Were you diagnosed with mesothelioma (malignant lung cancer) from asbestos exposure?
Mesothelioma cancer, a malignant lung cancer, is one of the deadliest diseases known to mankind. The average life span of person suffering from malignant lung cancer from the time of diagnosis until death is less than six months.
Mesothelioma cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma comes from inhaling asbestos dust particles. mesothelioma cancer eats away at the lining of your heart, stomach, and lungs then develops into a deadly cancer. mesothelioma cancer is the direct result of regular and unprotected asbestos exposure.
It’s estimated that by 2030, asbestos exposure will have caused 60,000 instances of mesothelioma cancer and around 250,000 other cancers that result in death.
People who are mostly at risk for mesothelioma cancer have worked with asbestos over the past 30 to 50 years. Unscrupulous companies knowingly exposed to asbestos their employees and day workers under the pretense of all in a day’s work.
People who have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma cancer are:
- Shipyard workers
- Asbestos mine and mill workers
- Producers of asbestos products
- Heating and construction industry workers
- Trades people
- Friends and family of the workers listed above
Asbestos exposure can be diagnosed through various tests of urine, feces, mucus, and material rinsed out of the lungs. The most common early symptoms of asbestos-exposure related diseases are fairly common but not if you have been exposed to asbestos in any way. Consult a doctor immediately then contact an expert mesothelioma lung cancer law firm to determine if you can seek legal action and receive monetary compensation for your malignant lung cancer.
Unfortunately mesothelioma cancer takes decades to develop fully and manifest, which is just now coming under the microscope 30 to 50 years later. Have you or a family member been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer.
The symptoms and the latency period of mesothelioma cancer mean that the disease is difficult to diagnosis and almost impossible to treat. Mesothelioma treatment is lacking although clinical trials are under way. But is time on your side?
If you have been exposed to asbestos and experience shortness of breath, persistent coughing, coughing with blood, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, swelling in the face or neck, weight loss, or fatigue then your doctor may suggest that you be tested for mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma testing generally includes a physical examination, a chest x-ray, and lung function tests. If necessary, a doctor may also order a CT scan and/or biopsy to confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis.
It is important to see a doctor as soon as you experience any symptoms, and even for regular checkups before any symptoms develop. Make sure that your doctor knows that you were exposed to asbestos, how long you were exposed to asbestos, and if you have ever smoked. These factors are important in determining which tests to order for a proper diagnosis of your condition and an early diagnosis of mesothelioma may significantly improve your life expectancy.
What to do after your diagnosis.
A mesothelioma diagnosis is scary and requires prompt action at a time when it can be difficult to know what to do. However, a few well placed phone calls may be able to help you extend yourmesothelioma life expectancy, suffer less and protect your family.
Your First Call Should Be to Your Close Family or Friends
Mesothelioma symptoms can be painful, a mesothelioma prognosis can be emotionally difficult, and mesothelioma treatment can be draining. Accordingly, it is important to surround yourself with close family members or friends who can offer the emotional support and practical help that you will need during your treatment.
Your Second Call Should Be to a Doctor Who Specializes in Treating Mesothelioma Patients.
After you have contacted your family and friends, you then need to find a good doctor who has experience treating mesothelioma patients. While one doctor typically leads your treatment, you may need to find an oncologist, a pulmonologist and a thoracic surgeon to participate in your treatment team.
The physician who made your mesothelioma diagnosis may be able to treat you or put you in touch with a more experienced mesothelioma doctor. If you need to find a doctor on your own then you might wish to contact the nearest hospital with a cancer facility, the American Cancer Society, or a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center.
Your Third Call Should be to an Experienced Mesothelioma Attorney
Often malignant mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure. In many cases mesothelioma could have been prevented. Therefore, in order to protect yourself and your family, it is important to contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer to discuss your case and to find out whether you may be entitled to financial damages for your injuries.
These calls won’t change your mesothelioma diagnosis. However, they may make your treatment a little easier, extend your life, and ease the burden on your family.
What is Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma (malignant-lung cancer) is caused by breathing loose asbestos particles or dust, which can then cause scarring of the mesothelium and ultimately cause cancer.Malignant-lung cancer (mesothelioma) is a disease where the cells of the mesothelium become abnormal and divide without control or order. They can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. Themalignant-lung cancer cells can also spread from their original site to other parts of the body. Most Mesothelioma cancer can affect the lungs, heart, or abdominal cavity.
The mesothelium is a membrane that covers and protects most of the internal organs of the body. It is composed of two layers of cells: One layer immediately surrounds the organ and the other layer forms a sac around it. The mesothelium produces a lubricating fluid that is released between these layers allowing moving organs (such as the beating heart and the expanding and contracting lungs) to glide easily against adjacent structures.
The mesothelium goes by different names depending on its location in the body:
- Peritoneum is the mesothelial tissue that covers most of the organs in the abdominal cavity.
- Pleura is the membrane surrounding the lungs and lines the wall of the chest cavity.
- Pericardium covers and protects the heart.
- Tunica vaginalis testis is the mesothelial tissue surrounding the male internal reproductive organs
- Tunica serosa uteri covers the internal reproductive organs in women.
Most cases of mesothelioma (malignant-lung cancer) begin in the pleura or peritoneum. Because of the long latency period, a person may not realize that he or she has the disease because it takes 30 years or more to manifest symptoms. Even if there are some signs like a cold, cough, and chest pain the symptoms are so similar to pneumonia that they are often misdiagnosed. Once the symptoms have manifested, the lifespan can be as short as a few months.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer that is difficult to treat. For many people with mesothelioma life expectancy is not long. Currently, the one year mesothelioma survival rate is about 40% and the five year survival rate is around 10%.
Mesothelioma is dangerous and often fatal because:
- Mesothelioma affects the mesothelium or thin layer of tissue that surrounds major internal organs and is, thus, hard to treat.
- Mesothelioma is often diagnosed in later stages of the disease.
- Mesothelioma is aggressive as it spreads to other parts of the body, including vital organs and lymph nodes.
However, mesothelioma patients who are diagnosed with an early stage of the cancer and who seek appropriate treatment have a better chance of survival than those diagnosed with Stage 4 mesothelioma.
Is Adenocarcinoma Cancer?
Yes, Adenocarcinoma is cancer. Adenocarcinoma is a form of cancer that develops in internal glandular tissue such as tissue found around the lungs, colon, prostate, breasts, cervix and pancreas.
Adenocarcinoma is a common cause of lung cancer is non-smokers and accounts for many cases of breast cancer.
An Adenocarcinoma prognosis depends greatly on where in the body the cancer was found and how early it was found. For that reason, it is difficult to discuss general Adenocarcinoma survival rates or Adenocarcinoma treatment options. However, there is one important commonality among Adenocarcinomas. Specifically, Adenocarcinomasymptoms typically do not appear until the disease has progressed and this makes this particular form of cancer dangerous and potentially deadly.
Malignant mesothelioma occurs in the mesothelium lining that protects many of the body’s organs. Often it occurs in the mesothelium surrounding the heart, the lungs, the abdominal cavity or the testes.
Mesothelioma symptoms often do not appear until the disease has progressed into Stage 4 mesothelioma. Even then a malignant mesothelioma diagnosis can be difficult as the symptoms often mimic other, less serious, conditions.
When a definitive mesothelioma diagnosis is made there are treatment options. However mesothelioma life expectancy is considerably shorter than it is for other types of cancer because of the late stage at which it is often diagnosed and other factors.
Mesothelioma is a serious and aggressive type of cancer that begins in the mesothelium, or the ling of the lung. Technically, mesothelioma is different from lung cancer which begins in the lungs. While the different between mesothelioma and lung cancer may seem trivial when first described, it is actually quite significant.
The differences between mesothelioma and lung cancer become apparent and significant when treatment options are considered. Since mesothelioma and lung cancer are distinct diseases they require different treatment. A proper diagnosis may lead a patient to hire a doctor experienced in treating a person with his or her particular disease and may result in a patient to make different medical decisions.
Is Asbestos in Drywall?
Drywall made and installed in modern buildings does not contain asbestos.
Unfortunately, that has not always been the case. When drywall first became available nearly a century ago, and for many decades thereafter, it did contain asbestos. When drywall became popular in homes around the middle of the 20th century, asbestos could still be found in some pieces of drywall.
Now, as the homes of the last century have aged and require repairs, contractors and other workers are at risk of being exposed to asbestos when they remodel or repair older homes or buildings. Specifically, anyone working on drywall in a home built before 1980 should be aware of the risk and should take appropriate measures to protect himself from asbestos exposure. In some cases, this may require professional asbestos removal teams. In other cases, precautionary measures such as face masks may be sufficient.
Is Adenocarcinoma Caused by Exposure to Asbestos?
Asbestos exposure may be a cause of adenocarcinoma lung cancer. Adenocarcinoma is the most common form of lung cancer and develops in the cells lining the lungs.
Adenocarcinoma can also occur in the cells lining other glandular organs. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments may all be used to fight adenocarcinoma.
Lung cancer, including adenocarcinoma lung cancer, has a lower five year survival rate than other types of cancers.
Mesothelioma Cancer Symptoms Vary By Patient
The symptoms of mesothelioma are very common to a number of other diseases which are more well-known in society. Therefore, it is not unusual for the patient to be misdiagnosed when he or she goes in displaying any or all of these symptoms. People who have worked with asbestosshould always let their doctor know so that the doctor is more aware and more conscious of the possibilities in the event that the symptoms do manifest.
Sometimes resembling viral pneumonia, pleural mesothelioma patients may also display shortness of breath, chest pain and/or persistent cough or worse-some patients show no symptoms at all. A chest x-ray may show a build-up of fluid or pleural effusion. The right lung is affected 60 percent of the time, with involvement of both lungs being seen in approximately 5 percent of patients at the time of diagnosis.
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Less common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include fever, night sweats, and weight loss. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include pain or swelling in the abdomen due to a build-up of fluid, nausea, weight loss, bowel obstruction, anemia, or swelling of the feet.
The most common early symptoms of asbestos-related diseases are:
- Blood in the sputum (fluid)
- A cough or a change in cough pattern
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the chest or abdomen
- Weight loss
Mesothelioma patients and their loved ones often have a lot of questions about this form of cancer, not the least of which is what they should expect next and how much pain they should expect to suffer. While every patient is unique and experiences mesothelioma pain in a different way, it is important to know that mesothelioma is generally a painful form of cancer.
Mesothelioma Symptoms and Treatment May Cause Pain
Often pain is the first symptom that someone may have mesothelioma. Mesothelioma symptoms may include chest pain, upper back pain and a painful cough.
Additionally, surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation may all be used to treat mesothelioma and may all cause pain of their own
Mesothelioma Pain Treatment
Mesothelioma patients suffer enough. Doctors will often try to manage their pain to the greatest extent possible. For example, different medications including over the counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen may be recommended or prescription drugs such as oxycodone, morphine or codeine may be prescribed.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, or if you have watched someone you love suffer from mesothelioma, please contact Monheit Law for a confidential consultation on your malignant-lung cancer lawsuit.
As far as cancer goes, mesothelioma is a relatively rare form of the disease.
According to Massachusetts General Hospital, approximately 2,000 – 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year.
Why Mesothelioma is Relatively Rare
Malignant mesothelioma is almost always caused by asbestos exposure. The majority of mesothelioma cases occur in people that have worked with asbestos. However, a mesothelioma diagnosis may also affect people who live in homes with asbestos or who live with people who have worked with asbestos.
A Rare Cancer with a Big Reputation
Despite its relative rare occurrence, mesothelioma is a cancer that is well known. There are several reasons for this. First, mesothelioma is generally preventable if a person is not exposed to asbestos. Second, mesothelioma is hard to diagnosis early and is often associated with a short life expectancy when a Stage 4 mesothelioma is made.
Finally, part of the reason that mesothelioma is well known is that mesothelioma patients and their families are willing to speak out about the disease. If you, or a loved one, have been diagnosed with mesothelioma then please contact Monheit Law for a confidential consultation on yourmesothelioma lawsuit.
The last stage of Mesothelioma cancer is the most advanced. In stage 4, the cancer has metastasized to the brain, the abdomen, and other organs of the abdominal and chest cavity away from the original tumor site. Life expectancy is not good.
Mesothelioma stage 4 can be determined through a number of different ways.
Mesothelioma cancer has four different stages. The newest way or system used to determine a stage is called the Brigham System which categorizes Mesothelioma according to whether or not tumors can be removed by surgery, and whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
The oldest of all cancer staging systems is the Butchart System which categorizes Mesotheliomabased on the size and spread of the primary tumor.
The TNM System is newer than the Butchart System but older than the Brigham System. It categorizes cancer based on three factors — the size of the tumor, whether the cancer has spread from its point of origin to nearby lymph nodes, and whether the cancer has metastasized. TNM System may be used to stage pleural and peritoneal Mesothelioma. Like the other systems, the TNM System uses four stages but is more complex since subcategories define the size of tumors and other factors.
Patients with stage 4 have few treatment options due to the spread of cancer to multiple locations. Tumors have penetrated too deeply into organs and tissues to be removed. Stage 4 patients are will lack strength to withstand the physical strain of surgery.
Stage 4 Mesothelioma symptoms include: abdominal pain, severe abdomen fluid buildup, weight loss, blood clots in veins and lungs, jaundice, low blood sugar levels, and fluid in the lungs.
In severe cases, a person may have many tumor masses or a collapsed lung.
Stage 4 treatments are limited to non-surgical palliative treatments that are performed to relieve symptoms of the disease. It’s important that the patient’s family support his or her emotional needs at this time.
What is Mesothelioma Life Expectancy?
There is a lot of information shared with you when a diagnosis of mesothelioma is made.
Doctors may discuss treatment options, follow up appointments and potential causes of the illness. However, there is likely one question that you want answered more than any other and that is: what is mesothelioma life expectancy?
Mesothelioma Life Expectancy
It is important to know that people with mesothelioma, like people with other diseases, have varied life expectancies. Your doctor is in the best position to give you an accurate life expectancy based on the stage of your mesothelioma cancer, the type of mesothelioma that you have, your age and other factors.
Generally, mesothelioma does not present symptoms until it is at an advanced stage and it is a difficult type of cancer to treat. Thus, according to the American Cancer Society, patients diagnosed with mesothelioma have an average of 4-18 months to live, though individual patients may live longer. It is estimated that between 5 and 10% of people diagnosed with mesothelioma live five or more years after their diagnosis.
National Cancer Institute
United States government site with a plethora of links to related malignant mesothelioma sites.
American Cancer Society
Comprehensive information for all things cancer including mesothelioma
Association of Cancer Online Resources
ACOR provides support, information, and community to anyone affected by cancer and related disorders.
An international scientific society which focuses on respiratory and critical care medicine.
Canadian Cancer Society
Canadian-based cancer related research
Online Resources & Foundations for Childhood Cancer
Mesothelioma_Centers Medical centers that specialize in the problems presented by mesothelioma cancer diangosis and treatments. The list includes Mesothelioma Cancer Treatment Centers and Cancer Centers with Mesothelioma Clinical Trials.
A Guide To Mesothelioma Cancer Lawsuits
Asbestos at work
It can be overwhelming and frightening to learn that you have been exposed to asbestos at work. While you are powerless to change what has happened, you do have control over what happens in the future and there are steps that you can take to protect yourself.
Specifically, it is important to:
Talk with your employer to ensure that steps are taken to prevent further asbestos exposure. The effects of asbestos exposure are cumulative. You have a higher risk of developing an asbestos related disease, such as asbestosis or mesothelioma, if you have continued exposure to asbestos fibers. Thus, you and your employer should be on the same page about how to protect against further exposure.
Find a doctor who has experience with asbestos related diseases. Not all doctors have experience treating people who have been exposed to asbestos and the symptoms of asbestosis and mesothelioma can be subtle. In order to protect yourself, it is important to find a doctor who knows what asbestosis and mesothelioma symptoms to look for and what diagnostic tests to perform so that any asbestos related diseases can be caught and treated early. Early detection and early treatment may be your best chance at survival.
If you know someone who was exposed to asbestos at work, please share this page with him so that he can do what he can to protect himself from the potentially dangerous effects of asbestos.
However, certain workers at certain times in our nation’s history have been more likely to be exposed to asbestos fibers than other workers.
For example, we know that construction workers, maritime shipbuilders, and September 11 World Trade Center rescue workers may have all been exposed to asbestos.
While tests cannot measure how much asbestos was inhaled, it is possible to test for the effects of asbestos exposure. Individuals who may have been exposed to asbestos and who experience symptoms of asbestos related diseases such as persistent coughs, difficulty breathing, weight loss or other symptoms may be tested for mesothelioma, asbestosis, or adenocarcinoma.
When was Asbestos banned in the US?
Asbestos is a known carcinogenic that can result in a deadly form of cancer known as mesotheliomaand other serious health conditions such as asbestosis. The potential health effects of asbestos have been known for about a century, yet the United States has not yet issued a complete ban on asbestos.
The US Government Regulates, But Has Not Banned, Asbestos
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began to regulate asbestos in the 1970s through the Clean Air Act and Toxic Substances Control Act. While some use of asbestos was limited by those laws, a ban was not suggested at that time. In 1989, the EPA issued regulations that would ban asbestos in the United States. However, a Federal Court of Appeals in New Orleans overturned the regulations a few years later. As a result, new uses of asbestos were banned in the United States, but many old uses remain legal today.
Lack of Asbestos Ban Creates Dangers for Workers
Workers, and others, in the United States remain at risk for mesothelioma and other asbestos related conditions because of the lack of a ban on this toxic substance. Mesothelioma symptoms may take decades to appear. Once symptoms do appear, a mesothelioma prognosis is often grim. Mesothelioma life expectancies are typically only a few years, or less, from the time of diagnosis.
What to Do if You Have Mesothelioma
United States law does not ban all uses of asbestos, your employer decided to use the dangerous substance and you are suffering from malignant mesothelioma as a result. If you suspect that you have mesothelioma then it is important to get prompt mesothelioma treatment. Treatment can help extend your life and maintain your quality of life. It is also important to contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer who will work hard to protect your financial interests and your family when your employer and your government failed to protect you.
Very small amounts of asbestos inhaled into the lungs can result in mesothelioma decades later. However, the risk of developing mesothelioma or other complications is thought to increase with the amount of asbestos that you breathe in.
Since you can’t go back and change what happened, since you are powerless to now insist on better safety provisions or to choose another profession, it is important to recognize that you are at risk of developing asbestos related diseases even if your exposure was limited.
There are at least six different types of asbestos, three of which were commonly used in the manufacturing trades. Those three include a white asbestos known as Chyrsotile, a brown asbestos known as Amosite, and a blue asbestos known as Crocidolite.
While asbestos may be natural, do not let that trick you into believing that it is safe. They are plenty of naturally occurring minerals, foods, plants and other things that are harmful and poisonous. Despite the reassuring connotation of the word “natural” it is not synonymous with safe.
Why is Asbestos Harmful Now?
The use of asbestos has been limited, controlled and regulated in the United States since 1970. Yet, asbestos still remains a significant risk for many Americans and may cause serious diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.
Why is Asbestos Harmful Now – More Than Four Decades After Regulations Were Put in Place?
There are a few reasons why asbestos remains harmful despite the increase in regulations over the past few decades. Those reasons include:
- It often takes several decades, or more, for the health effects of asbestos to become apparent.That means that people may have been exposed to the dangerous asbestos fibers before strict regulations were in place and may suffer from asbestos related diseases now or in the years to come.
- Many products that contain asbestos are still in use. Buildings, cars, boats and other structures or goods that contain asbestos may still be used and may pose a threat to public health, especially if the asbestos is disturbed or released into the air.
- Asbestos containing structures may not be safely and properly demolished and asbestos particles may be released into the air.
If you think that you may have been exposed to asbestos recently, or in the distant past, please let your doctor know so that he or she may properly screen you for asbestos related diseases and warn you of symptoms that require prompt medical treatment.