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ADAO's March 29 Conference Unites Survivors, Families and Physicians
Date:3/14/2008

ncer and other respiratory diseases. It can take anywhere from 10 to 50 years before the problem is realized and often it is misdiagnosed. Asbestos exposure causes lung cancer and causes twice the risk for getting colon cancer.

According to environmental and asbestos expert Michael R. Harbut, MD, MPH, FCCP, "There is no such thing as a safe level of exposure to asbestos fibers. Each and every fiber causes an increased risk of unnecessary suffering and unnecessary death."

Dr. Harbut is co-director of the National Center for Vermiculite and Asbestos-Related Cancers, created by the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, in affiliation with Wayne State University.

There are 4,000 to 8,000 new cases of mesothelioma per year in the United States and the only known cause is asbestos. This is the smallest percentage of asbestos-related cancers. Tens of thousands of more people will die from lung cancer, asbestosis and other cancers related to asbestos.

On any given day, Gary Stevens' home in Shelby Township, Michigan, has flags waving proudly from the flagpole in the front yard -- a United States flag and a Prisoner of War flag. There is no doubt that Stevens has a love for his country and those who serve it.

Stevens, 60 years old, is the vice president and acting president of Vietnam Veterans Association Chapter 133, in Oakland County. He served three years in Vietnam in the United States Navy Special Forces and was part of the Explosive Ordinance Disposal, a special team that worked with ammunition.

For the past 30 years, Stevens has been working maintenance at a cemetery, doing anything from digging grave sites to crematorium duties. He currently works full-time during the day at the cemetery and has another full-time job working the night shift at a department store. In addition, he is a compassionate volunteer advocate, not only for veterans but also for his
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SOURCE Karmanos Cancer Institute
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