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Vinyl Chloride Lawsuits – Cholangiocarcinoma Bile Duct Cancer

If you or someone you know has worked with vinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride PVC and suffered side effects including brain cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, angiosarcoma, Raynaud’s syndrome, scleroderma, cholangiocarcinoma or acroosteolysis you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Cholangiocarcinoma is a cancer of the bile ducts, which drain bile from the liver into the small intestine. It is a relatively rare cancer, with an annual incidence of 1-2 cases per 100,000 in the Western world (each year, approximately 2,000 to 3,000 new cases are diagnosed in the United States) but rates of cholangiocarcinoma have been rising worldwide over the past several decades.

Surgery is the only potentially curative treatment, but most patients have advanced and inoperable disease at the time of diagnosis. After surgery, adjuvant chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be given to increase the chances of cure. Patients with advanced and inoperable cholangiocarcinoma are generally treated with chemotherapy and palliative care measures. Areas of ongoing medical research in cholangiocarcinoma include the use of newer targeted therapies (such as erlotinib) and the use of photodynamic therapy.

The most common symptom of cholangiocarcinoma is jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin), which occurs when bile ducts are blocked by the tumor. Other common symptoms include, in order of frequency: generalized itching (66%), abdominal pain (30%-50%), weight loss (30%-50%), and fever (up to 20%). To some extent, the symptoms depend upon the location of the tumor; patients with cholangiocarcinoma in the extrahepatic bile ducts (outside the liver) are more likely to have jaundice, while those with tumors of the bile ducts within the liver often have pain without jaundice.

Blood tests of liver function in patients with cholangiocarcinoma often reveal a so-called “obstructive picture”, with elevated bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma glutamyl transferase levels and relatively normal transaminase levels. Such laboratory findings suggest obstruction of the bile ducts, rather than inflammation or infection of the liver, as the primary cause of the jaundice.

Surgical resection offers the only potential chance of cure in cholangiocarcinoma. The odds of cure vary depending on the tumor location and whether the tumor can be completely, or only partially, removed.

Distal cholangiocarcinomas (those arising from the common bile duct) are generally treated with a Whipple procedure; long-term survival rates range from 15%-25%, although one series reported a five year survival of 54% for patients with no involvement of the lymph nodes. Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (those arising from the bile ducts within the liver) are usually treated with partial hepatectomy.

Various series have reported survival estimates after surgery ranging from 22%-66%; the outcome may depend on involvement of lymph nodes and completeness of the surgery. Perihilar cholangiocarcinomas (those occurring near where the bile ducts exit the liver) are least likely to be operable. When surgery is possible, they are generally treated with an aggressive approach often including removal of the gallbladder and potentially part of the liver. In patients with operable perihilar tumors, reported 5-year survival rates range from 20%-50%.

The prognosis may be worse for patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis who develop cholangiocarcinoma, likely because the cancer is not detected until it is advanced. Some evidence suggests that outcomes may be improving with more aggressive surgical approaches and adjuvant therapy.

It has been determined by The Department of Health and Human Services, The International Agency for Research on Cancer and The Environmental Protection Agency that vinyl chloride and its derivatives including polyvinyl chloride are carcinogenic to humans.

Because cancers that result from vinyl chloride exposure usually do not show up for over 20 years, many who were exposed to vinyl chloride in the 1970?s may still be at risk for developing cancer.

Have you or someone you love been injured by exposure to vinyl chloride, Polyvinyl Chloride PVC or plastics and suffered side effects including brain cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, angiosarcoma, Raynaud’s syndrome, scleroderma, cholangiocarcinoma or acroosteolysis you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Trust Bagolie Friedman Injury Lawyers to fight for your rights and obtain the justice you deserve. We offer aggressive representation and free consultations.

Have you or someone you love been injured by exposure to vinyl chloride, Polyvinyl Chloride PVC or plastics? Trust Bagolie Friedman Injury Lawyers to fight for your rights and obtain the justice you deserve. We offer aggressive representation and free consultations.

We are personal injury and workers’ compensation trial lawyers. Contact us now for a free, confidential and no risk consultation if you have questions about any type of accident, injury, disability, workers’ compensation or disease claim. Whatever legal problem you have, our personal injury attorneys want to help.

This resource offers information on a wide variety of personal injury case types and is intended to help injury victims find the information they need to understand their legal rights and make informed decisions. If you would like to discuss a potential case please feel free to call toll free 1-866-333-3LAW (1-866-333-3529) or submit a FREE online case review.

Originally posted 2011-09-27 14:45:33.

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