Complementary Mesothelioma Treatments

Treatment for mesothelioma is usually provided by a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, or by an emerging treatment such as immunotherapy or gene therapy. However, complementary treatments can provide additional relief from symptoms or help patients during recovery after their primary treatment is delivered.

Palliative Care
In cases where a cure for mesothelioma is not likely, such as with a Stage 4 diagnosis when the cancer has spread throughout the body, palliative care may still be an option. This type of care uses many of the techniques described above, but focuses on relieving the pain and suffering of the patient, rather than trying to eradicate the disease.

For example, one of the most debilitating symptoms of pleural mesothelioma is the build-up of fluid in the pleural space around the lungs. This collection of fluid makes it very difficult to breathe and also can cause severe pain. It greatly impacts the quality of life for the patient and can make it difficult to do every day tasks. The best way to relieve this discomfort is to have the fluid removed by means of a pleurocentesis.

In addition to or as an alternative to invasive procedures, medication to help with pain, difficulty breathing, and other symptoms that may be experienced is often prescribed. Click on the following link to learn more about pain management as well as its associated risks.

Physical Therapy
After the primary treatment, physical therapy is often required to help patients recover from the trauma of the treatment itself. The specific form of physical therapy a patient undergoes will depend on the specific type of treatment they receive, and how their body reacts to it. Common types of physical therapy include cardiovascular training, scar tissue healing, fatigue management, and strength training. While physical therapy will not necessarily help eradicate cancer or prevent recurrence, it can improve a mesothelioma survivor’s quality of life and overall health.

Alternative Therapies
Many patients have found relief from physical and emotional symptoms through different forms of alternative treatment, including everything from massage and acupuncture to yoga and art therapy. The important thing is to consult your doctor before trying one of these alternative treatments, to make sure it will not interfere with your primary treatment plan.

Standard And Experimental Mesothelioma Treatments

Treatment for mesothelioma typically involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. In cases where standard treatments do not work, mesothelioma patients may also be able to try experimental treatments through clinical trials.

While no cure currently exists, mesothelioma patients can usually improve their prognosis through some form of treatment. Even in cases where improving lifespan is not viable, palliative care and alternative therapies often help reduce pain and suffering from symptoms for many individuals with mesothelioma.

Standard Mesothelioma Treatments
The three standard therapies used to treat mesothelioma include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. In many cases, mesothelioma specialists will recommend a multimodal approach, which uses a combination of these three types of treatment.

Important considerations in determining a mesothelioma treatment plan include the cancer stage, primary site affected and cell type. Treatment options also depend on whether the cancer is localized to the chest or has spread to the chest wall, diaphragm, or lymph nodes as well as your age and overall health.

Experimental Mesothelioma Treatments
In addition to more conventional therapies, researchers are constantly looking for new ways to treat mesothelioma patients. Some extremely promising emerging treatments have come out of clinical trials, in some cases extending the lives of mesothelioma patients by months or years.

By kickstarting or boosting the immune system, it is possible to enhance the body’s own defenses against cancer.

Gene Therapy
Since cancer is caused by faults in cell DNA, one new way of fighting cancer is by fixing or overwriting problematic genes.

Photodynamic Therapy
Through the novel use of light and photosensitizing drugs, researchers have found a way to kill cancer cells with few side effects.

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New Study Shows DNA Screening Can Help With Mesothelioma Treatment

GERMANY - A recently published study shows DNA screening could help doctors more effectively treat mesothelioma patients using platinum-based chemotherapy regimens. Several key genes have been marked as helpful in predicting patients’ responses to their treatments.

The study is called “Screening of Pleural Mesotheliomas for DNA-damage Repair Player by Digital Gene Expression Analysis Can Enhance Clinical Management of Patients Receiving Platin-Based Chemotherapy.”

Chemotherapy was developed in the 1940s and is one of the most widely employed treatments for all types of cancer. Today, over 100 chemotherapy drugs exist on the market. Common chemotherapy drugs used to treat mesothelioma include Alimta, Cisplatin, Carboplatin, Gemcitabine, Onconase, and Navelbine.

Poor efficacy is related to chemotherapy because platinum-compound agents work by inducing damages in the DNA of cancer cells. So the ability of cells to detect and repair the damages could be one of the characteristics that can help predict a patient’s outcome after chemotherapy.

Results in the patients showed DNA damage response “plays a crucial role” in how well mesothelioma cells respond to chemotherapy.

Twenty-four malignant pleural mesothelioma patients participated in the study. Twelve patients got Alimta/Platinol or Alimta/Platinol/Paraplatin after surgery. The other 12 got Platinol followed by Alimta before surgery.

Thirty genes were identified as being related to the cell’s ability to recognize and repair DNA damage. Several of these were associated with mesothelioma spread, treatment response, and overall survival.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Robert Fred Henry Walter of the University of Duisburg-Essen wrote, “CDC25A and PARP1 gene expression were correlated with lymph node spread, BRCA1 and TP73 expression levels with higher IMIG stage.”

Also, it was found that mesothelioma tumor progression may be linked to CHECK1 and XRCC2 expression.

“After a prospective validation, these markers may improve clinical and pathological practice, finally leading to a patient’s benefit by an enhanced clinical management,” concluded the report.

This is another example of a promising experimental therapy to come out of a clinical trial. The next step in determining whether this is a viable and effective treatment is to validate the markers in mesothelioma patients for eventual use in clinical practice.

New Study: Asbestos Exposure on Commercial Ships

A new study on the health risks of asbestos exposure to seamen working on commercial ships was recently published in the medical journal Inhalation Toxicology. According to the results of the study, asbestos exposure is believed to have occurred due to repairs to the ships and maintenance tasks throughout the time that seamen worked on these non-military vessels.

The study measured airborne asbestos on merchant ships and the resulting health of its merchants over time. Previous studies on the communications and actions of U.S. organizations concerning maritime health and safety were also taken into consideration.

According to the study, data from before 1970 was mostly based on studies of workers in manufacturing, milling, and mining industries that used asbestos. This is because in many cases, the health risks of asbestos exposure to merchant seamen were largely unknown until the 1970s and 1980s.

Although asbestos air levels were found to be below 1 f/cc for most repair and maintenance work, a few pleural abnormalities were discovered in some U.S. seamen. This raised a red flag for the U.S. government and several industry and labor organizations.

In the 1990s, increases in lung cancer and mesothelioma were found in studies of seamen, which led researchers to believe there was a causal link between asbestos exposure on ships for seamen and these lung diseases.

In 2008, a similar study was published on asbestos in maritime shipping vessels because the same level of review given to Navy sailors was not being given to merchant seamen, despite the fact that both groups have historically used many tons of asbestos to build and repair their vessels.

Asbestos was often used in sea vessels because it was an effective insulator to prevent condensation, reduce the ventilation needed to cool spaces, allow machinery to operate with decreased heat loss, and prevent workers from needing to come into contact with hot components.

Historical industrial hygiene data from maritime shipping vessels between 1978 and 1992 was used in the 2008 study, including oil tankers and cargo vessels that were docked and/or at sea. Although many samples were collected from suspected asbestos-containing materials, they were not taken during times when interaction with the materials would’ve occurred.

Results of the study showed asbestos levels were consistently below U.S. occupational standards and almost always below the current expectations of 0.1 f/cc. So the mere presence of undisturbed asbestos did not significantly increase exposure.

In 2003, a National Health Institute study concluded mesothelioma cancer should be considered an occupational disease for merchant mariners and that occupational asbestos exposure contributes to their increased cancer mortality.

Mesothelioma victim's family wins asbestos award

A federal jury in Arizona has awarded a total of $17 million to the surviving spouse and children of a worker who died of mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos.

In December 2012, George Coulbourn filed a product liability action in Mohave County Superior Court. He alleged he was exposed to companies' asbestos-containing products and/or machinery while working as a machinist for the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia, from 1959 to 1966, court records show.

After Mr. Coulbourn died of mesothelioma in August 2013, his spouse and children amended his complaint and brought a wrongful death action, records show.

On Friday, following a three-week trial, a U.S. District Court of Arizona federal jury awarded $6 million to Mr. Coulbourn's widow, Sandra Brown Coulbourn, and $1 million to each of his three children, George Charles Coulbourn Jr., Scott Alan Coulbourn and Shannon Coulbourn Moses, according to court records and a statement by the family's lawyers at Dallas-based Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett P.C.

Among the more than 20 defendants are Stamford, Connecticut-based industrial products company Crane Co., which was ordered to pay Mr. Coulbourn's family $5 million in punitive damages, and Cincinnati, Ohio-based valve manufacturer William Powell Company, which was ordered to pay $3 million in punitive damages, according to the verdict.

In addition to the $17 million award, the jury found the U.S. Navy to be 47% responsible for Mr. Coulbourn's injuries and death. Meanwhile, it found Crane and William Powell to be responsible for 20% and 5%, respectively, while other defendants were assessed a 1% or 0% responsibility rating.

Asbestos is addressed in U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards for the construction industry, general industry and shipyard employment sectors. The standards require that “employers provide personal exposure monitoring to assess the risk and hazard awareness training for operations where there is any potential exposure to asbestos,” among other things.

How Does Asbestos Cause Cancer?

Fast Fact: 70-80 percent of people with mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos at work.

Mesothelioma typically develops after people are exposed to asbestos in the workplace – in industrial settings, shipyards, auto repair shops, old houses, schools and public buildings. While it usually takes long-term exposure to put someone at risk, short-term and one-time exposures are also known to cause this cancer.

Asbestos can cause health complications when work duties or other activities disturb asbestos-containing materials and release fibers into the air. When we inhale or swallow these microscopic fibers, our bodies struggle to get rid of them. Over decades, the trapped fibers trigger biological changes that can cause inflammation, scarring and genetic damage that sometimes leads to cancer. The lengthy gap between asbestos exposure and diagnosis is called the latency period.

Asbestos fibers most often become trapped in the lining of the lungs, called the pleura. They also can collect in the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum) or heart (pericardium). Once fibers cause biological damage, the stage is set for the decades-long latency period for the development of malignant mesothelioma.

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Fibrous Pleurisy Versus Desmoplastic Variant of Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma

The identification of features of malignancy in a desmoplastic mesothelioma requires adequate tissue and the amount of tissue in a closed pleural biopsy is often insuf- ficient. Large surgical biopsies are generally needed. High-grade sarcomas presenting in the pleura generally do not enter into the differential diagnosis of fibrous pleurisy versus desmoplastic mesothelioma. Features to separate the latter two are shown in Table 3. In the study by Mangano et al,7 the distinction of fibrous pleurisy from desmoplastic mesothelioma could be made by identifying one or more of the following features in a spindle cell proliferation of the pleura: invasive growth, bland necrosis, frankly sarcomatoid areas, and metastatic disease.

Stromal invasion is often more difficult to recognize in spindle cell proliferations of the pleura than in epithelioid proliferations. The invasive malignant cells are often deceptively bland, resembling fibroblasts, and pancytokeratin staining is invaluable in highlighting the presence of cytokeratin-positive malignant cells in regions where they should not normally be present: in the connective tissue,adipose tissue, or skeletal muscle deep to the parietal pleura or invading the visceral pleura and lung tissue (or other extrapleural structures present in the sample) (Figure 4, A and B). Although Mangano et al7 also found bland necrosis of paucicellular fibrous tissue to be a reliable criterion of malignancy, it may be subtle and one may be reluctant to base a diagnosis of malignancy solely on
its presence. Fortunately, most cases that show bland necrosis also show invasive growth. Similarly, the presence of ‘‘frankly sarcomatoid foci’’ is a distinctly subjective determination and one would be reluctant to base a diagnosis of malignancy on its presence alone because reactive processes may show marked cytologic atypia, albeit typically at the surface of the process.

Uniformity of growth and thickness of the process, surface atypia with deep maturation, and perpendicular thinwalled vessels are typical of reactive fibrous pleuritis (Figure 5, A and B), in contrast to the disorganized growth pattern and variable thickness of desmoplastic mesotheliomas. A helpful clue in desmoplastic mesotheliomas is the presence of expansile nodules of varying sizes with abrupt changes in cellularity between nodules and their surrounding tissue.

30 Inspirational Best Entrepreneurial Quotes

No one ever said it was easy being an entrepreneur. Whether you're in the early stages of your statrup, just secured funding for your startup or you are ready for product launch, there will always be those three components when you ask yourself if this whole entrepreneur thing is worth it. Instead of giving up and throwing-in the proverbial white towel, keep your head up and look to the following 50 quotes to inspire and motivate you during those tough patches. 1. “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” –Nolan Bushnell, entrepreneur.
2. "Do. Or do not. There is no try." - Yoda, Jedi Master.
3. “To any entrepreneur: if you want to do it, do it now. If you don’t, you’re going to regret it.” - Catherine Cook, co-founder of MyYearbook.
4. “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” - Scott Belsky, co-founder of Behance.
5. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game's winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that's why I succeed.” - Michael Jordan, NBA Hall of Famer.
6. “There’s nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.” - Jason Fried, founder of 37signal.
7. “Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” - Guy Kawasaki, founder of AllTop.
8. “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” - Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.
9. "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." - Chinese proverb.
10. “Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” - Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister.
Related: Steve Jobs' 13 Most Inspiring Quotes
11. “There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world.” - Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote.
12. “The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.” - Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.
13. “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” - Vince Lombardi, head coach of the Green Bay Packers (1959-1967).
14. "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company.
15. “If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.” - Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s.
16. “Watch, listen, and learn. You can’t know it all yourself. Anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity.” - Donald Trump, chairman of The Trump Organization, the Trump Plaza Associates, LLC.
17. “Always deliver more than expected.” —Larry Page, co-founder of Google.
18. "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover." Mark Twain, author.
19. “You shouldn’t focus on why you can’t do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions.” - Steve Case, co-founder of AOL.
20. "A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein, physicist.
21. “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” - Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks.
22. “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” - Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple.
23. “Be undeniably good. No marketing effort or social media buzzword can be a substitute for that.” - Anthony Volodkin, founder of HypeMachine..
23. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” - Walt Disney, co-founder of the Walt Disney Company.
24. "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take." Wayne Gretzky, NHL Hall of Famer.
25. “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” - Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.
Related: 10 Inspirational Quotes from Navy SEAL Training
26. “It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.” - Richard Harroch, Venture Capitalist.
27. “If you don't know what to do with your life, do something that saves lives. The world is full of of people in need, be the part of their life that fills that need.” - Sanjeev Saxena.
28. "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." - Confucius.
29. “I hate how many people think, “glass half-empty” when their glass is really four-fifths full. I’m grateful when I have one drop in the glass because I know exactly what to do with it.” - Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder and CEO of VaynerMedia.
30. “It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.” - Babe Ruth, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer.
Use a few of these quotes for a mantra, carry a hard copy of this list in your pocket, but remember, you have to find inspiration where you can and be the inspiration for yourself. 

How Do I Estimate the Value of My Donated Car for My Tax Deduction?

Donating used cars to charity can be a good deal for both you and the organization you give it to. A charity may keep your vehicle for its own use, donate it to someone in need or sell it to obtain the cash. Deducting your car donation can save you a significant amount of income tax; however, the IRS increased the documentation requirements you must adhere to. To avoid having the IRS question your deduction, be sure to follow the guidelines and keep every document that proves your donation. 

Step 1 - Find a qualified charity
The most important step in deducting the value of your car donation is to insure the charity you donate it to is an IRS tax-exempt organization. Only the donations you make to these types of organizations allow you to claim the deduction. Generally, these include religious groups, charities and organizations that promote education, literacy, scientific or humanitarian causes. 

Step 2 - Estimate the value of your car
Look up the fair market value of your car in a used-car guide such as the Kelley Blue Book. Find the make, model and year for your car and use the listed private-party value for the overall condition of the vehicle. For example, if the body is dented, the air-conditioning doesn't work and it has excessive mileage, it’s unreasonable to estimate the fair market value using the price for a car in “excellent” condition. 

Step 3 - Determine usage
Find out how the organization intends to use the car. If it's going to sell the car, the IRS limits your deduction to the sale price, even if it’s below the market value. However, if it sells for $500 or less, you can claim a deduction for the lesser of its fair market value or $500. If the organization plans to keep the car, then you can deduct the value you found in the used-car price guide. If that value is greater than $5,000 and the charity doesn’t sell the car, then the IRS requires you to obtain a written appraisal before claiming a deduction. 

Step 4 - Acquire documentation

Ask the charity for documentation. If it sells the car, IRS rules state that it must inform you of the sale amount within 30 days, generally on a Form 1098-C. Regardless of whether it keeps or sells the car, the organization must provide you with a written acknowledgement that serves as your proof of the donation. At a minimum, the document must include your name and Social Security number, the vehicle identification number, the date of contribution and a statement that either lists all goods and services you receive for the donation or confirms that you received nothing. If you do receive something of value from the organization, you must reduce your deduction by its value. 

Things You'll Need
  • IRS Publication 78 
  • Documentation from the charity 


Your donation is not complete until you transfer the car’s title to the charity. This also ensures you won't be held liable if the car racks up parking tickets.

Are There Different Types of Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma Claim- There are three main types of mesothelioma. First is Pleural mesothelioma which is basically located in the pleura which serves as the lining of the lungs. This is the most common among the three types. Next is the peritoneal mesothelioma. Peritoneal practically refers to the peritoneum or the abdomen. The tumor starts at the peritoneal lining of the abdominal cavity. Last type of the rarest of them all which is the pericardial mesothelioma which begins at the pericardium that lines the heart.


Asbestos dates all the way back to the ancient Egyptions. And even then, they knew it caused permanent, life-threatening respiratory problems.

It was first discovered between the 1920s and 1930s that repetitive exposure to asbestos was linked to the rare but aggressive form of cancer called mesothelioma. Asbestos has been used far and wide, most commonly in commercial and industrial applications. Practically every person has been exposed to the toxic mineral; which actually carries airborne carcinogenic fibers that can easily be ingested by individuals.

Many occupations had put people at risk due to constant exposure to asbestos. Military veterans, construction workers and the like mostly have developed mesothelioma and have filed lawsuits reaching up to thousands. Plaintiffs claim that companies who used asbestos as well as the companies that manufactured products that contained the mineral were aware of the risks of serious adverse asbestos related diseases and ignored to accommodate the safety of the public. They are being charged with negligence, among others.

Plaintiffs are seeking compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, punitive damages, lost wages, loss of quality of life, and even funeral expenses death in the case of family members that filed lawsuits in behalf of a deceased loved one. Family members of the deceased loved one who had developed asbestos-related diseases or mesothelioma can also charge defendants with wrongful death.

Many plaintiffs have been awarded in the millions of dollars through verdicts in these lawsuits. Some start as far as $5.1 million and have gone up to $250 million. Each of these lawsuits, of course, has been awarded because of different circumstances unique to each case.

While there are no class action lawsuits regarding mesothelioma, there is a mass tort. This tort is the longest running in the history of the United States, as it is the most expensive mass tort in the country as well.

Many companies have also filed for bankruptcy due to constant payments for suits and settlements. Some companies, however, had created asbestos bankruptcy trusts so that plaintiffs can still claim compensation for damages by companies who have eventually ran out of business.

Mesothelioma Litigation

Filed lawsuits started in the 1960s, with workers, consumers and even families filing for these thousands of mesothelioma lawsuits. These lawsuits are against companies that manufactured products that contain products, or companies that allowed the installation of these products.

Over the years, juries have found that asbestos companies acted with malice due to the concealment of the dangers of asbestos. Because of the disregard for public safety, the cancer that could have been prevented has now become widespread.

Those diagnosed with asbestos related diseases including mesothelioma can claim compensation for the negligence of asbestos companies. Most plaintiffs filed lawsuits to gain compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of quality of life, and funeral expenses. It is common that these cases are settled outside of the court in spite of some lawsuits leading to beneficial jury verdicts.

Families who have lost loved ones due to asbestos related diseases are able to file wrongful death lawsuits, as well as military veterans who were exposed to the mineral while serving in the military are able to file lawsuits against manufacturers and can claim with the United States Department of Veteran Affairs for Veterans Affairs disability benefits.

Other people can also file claims against a company that is no longer operational. Claims with an asbestos bankruptcy trust that was created by these companies can be restored to plaintiffs who were damaged through exposure to the mineral.

Mesothelioma cases cannot be handled as class action lawsuits because of the variety of each case, covering various companies as defendants. Another reason for these lawsuits’ inability to be handled as class actions is because they normally take a lengthy time to settle and mesothelioma patients may not survive these long trials.

Mass torts give plaintiffs the freedom to keep their own lawyers. Mass torts work in such a way that the cases are grouped together to be more efficient, thereby saving time and money. Asbestos litigation is the longest running and one of the most expensive mass torts in the history of the United States because the litigation started in the 1970s. The litigation has cost defendants billions of dollars.

Roby Worthington, a former employee of U.S. Steel, won a verdict worth $250 million in 2003. Worthington worked for the company from 1950 to 1981 and was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Three years later, David Bakkie was awarded $18.5 million because of the occupational setting of the plastic molder worker from 1974 to 1975. Bakkie was diagnosed with the same disease in 2005. The construction worker was exposed to asbestos in the 60s and 70s. He was diagnosed with the rare cancer they year before.

In 2007, family members of Richard Walmach, a United States Navy machinist mate, received $5.1 million through a verdict. The veteran died in 2006 of mesothelioma. Bobbie Izell won a favorable jury verdict in 2012. Veterans are often exposed to asbestos because of the military ships, army proving grounds and military bases across the world.

Mesothelioma Class Action Lawsuit

Mesothelioma Suit- While mesothelioma is almost limited to the exposure to asbestos, the mineral, on the other hand, can also lead to other illnesses like lung cancer and asbestosis. Workers in various industries have been faced with hazardous amounts of asbestos in practically every phase in production.

There have been many alternatives for asbestos that have been proven to be safer for people, but many companies still opt to use the toxic mineral because it is more affordable than its fire-resistant counterparts.  Companies and manufacturers are aware of the health risks associated with asbestos use and exposure but never actually publicized the dangers of it. Because of this outright disregard for public health, the companies have suffered the consequences of paying billions of dollars for lawsuits and settlements related to asbestos. Almost a hundred companies have declared bankruptcy because of this.

Because of the widespread use of asbestos in the 20th century, practically every person in the world has already been exposed to the airborne carcinogen. The risk of exposure to asbestos is normally minimal in individuals; however, abundant and frequent exposure, which is an often occurrence in occupational environments, is more perilous.

Persons who have mesothelioma have developed the disease through the inhalation of asbestos. The microscopic fibers make their way to the end points of small airways in the body. These, in turn, become wedged in the lining of either the chest or the lungs. After some time, these lodges cause scarring and genetic changes in an individual – basically developing pleural mesothelioma. Fibers that find their way in the lining of the abdomen causing peritoneal mesothelioma are those consumed orally, like through contaminated drinking water or through coughing.

As mentioned before, the development of mesothelioma takes a long time. Same goes for its diagnosis. Because the symptoms can be mistaken for other more common illnesses, patients don’t pay much attention to them. Various tests are also needed prior to diagnosis, including chest X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, PET scans, and biopsies. Biopsies are crucial in determining if a certain patient has cancer or not.

The International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG) system is the formal system used to determine which stage a patient’s mesothelioma is in. The IMIG system divides cancer stages into four, using Roman numerals from I to IV. However, peritoneal mesothelioma has no formal staging system.

Mesothelioma has several treatment options, depending on the patient. Thus, specialists of this certain kind of cancer create customized treatment plans for every patient in order to get the best results and treatment. Doctors consider the following factors in planning treatment options for patients with mesothelioma: cancer stage, mesothelioma subtype, overall health, and the patient’s ability to perform day to day activities.

Standard therapies for mesothelioma include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy – as with most cancer types. However, many medical experts have been conducting clinical trials to figure out new ways of treating the rare cancer disease. Unfortunately, there have been poor survival rates of mesothelioma in patients due to its aggressiveness.

FDA Warnings and Reports

Reports that date as far back as the 1920s have said that medical evidence had already surfaced regarding the association of asbestos exposure to the rare cancer and other similar illnesses as reported today. Many manufacturers and asbestos product-using companies opted to neglect the data presented.

Medical literature has reported that the average survival rate for mesothelioma patients range from four to 18 months. A factor to this low survival rate is also attributed to late diagnosis or the inability to diagnose a mesothelioma patient in the early stages of the cancer. Doctors typically tell patients that the prognosis is only about a year.

In January 1997, a group of doctors and medical professionals convened to discuss Simian Virus 40 (SV40): A Possible Human Polyomavirus Workshop; where the professionals present ideas and findings regarding cancer and its tumors, including mesothelioma. The workshop was created due to reports that showed the presence of the SV40 viral sequences in tissue, including rare tumors in humans.

The FDA also discussed drugs intended to treat mesothelioma in the Drug Safety Newsletter of Spring 2008. Pemetrexed was the first approved drug for malignant pleural mesothelioma. It was approved by the FDA in February 2004.

As seen in the FDA website, a 2007 brochure from MESOMARK was sent out to patients diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma. Mesomark assay is the first blood serum based test sensitive and is the most reknowned blood test for mesothelioma. The FDA approved blood test checks the blood levels for a protein from the cancerous cells called mesothelin-related peptide or SMRP.

Mesothelioma Lawsuit Loans and Pre Settlement Funding

Mesothelioma is a very rare form of cancer with about 3,000 cases diagnosed each year in the United States. However, the incidence rate of this disease is increasing at an alarming rate worldwide. This is primarily because mesothelioma is caused by long-term on-the-job exposure to asbestos. It is a well known disease nowadays and is highly preventable primarily because workers who deal with asbestos are properly educated on how to use protective measures at work to prevent injury (mesothelioma suit).

If you’ve been seriously injured, are currently involved in a drawn-out legal fight, have retained a contingent-fee attorney, have strong liability against a sufficiently insured defendant and you’re in a financial bind because it’s taking forever to settle your case but you could really use some of your future settlement money now, we can help you (mesothelioma class action suits).

TriMark Legal Funding LLC, The Settlement Funding Company, provides fast, affordable, non-recourse lawsuit cash advances from $500 to $500,000+ on hundreds of different types of personal injury, civil rights and employment claims, often in as little as 12-24 hours, with no credit check, no up-front fees and no hassles. Best of all, you only repay the cash advance if you win your case (mesothelioma lawsuit).

Class Action Lawsuits (mesothelioma class action lawsuit)

Class action lawsuits involving mesothelioma and asbestos began surfacing in the late 1960s after the public became aware of the serious health hazards associated with asbestos exposure. Since, judges have resorted to a number of procedural methods to manage asbestos claims that now number in the millions. In the American judicial system, class action lawsuits long have been a way to resolve disagreements involving similar claimants with similar injuries and defendants. Compared to other mass torts, however, class actions have not been widely used in asbestos cases (
Mesothelioma Lawsuit Funding).

A class action lawsuit is a claim in which a group of people collectively bring a complaint to court. These types of lawsuits are filed against a defendant by one or more plaintiffs on behalf of a group of “similarly situated” people. State and federal courts have their own procedural rules governing class actions. Generally, in order to maintain a class action lawsuit, the group must share similar injuries caused by shared circumstances that raise the same legal issues. If the court determines that there are sufficient similarities and that separate lawsuits would be impractical or burdensome, it will certify the group as a class and allow them to litigate their case collectively.

Mesothelioma class actions typically are filed against companies that knew the dangers of asbestos exposure but did not inform employees of the risks. Manufacturers and distributors of asbestos-containing products, mining and construction companies and shipbuilders are often named as defendants in these types of class actions.

Great 2016 Teen Choice Awards red carpet arrivals

Teen Choice Awards 2016 - Let's get this party started! Some of Hollywood's biggest stars are flocking to the Teen Choice Awards Sunday night -- and hitting summer's main stage in fun, flirty fashion.

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Procedures to Purchase Structured Settlement Annuity Payments and Standards for Approval

To date, forty-­‐nine (49) states have passed laws regulating the transfer of structured settlement payments (SSPAs) that mandate that courts have hearings to determine whether the sale is in the “best interest” of a claimant and his or her dependents. If a judge determines that the transaction is in the “best interest” of a claimant and its dependents and that the sale complies with the requirements in the SSPA, the sale will be approved and the factoring company will purchase the payments from the claimant in return for a lump sum of cash. Included in whether a sale is in the best interest of a claimant and any dependents, a major factor is the “cost” of the transaction. This necessarily includes whether the “discount rate” (discussed later in this article) charged and the resulting purchase price is “fair and reasonable”.

Among other requirements in the SSPAs a factoring company generally must provide to a claimant:

A separate written Disclosure Statement in advance of the funding date showing:

o An itemized list of how the factoring company has calculated the present value of payments and gross amounts payable to the claimant in exchange for the payments;

o The net amount payable to the claimant after deducting all itemized commissions, fees, costs, expenses and other items that may be charged by the factoring company.

Judges must analyze these Disclosure Statements, among other evidence, and understand the “cost” of a transaction including how the discount rate is calculated and why a claimant is sometimes receiving a certain amount of money in return for a disproportionately larger amount of money. Judges must then determine whether the discount rate is fair and reasonable and in a claimant’s and its dependents’ “best interest”.

Types of Annuity Payments that are Purchased by Structured Settlement Factoring Companies

In general, there are two (2) types of annuities used in structured settlements: (a) payments that are guaranteed to be made over a certain period of time; and (b) life-­‐contingent annuities in which payments are made only until a claimant dies. These annuities are also referred to as non-­‐guaranteed annuities. The purpose of these annuities is to provide a claimant with an income for a set number of years, sometimes as many ae 30 years into the future. A disadvantage of a life-­‐contingent annuity is that a claimant receives the payments for only so long as a he or she is alive. For example, a claimant currently receiving structured settlement payments that are life-­‐contingent will receive the payments when they are due but if they were to pass away, their heirs/family members will not be entitled to any payments that may be due on the annuity and, for purposes of this discussion, neither will a factoring company that purchases those payments. The receipt of guaranteed payments, life-­‐contingent payments or a combination of both is determined at the timethe structured settlement is put into place. At this time, an analysis of a claimant’s current need of payments, his or her ageand other relevant factors is made to determine the nature and length of these payments. More times than not, if life-­‐contingent payments are part of a settlement, those payments are typically scheduled to be paid relatively far into the future.

Most factoring companies purchase from claimants both guaranteed and life-­‐contingent payments and the purchase of the latter has increased over the last couple of years. This article will focus on aspects of life-­‐contingent structured settlement annuities because they are more difficult than guaranteed payments to underwrite given mortality and other factors.

What Is a Structured Settlement and a Structured Settlement Factoring Transaction?

structured settlement is an agreement between a personal injury plaintiff (claimant) and a defendant liability insurance company in which the claimant agrees to settle a lawsuit in exchange for payments to be made over time by the liability insurance company. The liability insurance carrier then buys an annuity policy from a highly rated insurance company to make those payments on behalf of that liability insurance company. The payments are “structured” in the sense that they are to be paid periodically over time to assist a claimant to plan for their financial future and to ensure that a claimant does not squander a one-­‐time lump sum payment. Structured settlements contain prohibitions against selling, assigning or otherwise alienating the payments to be made there under. Structured settlements are a popular method for settling personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death cases.

A structured settlement factoring transaction is the selling of future structured settlement payments. People who receive structured settlement payments may decide at some point that they need money immediately rather than wait until future payments are made. The reasons for this need vary but can include unforeseen medical expenses for themselves or a loved one, the need for improved housing, for education costs, or to start a new business. To meet this need, a claimant can, notwithstanding the anti-­‐ alienation provisions described above, sell all or part of its future payments for a present lump sum.In order to do this, a claimant must seek approval from a judge to sell these payments. This process is more fully discussed later in this article.

Structured Settlements and Structured Settlements Annuities

When dealing with civil law, especially personal injury lawsuits and legislation involving accidents, plenty of potential lawsuits never see the inside of a courtroom. This is because the plaintiff accepts a settlement from the defendant or, very often, from the defendant’s insurance company. In order to reach a settlement, the plaintiff agrees to discontinue the legal action, and the defendant or his or her insurance company agrees to arrange for payment. That payment could be all at once in the form of a lump sum, or could be over time in the form of a structured settlement. Structured settlements result in plenty of payouts over time and the total amount could be higher because the entity paying has more time to pay. As explained in FindLaw, “With a structured settlement, a defendant’s insurer typically funds an annuity policy for the plaintiff. An annuity produces a continuous stream of income over the term of the structured settlement annuities. Annuity contracts can be quite complex to cover a variety of expected expenses.”

“A structured settlement may provide a plaintiff with a substantial tax benefit,” the piece continues. “Many lump-sum settlements are considered income and must be claimed on tax returns. Funds received from an annuity are tax-free as long as the plaintiff does not control the funds. Plaintiffs who receive lump-sum settlements often spend everything within five years. Afterwards, many become dependent on the government for their support. With a structured settlement, the funds are preserved throughout the time of plaintiff’s disability. Annuity funds must be managed by a professional. Proper financial planning will help make sure plaintiffs have enough funds to cover future expenses.
Parties may tailor annuities to cover a plaintiff’s specific needs and all sorts of future demands or contingencies.
In most states, annuities are protected by state insurance laws that guarantee the obligations of a bankrupt insurer will be covered. A lump-sum payment may be combined with a structured settlement to meet immediate expenses, such as medical bills, repayment of debts, rehabilitation costs, and the like. Parties can dedicate funds of a structured settlement to cover unanticipated advances in medicine so that if medical science develops a miracle cure, the plaintiff can give it a try. A structured settlement may allow parties who are far apart in their settlement negotiations to close the gap and reach an agreement acceptable to both the plaintiff and the defendant.”

Among the liabilities of a structured settlement are the fact that if the plaintiff “retains too much control over the structured settlement proceeds, the IRS may look at the situation and decide that the tax break must be forfeited.
A plaintiff may fear that, no matter how the settlement protects against negative economic conditions such as inflation or recession, unknown changes in the economy could make the annuity payments too small. Sometimes, an annuity is placed with brokers who do not have sufficient protection for insolvency (when financial obligations outweigh assets).
Insurance companies are usually reluctant to disclose how much they will have to pay to buy an annuity covering the amount of the settlement. A structured settlement frequently costs insurance companies much less than it would to make a lump-sum settlement. Without this information, however, the plaintiff’s attorney may not be able to make a complete assessment of the benefits and drawbacks of a settlement offer. In many circumstances, a settlement may be a faster, cheaper, and less stressful alternative to trial. An experienced personal injury attorney can discuss the facts of your case with you and help you decide whether a structured settlement would be your best interests.”

A structured settlement can be sold for a lump sum of cash now. Because the “present value” of money, particularly in an environment of high interest, is lower than the amount of the deferred payment, the lump sum received is typically less than the total value of the annuity payments. The assumption is that the borrower is willing to exchange that higher total value for the benefit of the lump sum funds immediately. In other words, money now is worth more to the person spending it than a greater amount of money later, but in the eyes of the lender, the exchange is one of a greater amount of value in future payments versus the cost to the lender of the lump sum paid out now. But should you sell your structured settlement? Should you borrow against all or part of it? For that matter, should you even accept a structured settlement in the first place?

“If you are ever involved in a lawsuit where you settle for a sum of money then you may be given the option of accepting a structured settlement,” writes Kathryn Vercillo. “This means that you agree not to get your payment in one lump sum at the time of the settlement. Instead, you agree to receive payments over time until the sum total has been received. There are pros and cons to accepting a structured settlement especially in terms of the financial aspect of the situation.”

Among the reasons Vercillo explains you might accept a structured settlement include the benefits to you financially, depending on what the structured settlement includes. “You pay less in taxes and may even pay nothing at all,” she writes. “Expert Law explains that accepting a structured settlement is a smart decision in terms of the taxes that you’ll pay on the money that you receive. If you receive small amounts of money over time then you will pay a smaller amount of taxes and may not even be obligated to pay any taxes on the money at all. In contrast, if you agree to a lump sum payment then a huge chunk of that money might disappear quickly, going straight to Uncle Sam. You are [also] less likely to use the money up too quickly. People who haven’t gotten financially literate and don’t know how to budget their money may find that a lump sum payment is more trouble than good. They get a big chunk of money and blow right through it, leaving nothing for later. This is especially bad in cases where the settlement is received due to an injury or accident that either requires medical care or prevents the injured party from working. That money may really be needed down the line. If you accept a structured settlement, you’ll receive regular ongoing payments and prevent the problem of blowing everything all at once.”

There are certain drawbacks inherent to structured settlements. For example, you may be carrying a large debt load, and if that’s the case, paying this off when your settlement is trickling in over time may not keep you ahead of the bills or of the interest payments on those bills. Some structured settlements are the results of a long-term issue that results in heavy legal or medical bills, for example, and in those cases, a lump sum is a lot more attractive an option.

“ Structured settlements don’t help you to make large purchases [either], she goes on. “In the same way that you can’t pay off debt all at once without a lump sum payment, you won’t be able to make a large purchase. Let’s say that your injury has caused you to want to relocate to a new home closer to your adult children. You could cover those costs with the money from a lump sum payment but may not be able to do so with just a structured settlement.”

“Because there are pros and cons to structured settlements,” Vercillo concludes, “it’s important to think very carefully before deciding to accept one if the option is offered to you. Consider the benefits and drawbacks. Before reaching a final decision on the issue, it really is wise to speak to someone with professional experience in accounting, taxes and personal finance. They can assist you in looking at your expenses, budget, spending habits and tax concerns so that you can make the decision that is smartest for your particular situation. There simply is no right or wrong answer when it comes to structured settlements; there is only what may be right for you.”

So if you do accept a structured settlement, should you accept a loan against it? The settlement may have seemed like a good idea at the time, or the extended payment structure may have been what was offered but you may now be thinking that a lump sum payment would meet your immediate financial needs better. If that’s the case, you still have options, and taking loan against all or part of your structured settlement is one of them.

Ava Lawson writes, “if you have successfully resolved a lawsuit and have agreed to periodic installments of your money over time, you are receiving a structured settlement. While this arrangement fulfills legal obligations to both parties, structured settlements can have their drawbacks, especially when unforeseen expenses occur, and large sums of cash are needed right away. [You can therefore] sell your structured settlement payments for one lump sum payout, giving you immediate access to money when you need it most. This type of funding is known as a structured settlement loan, and it’s saved many people from dire straits. Settlement loans take those prolonged installments out of the equation, giving you cash today. This isn’t a traditional loan like you’d apply for at the bank, but rather a cash advance on your periodic payments that you’ve agreed to receive. … Structured settlements function well for many people, as they can provide security for a child’s financial future, or supply a steady flow of money for lifelong medical conditions. And many plaintiffs enjoy the tax incentives that go hand-in-hand with structured settlements. However, there are certain times when life’s unexpected surprises present the need for large sums of cash, and that’s where settlement loans are instrumental. Use the money any way you wish: make a down payment on a house, pay for college tuition, cover medical expenses, or reduce existing debt – the decision is yours.”

Major Milestone Surpassed
While the total dollars is indeed substantial, it’s what these dollars represent that matters most:
They represent financial security for children whose parents were killed in automobile accidents.
They represent college funding and future scar revision for children bitten by a dog or hit by a car.
They represent a safety net for someone injured on the job who can no longer work.
They represent restored dignity for someone released from prison for a crime they did not commit.
They represent common sense tax deferral for someone selling a business or investment property.
They represent retirement income for attorneys who often are so busy they fail to address their own future post-career security needs.
They represent peace of mind for soon-to-be retirees who choose to dedicate a portion of their retirement funds to guaranteed cash flow they can never outlive.
One hundred million dollars worth of trust and confidence from hundreds of clients across the country reassures me that I made the right choice when founding this firm.

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How Does a Structured Settlement Annuity Companies Work?

Structured Settlement Annuity Companies
The majority of settlements in personal injury cases are lump sum payments. A lump sum payment means that the defendant (or the defendant’s insurance company) makes one payment to you, and that payment settles the case. However, instead of a lump sum payment, some plaintiffs opt to have their compensation paid out in a structured settlement. A structured settlement is when part or all of the settlement amount is paid to the plaintiff over a period of years. Part of the settlement will generally be paid to the plaintiff and his/her lawyer immediately after the settlement as a lump sum, and the rest will be structured over a period of years. Some structured settlements even involve lifetime payments. Read on to learn more structured settlement annuity companies.

How Does a Structured Settlement Work?

If you and the defendant agree on a structured settlement, the defendant (or the defendant’s insurance company) will transfer the part of the settlement that is to be structured to a different insurer, often a life insurance company that specializes in handling structured settlements. You want to make sure that the company that pays the money out over the years is very highly rated, because, if the company fails or declares bankruptcy, your structured settlement is gone. This means that there is a slight element of risk in a structured settlement.

Almost everything about a structured settlement annuity factoring company can be negotiated, including terms such as:

the length of the structure
how often you want to receive money (once a year, twice a year, monthly, etc.)
how much money you want to receive in each payment
whether you want a lump sum payment at the end, and
whether you want the payments to end if you die before the end of the structure or whether you want the payments to continue to your heirs.
Calculating the Amount of a Structured Settlement

Let’s say that you want to receive $100,000 per year for 20 years, and that you want the payments to continue to your heirs if you die before the 20 years are up. Although you (or your heirs) will be receiving $2,000,000 over the 20 years, the defendant will be paying much less than $2,000,000 to fund the settlement.

That is because a structured settlement is what is known as a "future income stream." A future income stream generally has to be calculated in terms of its present value. Present value is a financial concept that involves determining the value of a future income stream as if it were all in a bank account today.

In other words, how much money does the insurer need in a bank account, earning interest, today in order to pay you and/or your heirs $100,000 each year for the next 20 years? The quick answer is that the insurer will need substantially less than $2,000,000 in a bank account today in order to pay your structured settlement. But this is a complex financial calculation, and your lawyer will customarily hire an economist to advise him/her on how to calculate the value of the structured settlement.

Advantages of a Structured Settlement

The lump sum settlement is the traditional method for settling a case. The defendant sends you a check, you cash the check, and the case is over. You should take a lump sum settlement for all small settlements and most medium-sized settlements (less than $150,000 or so).

But if you are settling a larger case, there are two good reasons for doing a structured settlement.

First, the structure guarantees that you won’t spend the money too fast. Sadly, many personal injury plaintiffs who receive large windfalls blow through the money in an astoundingly short time, and then, maybe two or three years later, have nothing left.

Second, the structured settlement saves you money on your taxes. While the money that you receive in a personal injury settlement is usually not taxable, you do have to pay taxes on the interest and dividends that you receive on the settlement money after you invest it. That can be a large tax payment every year. With a structured settlement, you have far less money sitting in the bank, and thus a much lower tax obligation.

Advantages of a Lump Sum Settlement

The main advantage of a lump sum settlement is that you get the money now. If you need to pay off bills from the settlement, that is an important reason to get all of the money up front. If you are planning to start a business or buy a house or car with the settlement proceeds, then you need the money now. And if the settlement simply isn’t that large, you get no significant advantage from a structured settlement.

So, if you are settling your own car accident case for, say, $75,000, and the insurance adjuster is pressuring you to take your settlement as a structured settlement, tell him/her no. Tell the adjuster that you want your money as a lump sum settlement, to be paid after signing the release and other settlement documents.