Author: Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing the copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

Veterans with Mesothelioma Often Struggle with Depression

Veterans of America’s Armed Forces are supposed to look back to their service with unbridled pride, but for those diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, their memories will forever be tarnished by the knowledge that during the years that they served they were exposed to the material that led to their illness and eventual death.  For those whose sadness, grief and anger goes beyond the expected and turns to clinical depression, there are resources available. Continue reading

Supreme Court Decides in Favor of Veterans’ Widows

Malignant mesothelioma is a disease that few people have heard of and which rarely gets any public attention. But a lawsuit filed by the widows of two veterans who died of the rare, asbestos-related disease was recently heard and decided by the Supreme Court of the United States, and the court’s decision represents a big victory for asbestos victims everywhere. Continue reading

Navy Veteran’s Mesothelioma Lawsuit Introduces New Legal Theory

Malignant mesothelioma is a cruel and relentless disease that makes itself known when it is too late for treatment to be effective. It afflicts those who have been exposed to asbestos, and due to high levels of use by the military, many of those affected are veterans of America’s Armed Forces. Though the law generally permits those sickened by toxic exposure to file lawsuits against those responsible, veterans are not permitted to file these types of suits against the military administration. They can, however, pursue claims against asbestos providers. These lawsuits are notable for the creative defenses mounted by the asbestos companies. Continue reading

Positive News for Veterans with Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Malignant mesothelioma is an extremely rare form of cancer diagnosed in those with a known exposure to asbestos. The disease generally forms in either the pleural lining of the chest cavity that holds the lungs or the lining of the peritoneal cavity that holds the abdominal organs. This latter location represents a rarer type of mesothelioma called peritoneal mesothelioma, which is diagnosed in just 15-to-20 percent of patients. A recent study has revealed that over the last several years physicians have seen improvements in overall survival for patients diagnosed with this version of the disease. Continue reading

Veterans with Mesothelioma and Other Medical Needs Demonstrate Increased Trust in VA Care

Despite significant negative press coverage and the challenges of the pandemic and service-related diseases like mesothelioma, a recent study has shown that the number of veterans visiting providers within the VA community care network is increasing. Veterans advocates are attributing the rise in engagement to improved access, lower wait times, and overall increased satisfaction in the medical services provided. Continue reading

Air Force Veteran Wins Right to Sue Ford Motor Company Over Asbestos Exposure

Whether your mesothelioma comes from exposure to asbestos during your years of service or over decades of factory work, auto repair, or another source, once you’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease you face many questions and uncertainties. In addition to finding the best possible medical care and addressing the short- and long-term needs of your family, you also need to decide whether to pursue legal action against the companies responsible for your exposure to the toxic material. For one Air Force veteran, that decision led to him taking on automotive giant Ford Motor Company. Continue reading

Veterans Seeking Optune Lua Treatment Outside of VA System

In the last year, many people diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma have been treated using a novel protocol called Optune Lua. The medical device uses low frequency electrical fields to interrupt the division of cancer cells within tumors, thus slowing the progression of the disease. Though the tumor-treating-fields product is not yet available through the Veterans Affairs medical system, veterans who are candidates for this treatment may be able to access it through one of the other sites offering it as a result of the non-VA care policy that permits specialized treatment from outside of the VA system. Continue reading

Protecting Veterans with Mesothelioma from Chemotherapy-Related Kidney Damage

Veterans diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma are offered a variety of treatment protocols designed to prolong their lives, decrease their pain, and improve the quality of life that remains to them as they face this rare and fatal form of cancer. Chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy are the treatments most frequently offered, but each comes with risks that must be weighed by the patient and their physician. A notable concern is the kidney damage that often follows cisplatin-based chemotherapy treatment, but a recent study has identified a way to predict which patients are most at risk for that particular adverse effect, and to make informed choices to avoid it. Continue reading

Veterans Hospitals Continue Providing Mesothelioma Care Through Pandemic

For veterans diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, one of the keys to improving quality of life and extending survival is receiving continuous medical care. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, many were concerned that they would be unable to get the chemotherapy or other services upon which they relied. But according to a blog that appeared on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website, those who served our country during previous crises were able to continue getting their cancer treatments safely and in-person, with little-to-no interruption. Continue reading

Veterans with Mesothelioma View Drug Development as Key to Longer Survival

One of the biggest challenges of a mesothelioma diagnosis is learning that the disease is currently considered incurable. The terminal form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos has proven incredibly resistant to chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other treatments that have effectively beaten other malignancies, leaving veterans diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma with little hope. One bright spot has been promising results from innovative drug developers who are investigating different methods of killing cancerous cells. One such drug that has been developed by Atara Biotherapeutics recently received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Continue reading