Many events have affected the mesothelioma community since the last post shared on our blog. Following our brief hiatus, we compiled a list of some noteworthy events we missed. This list is not exhaustive. However, we do cover the impact of coronavirus, asbestos product news and updates in mesothelioma treatment.
We understand there has been a gap in content on our blog in recent months. It is our goal to return to a normal posting schedule. The Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness Center strives to provide the latest information to mesothelioma patients, loved ones and other members of the community.
Coronavirus’ Impact on the Mesothelioma Community
The impact of COVID-19 has been felt nationwide and globally. Some individuals have experienced the negative effects of COVID-19 more than others. This includes mesothelioma patients.
Those with cancer, respiratory illnesses and other conditions are “high risk.” In other words, they may be more susceptible to complications from the coronavirus.
Concerns for Patients, Survivors and Loved Ones
Effects of COVID-19 on mesothelioma patients, survivors and loved ones include:
- Cancer patients and survivors being at higher risk of coronavirus-related complications.
- Delaying mesothelioma treatment plans. Coronavirus patients have crowded many large treatment centers.
- Delaying mesothelioma clinical trials. Some patients have been unable to take part in experimental treatments.
- Limiting doctors’ appointments. Patients have had to cancel, reschedule or take part in telehealth appointments.
- Requiring strict isolation. Patients and survivors have been unable to see loved ones to protect themselves.
Mesothelioma patients and loved ones are advised to strictly follow all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes proper handwashing, social distancing and avoiding contact with individuals who may have the virus.
Delayed Conferences and Cancer Research
Conferences, symposiums and other events for mesothelioma research occur throughout the year. These events often consist of large in-person gatherings. This poses a considerable health risk given the pandemic.
Some events have transitioned to a virtual format. This allows individuals to take part online from the safety of their homes. Other events have been canceled or postponed.
Asbestos Product News
Though asbestos use is strictly regulated, it is not fully banned in the United States. Asbestos has made its way into many products. As a result, consumers have been unknowingly exposed. Those exposed are at risk of mesothelioma, asbestosis and other serious illnesses.
More Cosmetics Test Positive for Asbestos
Throughout 2018 many cosmetic products tested positive for asbestos. One of the most alarming incidences was children’s makeup. In 2019 and 2020, more products were tested and confirmed to contain asbestos.
Talc products cited for asbestos contamination:
- Facial powder
- Children’s makeup
In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continued testing on products in question. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) then reported on these results. Of 52 products tested, 9 tested positive for asbestos.
EWG’s Senior Vice President Scott Faber and other public health officials continue to push for stricter regulations on talc products. These advocates want more vigorous cosmetic testing. Experts would test for asbestos and other toxins.
Johnson & Johnson Takes Baby Powder Off Store Shelves
On May 19, 2020, Johnson & Johnson announced it will stop selling baby powder in the United States and Canada. The company has faced billions of dollars in claims from asbestos victims.
Claimants allege asbestos-contaminated baby powder led to their diagnosis or the death of a loved one. Asbestos illnesses include mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.
Johnson & Johnson has consistently denied asbestos-related allegations. However, many feel the company’s decision to take the product off store shelves is an admission of guilt.
Mesothelioma Treatment Advancements
Some clinical trials have been postponed due to COVID-19. However, many have been able to continue. Recent studies have demonstrated extended life expectancies for mesothelioma patients.
- Testicular mesothelioma: A case study in France found success with aggressive surgery (orchiectomy) as a first-line treatment.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma: A study in India found success with aggressive surgery (peritonectomy) and chemotherapy.
- Pleural mesothelioma: A study in Italy found success with immunotherapy and chemotherapy.
Mesothelioma researchers continue to search for improved diagnostic tools and treatment options. They also hope to one day find a cure for the rare cancer.
Return to the Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness Center blog for updated information about mesothelioma-related events, news and study findings.