Heather Von St James

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Heather Von St. James (born January 5, 1969) is an American cancer survivor, cancer research advocate, and blogger. Von St. James serves as a mesothelioma research funding advocate and conference speaker for the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization and Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.[1][2]

Von St. James was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in 2005 at the age of 36. She received her diagnosis just after the birth of her first child, Lily.[3]

In February 2006, Von St. James underwent extensive thoracic surgery, known as extrapleural pneumonectomy, with adjuvant intra-operative heated chemotherapy under the care of thoracic surgeon Dr. David J. Sugarbaker at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. She was declared cancer-free later that year.

Von St. James’ recovery from the disease is clinically unique because malignant mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive cancer typically diagnosed in older patients that, even with treatment, has a 6 to 9 month median survival rate.[4] Mesothelioma, commonly caused by exposure to asbestos, typically only manifests after a 25-30-year latency period following exposure.[5]


  1. ^ "2012 Symposium Video Presentations". 2012 International Mesothelioma Symposium. Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. 
  2. ^ Reinstein, Linda. "Heather Von St. James, Mesothelioma Warrior, ADAO Conference Interview". Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Pheifer, Pat (27 August 2008). "A rare survival story in a brush with a rare and deadly cancer". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  4. ^ "Malignant Mesothelioma". National Cancer Institute. National Cancer Institute. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  5. ^ Berkowitz, Ben (11 May 2012). "Special Report: The long, lethal shadow of asbestos". Reuters. Retrieved 13 August 2012. 

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