Each year, more than 600,000 Americans die from cancer, making it the second-leading cause of death right after heart disease. What’s even more troubling is that an estimated 50% of these cancer deaths are likely preventable.
Take lung cancer, for example. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), lung cancer results in around 135,000 deaths each year. As federal health organizations like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have preached for decades, “Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer.”
In the U.S. alone, cigarette smoking is linked to 80-90% of all lung cancer deaths, which shows that, with better choices, the disease can at least be mitigated — or even prevented.
Sponsored by the Prevent Cancer Foundation, National Cancer Prevention Month aims to bring awareness to the avoidable causes of cancer and what people can do to live healthier, happier, safer, and longer.
Why We Fight for Cancer Prevention
At Sokolove Law, our firm also seeks to bring awareness to a preventable cancer that kills thousands of Americans each year: mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that most commonly forms in the pleural lining of the lungs. The only known cause of mesothelioma is asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral mined from the earth and used to make certain products.
For decades, asbestos was known to industry giants as a “miracle mineral,” because of its natural strength and fire-resistance properties. As a result, companies incorporated the mineral into countless products from brake pads to ceiling tiles to building insulation.
The problem is that when asbestos is accidentally inhaled or ingested, it can be incredibly deadly, causing mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis, and more. When inhaled, asbestos fibers can lodge themselves into a person’s pleural lining, causing the slow but steady development of mesothelioma over a series of years or decades.
Worse, by the time mesothelioma is discovered, it’s already too late, and victims only have a few months left to live.
Similar to cigarettes, cancer caused by asbestos is preventable — but where it differs is choice. Companies that were involved in the manufacturing of asbestos-containing products knew the truth about the mineral: It could cause cancer and lead to death. Still, they continued to make asbestos-containing products and sell them.
In the process, they exposed generations of Americans to asbestos. And while the heyday of asbestos came and went in the mid-20th century, asbestos-containing products are still present in a majority of homes and buildings across the country.
Sokolove Law fights for the people who were exposed to asbestos and developed cancer through no fault of their own. Our firm believes that people who developed an asbestos-related disease had the right to be warned. The companies that knew the dangers of asbestos should have never used the mineral in the first place.
How We Fight
For more than 40 years, Sokolove Law has stood for and with the victims of asbestos-related diseases. We believe the companies responsible for a person’s cancer should and must be held accountable. We believe that mesothelioma was and is preventable.
Safer alternatives to asbestos exist, but the companies who chose to use asbestos did so because of its relative abundance, its cheap price, and its potential to drive immense profits.
Since the dangers of asbestos have become widespread public knowledge, many of the companies responsible have been brought to justice.
Our firm also stands proudly with advocacy groups that call for asbestos-disease prevention and those who seek to ban asbestos in the United States once and for all.
Working to Prevent Cancer This Month
This month, we hope to advance our push for cancer prevention by bringing awareness to asbestos, mesothelioma, and other toxic chemicals and substances that harm ordinary Americans.
You can offer your own assistance in this fight by promoting cancer awareness and by learning about and spreading knowledge of the preventable causes of cancer.
For its part, the Prevent Cancer Foundation recommends the following seven steps to prevent cancer:
- Don’t use tobacco
- Protect your skin from the sun
- Eat a healthy diet
- Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active
- Practice safe sex and avoid risky behaviors
- Get immunized (HPV and hepatitis vaccines)
- Know your family medical history and get regular cancer screenings.
Whether it is mesothelioma, lung cancer, or some other type of cancer, one of the best ways to beat cancer is with early detection. Even better? Knowing and avoiding the direct causes of cancer in the first place.