Cancer Compensation

Cancer Compensation

Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.

Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named for the organ or type of cell in which they start - for example, cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer; cancer that begins in melanocytes of the skin is called melanoma.

Cancer types can be grouped into broader categories. The main categories of cancer include:

  • Carcinoma - cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs. There are a number of subtypes of carcinoma, including adenocarcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and transitional cell carcinoma.
  • Sarcoma - cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.
  • Leukemia - cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood.
  • Lymphoma and myeloma - cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system.
  • Central nervous system cancers - cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.

Malignant mesothelioma ia a rare type of cancer in which malignant cells are found in the lining of the chest or abdomen. Exposure to airborne asbestos particles increases one's risk of developing malignant mesothelioma.

Malignant mesothelioma is a tumour of mesothelial cells which usually occurs in the pleura (80-90% of all cases), but also at other sites, including the peritoneum, pericardium and testes. Malignant pleural mesothelioma rarely metastasises to distant sites but most patients present with locally advanced disease. Patients suffering from asbestos-related mesothelioma may be entitled to compensation.

  • Malignant mesothelioma should be considered in any patient with a pleural effusion or pleural thickening, especially if a history of asbestos exposure and chest pain is present.
  • Chest pain (typically dull, diffuse, progressive and occasionally pleuritic).
  • Breathlessness may be caused by a pleural effusion or circumferential pleural thickening.
  • Patients may also present with a palpable chest wall mass.
  • Weight loss, fatigue, fever, sweats; finger clubbing is usually caused by underlying asbestosis.
  • Pericardial effusion may be caused by local extension in progressive disease. Ascites caused by peritoneal mesothelioma and secondary hydropneumothorax are uncommon but recognised presentations.
  • If the tumour has metastasised there may be lymphadenopathy, hepatomegaly, bone pain, bone tenderness, abdominal pain, and gastrointestinal obstruction (peritoneal malignant mesothelioma).

It is an incredible feat that organisms can begin from one cell and then differentiate and compartmentalize into the millions of diverse tissue and organ niches that represent a mature body. Why brain, fingernail, liver, intestine and bone cells ever become what they are is mystery enough. Why they stay what they have become while still retaining the full genetic information to produce an entire new body, compounds the miracle even more.

Cancer is a condition in which cells lose their orientation and proliferate uncontrollably. Any cell can become cancerous. A lot of them do, but are squelched by cell death (apoptosis), the immune system or nipped in the bud by DNA repair mechanisms. Successful cancer cells escape these impediments, disregard normal cellular checks and balances and become an island unto themselves with only their own survival and self-interests at heart.

The cause of cancer is no mystery. It is our aberrant modern living context that has put us at cancer risk. When cells are forced to bathe in a milieu (the tissue soup we create with modern foods, drugs and lifestyle) entirely unlike what they are genetically programmed to expect, they revert to their most primitive directive – multiply, multiply, multiply – without regard for neighbors. It’s a sort of payback for our disregard for “neighbors” when we pollute and repudiate nature. Why should our cells be polite to their neighbors if we don’t have regard for ours? Since the immune system is compromised from the chronic stresses created by modern living, defenses are down. Couple this with the nutritionally depleted and perverted modern processed diet and you have the incubator for cancer.

Today, about one in three humans will get cancer. In pets it is worse and perhaps the leading cause of death. No evidence exists that the disease was of similar incidence before our modern era. President Nixon's "War on Cancer" (beginning in the early 1970s) is the most failed and embarrassing "military" campaign ever undertaken by any nation at any time in history. One person in 30 got cancer at the beginning of the 20th century, now almost one in two do.

The reason for cancer and most chronic degenerative diseases is modern living, pure and simple. We have subjected ourselves to an artificial environment to which we are not adapted. Nature – not exhaust, sugar, pop and plastic – is what we are designed for. Screw with Mother Nature and a price will be paid. Whatever the inciting cause, it is known that inducement and propogation needs to be relentless and of long-standing duration. Cancer can have a latency period of decades, requiring continuous exposure to the inciting stress. Our departure from our genetic roots certainly qualifies.

Research has also shown that a low carbohydrate, high protein, high arginine (meat amino acid), low omega-6 fatty acid and high omega-3 fatty acid diet is useful for both preventing and treating cancer. Tumor cells do not do well on fats or protein. But they love that sugar. The natural, raw diet for humans and their pets is high in fat (the preferred energy source) and protein, high in omega-3 fatty acids (fish, wild meat, some seeds and vegetables) and low in omega-6 fatty acids (grains, grain-fed meats and most oils), and is alkalinizing.

So, to increase the chance of having cancer, or to speed its progression, eating the standard modern fare is the way to go. Get lots of sugar and lots of grain-based foods such as pasta, bread, cereal, bagels, donuts (which convert to sugar after consumed) and lots of vegetable oils. Increase carbohydrates, eat oleo and look for low-fat foods. Drink very little water and instead enjoy acidified pop and municipal acidic water. Tumors thrive on this banquet.

You can wait for “research” to prove that natural foods and natural living (fresh air, exercise, sunlight, loving relationships) prevent and reverse cancer, or you can be a thinking person and apply this obvious wisdom beginning today.

Cancer is a term covering a broad group of diseases involving unregulated cell growth. Cancer causes cells to divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invading nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the body through the lymphatic system or bloodstream. There are over 200 different known cancers that affect humans.

These are:

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL)
  • Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)
  • Anal cancer
  • Bile duct cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Bone cancer
  • Bowel cancer
  • Brain tumours
  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer of unknown primary
  • Cancer spread to bone
  • Cancer spread to brain
  • Cancer spread to liver
  • Cancer spread to lung
  • Carcinoid
  • Cervical cancer
  • Choriocarcinoma
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL)
  • Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)
  • Colon cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Eye cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Gastric cancer
  • Gestational trophoblastic tumours (GTT)
  • Hairy cell leukaemia
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Kidney cancer
  • Laryngeal cancer
  • Leukaemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Melanoma skin cancer
  • Mesothelioma
  • Men's cancer
  • Molar pregnancy
  • Mouth and oropharyngeal cancer
  • Myeloma
  • Nasal and sinus cancers
  • Nasopharyngeal cancer
  • Non Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)
  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Penile cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rare cancers
  • Rectal cancer
  • Salivary gland cancer
  • Secondary cancers
  • Skin cancer (non melanoma)
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Stomach cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Unknown primary cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Vaginal cancer
  • Vulval cancer
  • Womb cancer
  • Women's cancers

The causes of cancer are diverse, complex, and only partially understood. Many things are known to increase the risk of cancer, including tobacco use, dietary factors, certain infections, exposure to radiation, lack of physical activity, obesity, and environmental pollutants. These factors can directly damage genes or combine with existing genetic faults within cells to cause cancerous mutations. Approximately 5–10% of cancers can be traced directly to inherited genetic defects. Many cancers could be prevented by

  • not smoking,
  • eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains,
  • eating less meat and refined carbohydrates,
  • maintaining a healthy weight,
  • exercising,
  • minimizing sunlight exposure, and
  • being vaccinated against some infectious diseases.

Cancers are primarily an environmental disease with 90–95% of cases attributed to environmental factors and 5–10% due to genetics. Environmental, as used by cancer researchers, means any cause that is not inherited genetically, not merely pollution. Common environmental factors that contribute to cancer death include tobacco (25–30%), diet and obesity (30–35%), infections (15–20%), radiation (both ionizing and non-ionizing, up to 10%), stress, lack of physical activity, and environmental pollutants.

It is nearly impossible to prove what caused a cancer in any individual, because most cancers have multiple possible causes. For example, if a person who uses tobacco heavily develops lung cancer, then it was probably caused by the tobacco use, but since everyone has a small chance of developing lung cancer as a result of air pollution or radiation, then there is a small chance that the cancer developed because of air pollution or radiation.

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer of the lungs and the abdominal cavities. Unlike other diseases, the cause of mesothelioma is not natural. In most of the cases, it is a cancer of lungs inflicted on the human beings by the modern economic factors, which are also credited to bring prosperity to the corporate world.

The disease has left many dead and many more fighting for the failing health. The common symptoms related to the disease are breathlessness, dry cough and pain in the respiratory tracts followed by vomiting. The prime Cause of mesothelioma is the exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos is a natural fibrous material that was widely used in various industries and building materials because of its stability and heat resistant properties. However, asbestos is also a deadly contaminant and responsible for serious diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma cancers and lung cancer. Most of the diseases are caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers that could settle in the internal body organs and cause serious diseases. Mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases can lie dormant in the body for decades before diagnosis. The worst part is that after diagnosis the patient has hardly any left for fighting these diseases.

Asbestos has extensively been mined in South Africa and exported to UK & US factories for reprocessing. For many years, the industrialists enjoyed the benefits of asbestos as a cheap substitute to wood in Building Material Industry and an integral part of Brake Lining material used extensively in vehicles during the World Wars. Asbestos was also widely used as an Insulation material in the buildings and industries in the US and Europe.

The victims of mesothelioma can file lawsuits for seeking compensation against the companies responsible for asbestos exposure. They can seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, lost earning capacity, pain and sufferings. The family members and relatives of the people who die because of mesothelioma cancers can also file lawsuits for compensation to recover the loss of consortium care. A dozen of companies who made an exit from the business decades ago are still fighting the huge compensation bills pending against them for causing a major biological disorder. The courts have ordered huge amounts as compensation in most of the mesothelioma lawsuits.

Although the risks of asbestos exposure and its relation to Mesothelioma have been known since the late 1950s and 1960s asbestos was still widely used in many industries until the late 1970s, and later to a lesser extent. Unfortunately, despite the apparent dangers some employers did not provide adequate protection or take measures to prevent exposure.

The following is a list of occupations known to have put workers at risk of asbestos exposure. The list is not complete and final and you may have worked in a different occupation and experienced exposure to asbestos.

  • Carpenters and Joiners
  • Boiler, Pipe and Heating Workers
  • Shipbuilding/Shipyard Workers
  • Navy Seamen
  • Dockworkers
  • Laggers and Sprayers
  • Mechanics
  • Plumbers and Gasfitters
  • Roofers
  • Construction and Demolition Workers
  • Painters and Decorators
  • Electricians
  • Railway Workers and Coach Construction
  • Engineers
  • Power Station Workers
  • Laboratory and Research
  • Asbestos Manufacture and Sales

Exposure was not limited to those who worked directly with asbestos. Mesothelioma can develop following para-occupational exposure. This means asbestos being taken outside the workplace and perhaps into the home on the work clothes of someone working with it, or following environmental exposure, for example, living near an asbestos factory.

Mesothelioma Compensation Claims

If you have Mesothelioma and it can be proved that someone else was responsible for your asbestos exposure, you may be able to take legal action to claim compensation.

The estate and dependants (wife, partner, children and others) of a Mesothelioma sufferer can also take legal action to claim compensation. Claims by the dependants can be commenced following the death of the Mesothelioma sufferer.

Legal action taken against former employers is mainly dealt with by the employers’ insurance companies and action may still be possible even if the employer no longer exists provided the employer’s insurance company can be traced.

If you are thinking of making a claim for compensation it is advisable to seek legal advice quickly as there is a statutory 3 year limit for making a claim. It is important that the Mesothelioma sufferer’s evidence is recorded in statement form as soon as possible. The Mesothelioma sufferer’s recollection of events can be essential to the success of a claim.

Cancer Compensation Programs for People Exposed to Radiation as Part of Nuclear Weapons Testing

Between 1945 and 1962, the United States tested nuclear weapons in the open air. Several other countries began above-ground nuclear testing during this time as well, with some continuing these tests up until 1980.

Most of the above-ground tests in the United States were done in the South Pacific and at the Nevada testing grounds, with a small number being done at the Trinity (New Mexico) and South Atlantic testing sites. Military maneuvers involving about 200,000 people were conducted as part of many of these tests. The tests exposed these people, as well as many others living in nearby areas, to different amounts of radiation. In addition, tens of thousands of uranium miners and workers at several nuclear weapons plant sites were exposed to radiation and other toxic substances.

There is little doubt that radiation exposure can cause cancer. This has become clear from studies of groups such as the survivors of the atomic blasts in Japan, where the risks of certain cancers such as leukemias and thyroid cancers were higher than normal, as well as from studies of people exposed to medical radiation and in some workplace settings. But it’s often hard to estimate the likelihood that a person exposed to radiation will develop cancer as a result of being exposed. Many factors influence this risk, including the type, amount, and route of radiation exposure. For example, people can be exposed to radioactive elements internally if they inhale or ingest them, as well as being exposed to external radiation sources. In addition, when exposures have occurred many years in the past, it’s often hard to know how much or what types of radiation exposure a person had.

The US government has passed several laws to compensate military veterans, people who worked in the nuclear industry, and others exposed to radiation as part of nuclear testing programs who later develop certain types of cancer or other diseases.

The United States conducted nearly 200 atmospheric nuclear weapons development tests from 1945 to 1962. Essential to the nation’s nuclear weapons development was uranium mining and processing, which was carried out by tens of thousands of workers. Following the tests’ cessation in 1962 many of these workers filed class action lawsuits alleging exposure to known radiation hazards. These suits were dismissed by the appellate courts. Congress responded by devising a program allowing partial restitution to individuals who developed serious illnesses after exposure to radiation released during the atmospheric nuclear tests or after employment in the uranium industry: the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (the Act, or RECA), 42 U.S.C. § 2210 note (2006), was passed on October 5, 1990. The Act’s scope of coverage was broadened in 2000.

The Act presents an apology and monetary compensation to individuals who contracted certain cancers and other serious diseases:

  • following their exposure to radiation released during the atmospheric nuclear weapons tests, or
  • following their occupational exposure to radiation while employed in the uranium industry during the Cold War arsenal buildup.

This unique statute was designed to serve as an expeditious, low-cost alternative to litigation. Significantly, RECA does not require claimants to establish causation. Rather, claimants qualify for compensation by establishing the diagnosis of a listed compensable disease after working or residing in a designated location for a specific period of time. The Act provides compensation to individuals who contracted one of 27 medical conditions. It covers all states where uranium was mined and processed, as well as specified counties in Nevada, Utah, and Arizona, where significant fallout from the atmospheric nuclear testing was measured.

Radiation Exposure Compensation Program

The Radiation Exposure Compensation Program is administered by the US Department of Justice. It provides payments to 3 groups of people:

Uranium miners, millers, and transporters

People who worked in these industries between 1942 and 1971 and who develop lung cancer, kidney cancer (in millers or transporters), or certain other conditions may be eligible for a lump sum payment of $100,000.

Onsite participants

People (including military personnel) who were present onsite during above-ground nuclear tests (at the Nevada, Trinity, Pacific, or South Atlantic test sites) and who later develop certain medical conditions may be entitled to a payment of $75,000. (Military personnel exposed to radiation at Hiroshima or Nagasaki are not eligible.)

The eligible conditions include cancers of the lung, thyroid, breast, esophagus, stomach, pharynx (throat), small intestine, pancreas, bile ducts, gallbladder, salivary gland, urinary bladder, brain, colon, ovary, and liver (unless related to cirrhosis or hepatitis B). Other cancers covered include leukemia (other than chronic lymphocytic leukemia), non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.


People who lived or worked downwind of above-ground nuclear tests in certain counties in Utah, Nevada, and Arizona for at least 2 years during certain periods between 1951 and 1962 and who later develop certain medical conditions may be entitled to a payment of $50,000. The eligible cancers are the same as those for onsite participants.

For a more complete list of eligibility requirements and information on how to file a claim, contact the Department of Justice Radiation Exposure Compensation Program at 1-800-729-7327.

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