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September Is Blood Cancer Awareness Month

Published on September 24th, 2020 by Andrew Hughes

Acute myelogenous leukemia, lymphoma, myelodysplastic syndrome, and multiple myeloma are some of the blood cancers that too many Americans become familiar with each year.  Every three minutes someone in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer and more than 1.3 million people are being treated for, or are in remission from, one of these cancers. Unfortunately, the five-year survival rate is far too low.

After receiving an AML or MDS diagnosis, both the patient and the treating doctors rightly focus on the treatment and recovery. Unfortunately, treating doctors are not epidemiologists.  Most treating doctors research how to cure the disease, as opposed to what caused it.  As a result, many patients may never learn that past exposures to toxic chemicals like benzene may have contributed to their leukemia diagnosis. The reason this is unfortunate is that negligent product manufacturers and premises owners whose actions caused the illness, are not brought to justice.  These negligent players are not made to pay for the medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and loss of enjoyment of life suffered by the patient.  

Those who worked in industries where solvents, thinners, and other petroleum products were regularly used are at an increased risk of developing these blood and bone marrow cancers. A non-smoker working as a mechanic since the 1970s who now finds themselves being treated for AML should probably look to benzene. If you were a tanker truck driver you may not know that the sweet aroma you experienced every time you filled your load was a benzene marker.  Those benzene exposures, even if they occurred many years ago, could be the reason you are undergoing a bone marrow transplant. Plumbers and pipefitters used degreasers countless times with no thought given to how a product as common as Liquid Wrench could introduce toxins into their body.

Not every person who has been diagnosed with one of these cancers can trace it back to toxic benzene exposures. And not every person who has worked with benzene will develop cancer. However, it is important to investigate potential causes as any legal right has a deadline – called a statute of limitations. We speak to survivors every month and have to tell some that although we believe benzene exposure likely contributed to their illness, too much time has passed from the diagnosis to file a lawsuit. 

If you worked with solvents and degreasers, or other petroleum based products, talk to your doctor about benzene. You can also call an experienced benzene lawyer at 1-800-BENZENE.

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