From Philadelphia Flyers’ employees suing the organization after developing a rare blood cancer to experts proposing a new name for low-risk prostate cancer and an actor on Disney+’s “The Mandolorian” dying of cancer, here’s what is happening in the cancer space this week.
Two Philadelphia Flyers employees sue the organization after receiving cancer diagnoses.
Jim McCrossin, the Flyers’ director of medical services, and Sal Raffa, the team’s assistant athletic trainer are pursuing legal action against the professional hockey team after they received diagnoses of a rare blood cancer which they claim is related to exposure to chemicals emitted from the Zambonis at the Flyers Training Center in Voorhees, New Jersey. The lawsuit claims that the Zambonis idle in the Zamboni room — a space that reportedly lacks adequate ventilation — which is near the training room where McCrossin and Raffa work.
McCrossin was diagnosed with essential thrombocythemia and myelofibrosis, both types of myeloproliferative neoplasms, while Raffa was diagnosed with thrombocythemia as well.
“The safety of our employees and guests at the Flyers Training Center and all of our facilities is always a top priority for us,” the Flyers said in a statement. “We have looked into the allegations made by Jim McCrossin and Sal Raffa over the course of several months, and, based on that, believe that their claims have no merit. Beyond that, we cannot comment further given that this matter is in litigation.”
Experts propose a renaming for low-risk prostate cancer.
A team of experts recently published an editorial in the Journal of Clinical Oncology suggesting that the term “cancer” be taken out of the nomenclature for patients with low-risk prostate cancer, a disease that most patients survive, because it behaves like a precancer (rather than a cancer) and is often overtreated, according to the article.
“A major contributing factor to overdiagnosis and overtreatment is the designation of a particular pattern of low-grade cellular changes in the prostate cancer, which, in our view, should not be called cancer,” they wrote. “A simple terminology change for these lesions and removal of the cancer label would dramatically reduce overdiagnosis and overtreatment and markedly change the cost-benefit calculus of (prostate-specific antigen) screening.”
Rio Hackford, the stepson of Helen Mirren and an actor on the show “The Mandalorian,” dies of uveal melanoma.
Last week, the 51-year-old actor Rio Hackford, who is known for his roles in “The Mandalorian,” “Treme” and “American Crime Story,” died. In a statement shared with PEOPLE on April 19, Hackford’s stepmother, actress Helen Mirren, and his father, director Taylor Hackford, revealed that his cause of death was uveal melanoma — a rare form of cancer that occurs in the eyes.
"Rio died of uveal melanoma, a very aggressive and rare form of cancer," the couple said in their statement. "We would beg everyone reading this to get their eyes tested at least once a year, which might save their loved ones from this cancer."
Ten-year-old boy with brain cancer was sworn in as an honorary member of the NYPD.
Devarjaye “DJ” Daniel, a 10-year-old with grade 3 anaplastic ependymoma, which is a fast-growing cancer at the base of the brain and spine, was recently sworn into the New York City Police Department (NYPD) on Wednesday.
Heading to New York was part of his quest to become an honorary member of 100 law enforcement agencies to honor 7-year-old Abigail Arias who died of cancer and dreamed of working in law enforcement and to raise awareness for childhood cancer.
“I do appreciate everyone coming out to support him. This is exactly why he has the push to fight harder,” DJ’s father, Theodis Daniel said in February. “(He) knows the severity of his cancer, but he is not letting it set him back or anything.”
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