Each year in the United States, there are approximately 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs, heart, and/or abdomen, is primarily caused by asbestos exposure. In fact, mesothelioma is mainly diagnosed in older individuals who worked or regularly came in contact with asbestos in an industrial setting.
If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma 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 asbestosand depends upon several factors, including the type and level of one’s exposure.
One’s prognosis typically depends on a number of different factors including:
- The stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis – undoubtedly, those who are diagnosed early have the greatest chances of survival, as they have more treatment options and a better outlook.
- The specific type of mesothelioma – as noted above, mesothelioma can affect the lungs, abdominal wall and heart. Depending on the specific location of mesothelioma in addition to the cells involved (whether epithelioid, sarcomatoid, and biphasic), these altogether affect a person’s prognosis. Typically, those who are diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma have a more favorable prognosis than those suffering from pleural or pericardial mesothelioma.
- The person’s age and overall health – for those who are younger and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, having a healthy lifestyle gives you a greater chance of success than those who are older and in poor health.
While mesothelioma patients typically live only one to two years after being diagnosed, recent research and advancements in medicine have led to progress in terms of earlier detection, diagnosis, and a variety of different treatment options. Although mesothelioma can be a challenging diagnosis, there is hope. Don’t fight cancer alone and without the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Contact Stern Law, PLLC to receive the skilled and compassionate legal representation you need.
Were You Diagnosed with Mesothelioma? Contact Stern Law, PLLC Today
At Stern Law, PLLC, we understand the complexities associated with a mesothelioma diagnosis, and want to help. We take the time you need to review your case, determine the sources of your exposure, and develop a plan of action to 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.