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Mesothelioma is a particularly virulent form of cancer of the lungs or abdomen, usually caused by exposure to asbestos. Once considered a workingman’s disease, mesothelioma is increasingly being found in younger persons. 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year, regardless of race, socio-economic background or age.
Mary Hesdorffer, a Nurse Practitioner, is the executive director of The Mesothelioma Foundation. She is a tireless advocate for mesothelioma patients and their families, who are irreversibly impacted by the diagnosis. So far there is only one drug with any effectiveness against it, and that prolongs life by a median of only three months.
Mesothelioma has acquired a poor image due to the stigma of its association with law firms that have high-profile accident and personal injury practices.
The Meso Foundation is mindful that putting patients first, and mobilizing resources to fund independent, peer-reviewed research projects, is the only hope for finding truly effective life-prolonging treatment for mesothelioma patients, and eventually finding a cure for this aggressive and neglected cancer.
Ms. Hesdorffer and the Foundation maintain that in order to truly find life-prolonging treatment, the disease needs to be taken separately from the asbestos litigation industry and recast in the public mind as a serious killer deserving of the full weight of America’s medical and public health resources.
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