Hearing the words “you have mesothelioma” can be extremely frightening, leaving many victims without knowing where to turn next. Mesothelioma is a serious and rare form of cancer that, directly linked with exposure to asbestos, can attack the lining of the lungs, heart and/or abdomen. Mesothelioma is mainly diagnosed in older individuals who worked or regularly came in contact with asbestos in an industrial setting or who used products containing asbestos.
If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma or some other asbestos-related condition as a result, we can help. At Stern Law, PLLC, we provide compassionate yet zealous advocacy for those who have been injured due to asbestos. To learn more about your legal options, call (844) 808-7529 to schedule your free consultation. We look forward to making a difference for you.
Types of Mesothelioma
There are three types of mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma, all of which are further described as follows:
- Pleural mesothelioma – pleural mesothelioma is the most common of the three types of the disease with nearly 2,500 new cases diagnosed per year. Specifically, pleural mesothelioma attacks the lining, or pleura, of the lungs, and accounts for roughly 80% of all mesothelioma cases. When an individual has been heavily exposed to asbestos over a long time period (i.e., has inhaled asbestos leading to asbestos fibers becoming embedded in the pleura), it can lead to chronic inflammation, scar tissue, and may ultimately cause tumors to form in the lungs. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include chest or lower back pain, a persistent cough, coughing up blood, trouble swallowing, shortness of breath, fluid buildup around the lungs, hoarseness, difficulty talking, and blood clots.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma – peritoneal mesothelioma is a rarer form of cancer, with about 500 new cases diagnosed per year in the United States. This type of mesothelioma affects the abdominal lining, or peritoneum, and accounts for approximately 20% of all mesothelioma cases. Due to its location, peritoneal mesothelioma is sometimes referred to as abdominal mesothelioma. Scientists believe that after continuous and ongoing exposure to asbestos, the fibers first enter the lungs and then travel to the abdominal cavity via the lymphatic system. Further theories posit that peritoneal mesothelioma can also develop in the event that asbestos is accidentally ingested due to regularly working with the substance. Symptoms of this disease include abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite and/or weight loss, weakness, fever, anemia, nausea and vomiting.
- Pericardial mesothelioma – the least common type of mesothelioma, this disease develops in the lining, or pericardium, of the heart, and accounts for less than 50 cases diagnosed per year in the United States. Unlike pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, it is unclear as to how asbestos fibers reach the pericardium. Often mimicking other diseases, pericardial mesothelioma causes the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, heart murmurs, fatigue, fluid buildup around the heart, swelling of the extremities, heart arrhythmias, a more prominent jugular vein, and accentuated variance in the pulse during respiration.
For all of the above forms of mesothelioma, symptoms of the disease can start anywhere between 10 and 50 years after exposure to asbestos and depends upon several factors, including the type and level of one’s exposure.
What are My Treatment Options?
Once you are diagnosed with mesothelioma and it is established where the disease is located within your body, your doctor can develop a plan of treatment specifically tailored to address your condition. Overall, your treatment options depend upon how advanced your condition is, as the sooner you detect mesothelioma and start treatment, the greater your chances of success. Accordingly, the following is a list of the most common treatment options for mesothelioma:
- Surgery – surgery can be a life-saving treatment option, as there are a variety of different surgical techniques that can be life extending or, in some cases, curative. Moreover, surgery can also be used for pain relief or for diagnostic purposes. In any of these instances, recovery can last several weeks and may be combined with other treatment options.
- Chemotherapy – chemotherapy is a treatment option for mesothelioma victims of all stages. Meaning, for those in the earlier stages, or for individuals with advanced forms of the disease, chemotherapy can be an effective treatment. Chemotherapy is often combined with other forms of treatment to give someone the most fighting chances of survival.
- Radiation – radiation therapy can be used before or after surgery to help shrink the size of tumors and kill any remaining cancer cells in the body. Like other treatment options, radiation is often combined with additional techniques to help enhance one’s chances of survival.
- Multimodal treatment – multimodal treatment involves aggressive surgical options combined with other methods such as chemotherapy and radiation, which often increase the life expectancy of mesothelioma victims.
- Clinical trials – these offer patients access to new and emerging forms of treatment such as immunotherapy, gene therapy, and photodynamic therapy.
Call Stern Law, PLLC Now to Preserve Your Legal Rights
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma or some other asbestos-related disease, we want to make a difference for you. At Stern Law, PLLC, our seasoned and compassionate team of asbestos exposure attorneys will take the time you need to review your case, determine the sources of your exposure, and develop a plan of action to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact Stern Law, PLLC today at (844) 808-7529 to schedule your free consultation with one of our seasoned mesothelioma attorneys. At Stern Law, PLLC, if you’re not successful, we’re not successful, as getting you the maximum amount of compensation is our bottom line. Call us now to learn more about your legal options.