DES Breast Cancer Lawsuit
Are you a DES (diethylstilbestrol) Daughter? Did you take DES while you were pregnant? If so, and you were diagnosed with breast cancer, DES could be to blame. Breast cancer is just one of the many health problems related to this dangerous synthetic estrogen.
Between 1938 and 1971, millions of pregnant women were given DES to prevent miscarriage and premature birth. Today, many of these women and their daughters continue to grapple with DES health problems. If you were exposed to DES and developed breast cancer, you may be eligible to file a DES breast cancer lawsuit. Our DES breast cancer lawyers are offering free case evaluations to victims of this drug, so please call us today to protect your legal rights.
History of DES
DES (diethylstilbestrol) is a synthetic form of estrogen, a female hormone. It was prescribed between 1938 and 1971 to help women with certain complications of pregnancy. Use of DES declined - but did not stop - following studies in the 1950s that showed it was not effective in preventing pregnancy complications. When given during the first 5 months of a pregnancy, DES can interfere with the development of the reproductive system in a fetus.
In 1971, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Drug Bulletin advising physicians to stop prescribing DES to pregnant women. The FDA warning was based on a study published in 1971 that identified DES as a cause of a rare vaginal cancer called clear cell adenocarcinoma in girls and young women who had been exposed to DES before birth. Since then, DES has been linked to even more disorders, and even now, more than three decades after the FDA issued its DES warning, all of the health consequences of DES exposure are not known.
Between 5 and 10 million women were treated with DES before the 1971 Drug Bulletin was issued. It is estimated that as many as 2 million DES daughters are at risk for breast cancer and other health problems related to their exposure. Many of these people are not aware that they were exposed to DES. People who think that they or their mothers were exposed to DES can contact the attending physician or the hospital where the delivery took place to request a review of the medical records. The Centers for Disease Control's DES Update website also provides a Self-Assessment Guide featuring a series of questions designed to help individuals assess their likelihood of DES exposure.
DES and Breast Cancer
Breast cancer strikes over 180,000 women per year and more than 40,000 die from the disease each year. According to the National Cancer Institute, 16 percent of women prescribed DES during pregnancy developed breast cancer, in comparison with 13 percent of women not prescribed DES. Therefore, it is estimated that one in six women who were prescribed DES will develop breast cancer, whereas one in eight women in the general population will develop the disease.
Until recently the majority of DES Daughters were too young to determine whether DES exposure increased their risk of breast cancer. However, a recent study provides initial results linking exposure to DES before birth with increased rates of breast cancer (Palmer, 2002). The study found that among study participants, DES Daughters were more likely to experience breast cancer than were unexposed women. DES Daughters had a relative risk of 1.4 (40% higher incidence of breast cancer). However, the finding was not statistically significant, which means that the increased rate of breast cancer could have been the result of chance.
The study did find that, in study participants over 40, DES Daughters were two-and-a-half times more likely than unexposed women to be diagnosed with breast cancer. The results for women over 40 were statistically significant (not likely to be due to chance). DES Daughters under 40 years of age did not experience an increased risk of breast cancer. The increased risk association was present for all breast cancer risk factors examined, and did not differ by tumor receptor status, tumor size, or lymph node involvement.
Legal Help for Victims of DES Breast Cancer
Parker Waichman LLP is one of the preeminent personal injury law firms in the US. Parker Waichman LLP is listed in Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. The attorneys of Parker Waichman LLP are also the authors of "Personal Injury Law for Dummies,” an easy-to-understand guide to all aspects of personal injury law.
If you were diagnosed with breast cancer, and are a DES Mother or a DES Daughter, you may be entitled to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. If you are interested in filing a DES breast cancer lawsuit, please fill out our online form or call 1-800 LAW INFO (1-800-529-4636) today.