Residents of Louisville should be aware that Kentucky's Supreme Court has rejected medical review panels, a move that makes it much easier for medical malpractice lawsuits to favor affected patients. The decision was unanimous and struck down a preexisting law meant to impose limits on these lawsuits.
Kentucky residents may be interested in recent medical developments related to mesothelioma, a condition caused by asbestos exposure. A doctor at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center claims that genetic testing could lead to a more accurate prognosis for malignant mesothelioma, help identify the best possible treatment plans and also help family members determine their risk for the cancer. Back in 2011, this doctor identified the BAP1 gene mutation, which is the only recognized biological mechanism that makes patients more susceptible to mesothelioma.
According to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, more than 107,000 people around the world die each year from diseases linked to asbestos exposure. Louisville residents should know that while this mineral has long been banned by most developed countries, the U.S. has not taken such a step.
When people think of mesothelioma, a cancer correlated with asbestos exposure, they often think of men who work in manufacturing, construction or mining occupations. While it is true that those who work in certain fields may risk environmental asbestos exposure, those employees are not the only ones at risk.
For a long time commercial buildings in Kentucky regularly included asbestos products in their construction to make buildings materials resistant to heat and fire. Subsequent damage or decay of materials could release asbestos fibers that workers breathed into their lungs. This exposure heightened the chance of developing mesothelioma, a serious cancer that invades the pleura or air sacs of lungs. Recently, researchers have begun to link talc exposure to mesothelioma and others cancers. Talc, like asbestos, is a naturally occurring substance, and it is sometimes mined in the same areas that produce asbestos.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that develops from the mesothelium, a thin layer of tissue that covers most of the internal organs. The most commonly affected areas are the linings of the lungs and chest wall, and the most common cause of mesothelioma is occupational exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma is a particularly insidious disease because it may take decades for the symptoms to appear, which severely limits treatment options in most cases. New hope for potential Louisville sufferers, however, is on the horizon.