Forming on the protective lining of the lungs and abdomen, malignant mesothelioma is a rare, asbestos-related cancer. Currently, there isn’t a cure. However, there are constant advancements and also new therapies to help improve survival statistics.
Different Types of Mesothelioma
Each type of mesothelioma depends on the location in the body where it develops. Prognosis, symptoms and treatment options vary by type. The pleural and peritoneal types of mesothelioma are the most common, while pericardial accounts for just 1% of cases. Testicular mesothelioma does exist, but it is really rare. It accounts for less than 1% of all mesothelioma cases.
Developing in the cells of the outer and inning lung linings, Pleural Mesothelioma is the most common type of asbestos-related cancer.
- This is the most common type.
- It forms on soft tissue covering the lungs.
- Treatment includes a multimodal approach (a combination of approaches)
- Symptoms: Shortness of breath, chest pain, dry cough
Developing in the lining of the abdomen, Peritoneal Mesothelioma results in roughly 250 to 500 new cases in the U.S. each year. It is the second-most common mesothelioma type. The peritoneum is a protective membrane that surrounds the abdomen. It has two layers, and mesothelioma can also develop on both.
- Less than 20% of all cases
- It develops on lining surrounding the abdomen.
- Treatment includes surgery and heated chemotherapy
- Symptoms: Abdominal pain, bowel obstruction, diarrhea
With Pericardial Mesothelioma, cancer develops in the thin membrane surrounding the heart or pericardium. Surgery and chemotherapy can help extend prognosis while therapy can control symptoms like pericardial effusion.
- This is the rarest type.
- It forms on soft tissue around the heart.
- Treated with a multimodal approach (a combination of approaches)
- Symptoms: Heart palpitations, chest pain, murmurs
Decades after Exposure Symptoms Can Occur
Mesothelioma can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years after asbestos exposure before symptoms appear. This is why doctors diagnose a majority of patients when they are older. Around 75% of cases involve men exposed to asbestos while serving in the military or from certain blue collar jobs.
These jobs include:
- Industrial settings
- Navy Veterans
- Shipyard Workers
Lung Cancer from Asbestos Exposure
Mesothelioma is not the only cancer traced to asbestos exposure. Eighty perfect of lung cancer cases in the United States are from smoking cigarettes. However, 4% of cases come from breathing in asbestos. Asbestos enters the lungs via inhalation and becomes permanent. In pleural mesothelioma it migrates into the pleura cells and over many decades causes cancer in the mesothelial cells. In lung cancer, it’s presence directly in the lung itself as an irritant that cannot be destroyed or expelled. Thus, this causes lung cancer.
Many doctors use the Helsinki Criteria in determining if lung cancer came from asbestos exposure. This means that there is a latency of at least 10 years, other asbestos-related diseases, asbestos tissue on the lungs and traceable asbestos exposure.
Potential Exposure in California Drinking Water
Early in October 2017, a series of wildfires started burning across northern California. Over twenty small burns turned into major fires that torched almost 250,000 acres and caused almost 100,000 people to evacuate from their homes. Almost 50 people died and almost 200 are in the hospital, thus making the week of October 8, 2017, the deadliest week of wildfires in California history.
Now, agencies are cleaning up the debris. Among the debris is deadly asbestos. It is almost the rainy season in California, and officials are concerned this hazardous material could run into streams, rivers, and eventually the drinking water supply. Sonoma County alone has over 600 streams that pass through the burn zones. These streams flow into the Russian River. This is the primary drinking water supply for Sonoma and Marin counties and provides water to hundreds of thousands of people.
Four Stages of Mesothelioma
Presently, there are four different stages of mesothelioma cancer. Each stage brings a different prognosis. During the early stages, tumors are localized. However, in the later stages, it is likely that cancer has spread throughout the body. Currently, there is no official stage for pericardial or testicular mesothelioma.
Symptoms Worsen with Each Stage
In the early stages of mesothelioma, the symptoms can be so mild that few people notice. Unfortunately, many don’t realize it is something serious until the cancer is late staged. Early symptoms include fatigue and slight pain around the tumor surface. However, in later stages, the symptoms can include shortness of breath, chronic pain near the tumor, weight loss, fluid buildup or bowel obstruction.
Stage 1: This is the earliest stage. Cancer stays to one side of the body and hasn’t spread. There are the most treatment options at this stage.
Stage 2: Even though mesothelioma is localized to one side of the body, signs of metastasis to nearby lymph nodes are appearing. However, there are aggressive treatment options.
Stage 3: The first significant signs of metastasis exist. Mesothelioma has spread to lymph nodes and surrounding organs. Unfortunately, surgical options become limited.
Stage 4: Mesothelioma has spread to the other side of the body. Also, treatment options for stage 4 patients primarily involve relieving symptoms.
A doctor uses many different tools to diagnose mesothelioma.
- CT scans
- Pet scans
- Fluid biopsy
- Tissue biopsy
Treatment is especially expensive, and insurance companies also may not cover the cost everything. If you don’t have medical insurance, treatment can be very difficult. If a doctor diagnosed you or a loved one with Mesothelioma, you may need assistance. It is also important to note that companies could have prevented your asbestos-related cancer. These corporations mined, manufactured and sold asbestos products that put profits over the health of you. Our legal system exists to hold these people accountable.
Mesothelioma Bankruptcy Trusts
Asbestos manufacturers are responsible for thousands of cases of mesothelioma due to their reckless use of the carcinogenic material. Corporations will reorganize under the bankruptcy code to protect itself from future litigation for past misdeeds. While you can no longer file a lawsuit against these entities, they are required under the bankruptcy reorganization to set aside funds from their assets to pay victims.
These claims can be made without having to file a complaint, go to court, or go to trial. These claims can proceed quickly within the individual administration of each trust fund. Due to the long latency period between exposure to asbestos and an actual diagnosis, there can be decades of future mesothelioma cases caused by a company. There are over thirty different trust funds with funding of over $30 billion dollars.
Get Help with a Specialized Complex Litigation Attorney
A Complex Litigation attorney like those found at The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is critical when seeking help to cover your asbestos-related expenses. Identifying when and where you were exposed to asbestos is crucial to your lawsuit. Experienced lawyers are familiar with companies that used asbestos and know which job sites had a significant amount of asbestos use. Also, they know which products contained high concentrations of the toxic mineral.
Consultations are completely free, confidential and have no obligation. The Michael Brady Lynch Firm has successfully represented thousands of consumers and recovered millions of dollars for their clients. Our team of attorneys has been recognized as some of the most experienced and successful in the country. Our award-winning staff is also sought after for our knowledge on complex litigation, scientific evidence development, negotiation strategies and trial tactics.
Most of all, our law office is resourceful and dedicated to pursuing any compensation you are due. Because of this, we have received a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, such as inclusion on numerous Plaintiff Steering Committees. We will take whatever legal measures are necessary when fighting for your rights to damages.