New York Asbestos Lawyer from Belluck & Fox, LLP, Applauds Advances in Mesothelioma Treatment
New York, NY, July 13, 2012 — New York mesothelioma lawyer Joseph W. Belluck expressed optimism today in reaction to a recent report on an innovative, lung-sparing strategy that is being used by doctors at the University of Pennsylvania to treat patients with pleural mesothelioma.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on the new treatment method being used by thoracic surgeon Joseph S. Friedberg and his team at the University of Pennsylvania. The method also was recently featured in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery medical journal.
According to the Inquirer, patients with pleural mesothelioma – a rare, incurable form of cancer that is linked to asbestos exposure – typically die within a year of diagnosis.
However, 27 of 38 patients treated by Friedberg and his team – all of whom were suffering advanced-stage cancer at the time of treatment – have survived beyond two years, with four patients reaching five years. All underwent the lung-sparing procedure.
“This is encouraging news that gives hope to mesothelioma victims and their families,” said Belluck, a partner in the nationally recognized New York personal injury firm of Belluck & Fox, LLP, who focuses on mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cases. “We look forward to seeing more developments involving this treatment method.”
Pleural mesothelioma arises from asbestos fibers becoming lodged in the thin membrane encasing the lungs. Victims often are exposed to asbestos while working as plumbers, pipefitters, insulators, electricians, mechanics and certain other occupations. A question frequently posed in mesothelioma lawsuits is whether the victim’s employer knew of the dangers of asbestos exposure but continued to place employees at risk.
Mesothelioma symptoms, such as coughing and difficulty with breathing, tend to develop decades after the initial asbestos exposure.
“We’ve seen how devastating this disease can be,” Belluck said. “That’s why our firm is excited to hear of advances such as those at the University of Pennsylvania.”
The treatment is known as “radical pleurectomy.” In contrast to a mesothelioma treatment method known as “extrapleural pneumonectomy,” the patient’s lungs are preserved while surgeons operate to remove the disease.
The patients also undergo photodynamic therapy, which combines a cancer cell-destroying drug with laser light therapy.
According to the Inquirer, Friedberg has found that patients with two lungs who have undergone the light therapy have been physically better able to cope with a relapse of the cancer. “The cancer comes back more like a house cat than a tiger,” the newspaper quotes Friedberg as saying.
Belluck encouraged those diagnosed with mesothelioma to research all possible treatment options and seek out mesothelioma specialists such as Dr. Friedberg.
He also said it is important for victims and their families to contact an attorney to learn more about their legal rights if they believe their disease was caused by workplace asbestos exposure or from consumer products.
The firm’s New York City office is located at 546 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY, 10036 (local phone (212) 681-1575). For more information, contact the firm at (877) 637-6843 or through its online contact form.