruble owned a construction company in South Florida and spent much of his time giving back to his community. But once he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, it only took a year for the incurable cancer to take his life.
What his family quickly discovered is that there is an enormous lack of funding for research, as many people haven’t taken the time to look into this form of cancer. Mesothelioma just hasn’t gotten the type of exposure as other forms of cancer, like those of the breast, lung, mouth or prostate.
The treatment options aren’t very good and there are few skilled medical professionals who are quick to diagnose — which is the best way to give those affected by this form of cancer a fighting chance at life.
The Ruble family created Mesothelioma Mission, a non-profit group designed to spread awareness of the cancer and raise money for medical research about it.
Mesothelioma, for those who are unaware, is a rare form of cancer that is developed by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that has never officially been banned by the United States, but one that is rarely used anymore. It was used for insulation, in brake pads, piping and other every day products until researchers discovered decades ago how toxic it could be.
Simple exposure to asbestos can lead to a fatal diagnosis decades later. After diagnosis, average survival is about 12 months.
As asbestos.com wrote, the Ruble family traveled to New York to wear bright orange “Cure Meso” t-shirts to wear on the set of NBC’s Today Show in order to expose the world to mesothelioma’s effects.
The family has held fund-raiser and awareness events in South Florida, got Fort Lauderdale to recognize the day locally, and funded research projects on mesothelioma nationwide. Their goal is to help others avoid the painful time Lance Ruble endured at the close of his life.
About 50 people showed up at the Today Show set early Sept. 26, hoping to catch the eye of a cameraman that day. Even a few shots on national television could reach millions of viewers, where curiosity could expose them to the truth about asbestos and mesothelioma.
Perhaps if only a few people recognized the painful experience of a mesothelioma patient from watching the show that day, it could lead to many more understanding the dangers of asbestos exposure.
Ideally, no one will have to suffer like Lance Ruble did. Or the many people diagnosed each year with this preventable form of deadly 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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