Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium. The mesothelium is the tissue that surrounds the body’s internal organs. Mesothelioma usually starts in the lungs but can also be found in the abdomen or other cavities of the body. Mesothelioma is found in the lining around the lungs, heart, and stomach. Mesothelioma is a very dangerous cancer because there is still no cure. It is a rare cancer typically found in those who were exposed to asbestos. Mesothelioma happens years after exposure to asbestos. The american cancer society states that around 3,000 people per year are diagnosed with mesothelioma. Symptoms of this illness may mask themselves as symptoms of other diseases and can lead to confusion when it comes to obtaining a diagnosis. A mesothelioma diagnosis is the only true way to find out if one has this cancer. Diagnosis can happen in a plethora of ways.
What does Mesothelioma Cancer Affect?
Mesothelioma is cancer that affects the tissue lining of the lungs, heart, stomach, and other various internal organs. This tissue lining is called the mesothelium. The mesothelium acts as a protector of the organs and helps save them from abrasion and being harmed during movement. The mesothelium also helps with movement because the slippery surface allows for easy movement. Mesothelioma cancer is typically found in patients who have been exposed to asbestos. Asbestos exposure is common at the workplace. Wrongful exposure and unknowing exposure to asbestos can be sued in a court of law if diagnosed with mesothelioma. An asbestos attorney https://www.gpwlaw-mi.com/mesothelioma-lawyer/ can help you settle this in a court of law.
Asbestos was first used in the 1950s. It was marketed as a modern marvel. However, it was found that asbestos because of its fibrous consistency and durability made it even more dangerous. When ingested it cannot be broken down by the body. So instead the body attacks our own cells as an attempt to clear out the foreign object. This causes disease and even mesothelioma cancer.
How To Get A Mesothelioma Diagnosis
A mesothelioma diagnosis is a occurs when a patient believes they have contracted an asbestos related illness and is seeking a proper diagnosis for their condition.
What Is a Mesothelioma Lawyer?
A mesothelioma lawyer https://www.gpwlaw-mi.com/mesothelioma-lawyer/ is an asbestos attorney who primarily focuses their time and attention on helping victims of mesothelioma obtain financial compensation. Mesothelioma being a rare disease, also makes mesothelioma attorneys very rare in the sense that there are not that many people who will ever need their assistance.
What Is a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
A mesothelioma lawsuit is what asbestos attorneys file for their clients in order to take legal action against companies who exposed people to asbestos. Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma. For this reason, mesothelioma lawsuits mainly focus themselves around identifying where their clients were exposed and what products they used that lead to their exposure. Product identification is a massive part of mesothelioma lawsuits. With this being understood, a much simpler method of obtaining mesothelioma compensation is to focus on mesothelioma claims.
What Are Mesothelioma Claims?
Mesothelioma claims https://www.gpwlaw-mi.com/how-to-file-a-mesothelioma-claim/ are a way for mesothelioma patients to file a mesothelioma claim for financial compensation for their disease. Claims for mesothelioma can consist of a plethora of objectives, but the main goal is to ensure that the patient is fully compensated for expenses related to pain and suffering, medical, travel, funeral, workers compensation, treatment, and a few other critical bills that may appear when a patient is diagnosed with mesothelioma. One type of claim for mesothelioma is a personal injury claim.
What is a Mesothelioma Personal Injury Claim?
A mesothelioma personal injury claim is a form of lawsuit that is filed personally or on behalf of a patient with mesothelioma by a mesothelioma attorney. This form of claim typically results in a lawsuit that may either go to litigation or result in a trial.
What Is a Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim for mesothelioma occurs when the original claimant passes away from their illness. Loved ones are allowed to step in to fill their void to proceed with the case.
Why is a Mesothelioma Attorney Important?
An asbestos attorney is important as these are the core people responsible for helping mesothelioma patients with claims regarding their illness. This illness is rare and typically always terminal. There is no known cure for mesothelioma and for years it has plagued the lives of thousands of Americans. People around the nation have died due to the gross negligence of asbestos companies who knew the dangers of this carcinogen and yet still continued to produce it with products to be used in factories and other industrial settings.
Why is mesothelioma such a horrible disease?
Mesothelioma is a horrific disease as it is rare, only has one known cause, by which thousands were exposed to unknowingly, and has absolutely no known cure what so ever. This makes it very difficult for people who are diagnosed with the disease because they had no idea they were even vulnerable to being susceptible for the main cause of this illness.
Are there multiple Stages of Mesothelioma?
Yes, in-fact there are four medically known stages of mesothelioma. Each of the stages progresses quickly and treatment varies depending on the stage of the cancer. Early stages focus on trying to eliminate the cancer at its core by removing tumors and surgically removing the disease from a patient’s body. Later stages of the disease will have physicians focusing on palliative care to ensure that the patient experiences as little pain as possible. Late stage mesothelioma is regarded as stage 4 mesothelioma and is the most difficult to treat.
What is Stage Four Mesothelioma?
Stage 4 Mesothelioma https://asbestoscancer.org/stage-four-mesothelioma/ is the final stage of mesothelioma cancer. This is the most advanced stage of mesothelioma and when patients have the least life expectancy. Treatments at this stage are typically palliative to reduce the pain that patients experience. Cancers have four different life stages. The most dangerous and advanced step is the fourth stage.
In the case of mesothelioma cancer, tumors have metastasized and spread past the points of where the cancer was first rooted. This stage is definitely the most difficult because there are few treatments and the patient’s health will be in a rapid decline. The disease has usually spread too far for curative treatment. There are treatments to help slow growth and also clinical trials that can be participated in for more comfortability and longer life expectancy.
Although it is very rare and is diagnosed in less than one percent of all cases, it is possible for mesothelioma to spread to the testicles. This is called testicular mesothelioma. Specialist have little information on this form of cancer because of its rarity. This cancer forms in the lining of the testes. It is the rarest of the 4 mesothelioma types. There is only about 300 reported cases. Because of the rarity there is little research and treatment to testicular mesothelioma. Prognosis and life expectancy are unclear because of the rarity and few number of cases.
Stage Four Mesothelioma Symptoms
The rapid growth of the tumors is what causes most symptoms in stage four mesothelioma cancer. These symptoms are far more distinguishable than other stages. This is due to the growth and spread of tumors. Typically tumors are located within the chest cavity or abdomen. Growth in the lung region will cause chest pains and difficulty breathing. This will cause patients to feel uncomfortable.
Symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Weight Loss
- Fluid build up in the abdomen or chest
- Night Sweats
- Pain in chest
- Tightness in chest
Types of Mesothelioma
The mesothelium acts almost like a sack that surrounds several cavities of the body. The three cavities of the body that are affected by mesothelioma are pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial. The pleural cavity is located on the lungs; the peritoneal cavity develops in the lining of the abdominal cavity, and the pericardial is located on the heart. There is also a very rare form of mesothelioma that only involves 300 of the mesothelioma cases, testicular mesothelioma.
Treatment for Stage Four Mesothelioma
Stage 4 mesothelioma treatment usually focuses more on ensuring the patient is feeling as little pain as possible as this stage can be very troublesome. Any stage of mesothelioma treatment should be taken very serious as this condition advances quickly with little symptoms. Symptoms of late stage mesothelioma are often very severe as this final stage leads to many difficulties enjoying normal everyday life.
The extensive surgeries that were once an option usually are no longer an option at this stage. Palliative treatments are typically the only option to help extend life expectancy and give the patient more time. For example, chemotherapy and radiation therapy can reduce the size of the tumor and slow its growth.
In stage four surgery isn’t very useful because at this point the tumors have typically spread and are rapidly expanding. However, certain patients may benefit from surgical procedures. Specific tumors can be targeted if they are causing the patient insistent pain or uncomfortability. The doctor may choose to drain the fluid. This is less invasive and may help reduce pain and symptoms.
Chemotherapy is always an option in hopes to shrink and slow tumor growth. Chemotherapy can be administered through IV or pill form. Chemotherapy treatment can however be very gruesome. Chemotherapy travels through the bloodstream attacking cancer cells. Doctors have been able to increase survival rate doubling it from 6 months to 12 months on average. However chemotherapy paired with B12 and folic acid increased life survival rate to 13.3 months.
Another aggressive option that is used to shrink mesothelioma cancer cells is radiation. Radiation uses high energy particles to kill cancer cells in a directed area. Radiation is typically a very difficult treatment path for mesothelioma. Mesothelioma doesn’t usually grow as a singular, recognizable tumor. It is hard to direct the radiation on the tumor specifically without harming nearby tissue. Radiation can also be used to kill small areas that were found unable to be removed during surgery.They can also be used as palliative treatment to help ease symptoms of mesothelioma.
There are alternative therapies and supportive care that can be chosen over chemotherapy and surgery. At this stage of cancer, some patients chose this over the latter because it is the least invasive and extensive route. This includes: yoga, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and acupuncture. Supportive care could be added to treatment.
The difficulty with treatment for mesothelioma is that there is no cure. There are only ways to lengthen life expectancy. Mesothelioma is a brutal cancer that is extremely aggressive. Tumors spread rapidly and press on the patients important internal organs.
Stage Four Life Expectancy
On average, people who are in the fourth stage of mesothelioma have 6 months left to live. Doctors invented the concept of tumor grading. This was developed to help predict estimate how fast tumors would grow inside patients. There are 3 different grades, the third being the most aggressive. Grade 3 has an average survival rate of 5 months. They track grades by seeing how many times the cancer cell divides and other abnormalities. Although not all cases are the same. For patients with pleural mesothelioma whose cancer has not spread to their lymph nodes lived over 7 years on average. Patients in stage four of mesothelioma may have to use respiratory therapy, oxygen therapy, and pain medications to try and improve lung functions and pain control.
Stage 3 Mesothelioma
Stage 3 Mesothelioma https://asbestoscancer.org/stage-three-mesothelioma/ is affirmed when the cancer has spread towards the point where the lining of the lungs had begun. Although Stage 3 is not the final stage, the life expectancy of a patient is typically dependent on the amount of affected lymph nodes and response to past, present, or upcoming treatment(s). Treatments, which are generally used to reduce pain experienced by patients, are typically palliative at this stage. Despite not being the most advanced stage of Mesothelioma, Stage 3 is nonetheless a dangerous stage for patients.
In addition to the cancer being found spreading near the point of origin, the commonly infected locations are the chest wall, the diaphragm, the heart sac, and between the lungs. However, unlike Stage 4 – the final stage of mesothelioma, the tumors have not yet spread to additional organs. Stage 3 Mesothelioma may also be categorized between Stage 3A or Stage 3B.
- Stage 3A: While cancer has spread to lymph nodes and possibly to the heart sac and chest wall, tumors have also developed in areas on one side of the chest, such as the lungs, diaphragm and mediastinum. Surgery is still an option for all tumors to be removed
- Stage 3B: There are two different variations depending on the size of the tumors that developed and how much the lymph nodes are affected. Tumors are removable with surgery, even if the lymph nodes have already been affected – so long as the cancer has not spread too far. If cancer has spread immensely then ensuring complete removal may prose difficulties.
Although treatment options are not as receptive in comparison to earlier stages, Stage 3 patients may still be eligible. While results may vary, they still assist in slowing progression. With attempts to further increase life expectancy, patients may also participate in clinical trials.
Symptoms of Stage Three Mesothelioma
Compared to earlier stages, symptoms of Stage 3 Mesothelioma are much more apparent. This is primarily in part of the excessive growth of cancerous tumors throughout the body; specifically, the buildup of excess fluids, inflammation, and scarring in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart increases. While excess fluids put pressure on the abdomen’s lungs and organs, scarring and inflammation restrict lung lining movement. These factors can cause difficulty breathing.
Symptoms of Stage 3 Mesothelioma include but are not limited to:
- Shortness of breath
- Pained breathing
- Chest pain
- Weight loss
- Stomach pain
- Recurring dry cough
Stage Three Mesothelioma Treatments
Favored survival rates have been primarily achieved by those who have undergone treatments by early stages. Although most treatments past Stage 2 Mesothelioma focalize on ensuring a patient feels minimal pain as possible, patients at this stage, may still partake in tumor-removing surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or clinical trials.
Extrapleural surgery, an intense surgery for patients with pleural mesothelioma in Stage 3 Mesothelioma, is used when tumors have spread to lymph nodes and other tissues around them. While it does not remove the lung itself, the affected areas around it are removed. Additionally, a Pleuroectomy and Decortication procedure may also be performed. While less extensive, this operation depends on how much tumors have spread as it removes the lining of the affected lung and clears the chest cavity of any tumors.
Extrapleural surgery and pleurectomy display the best survival rates when combined with chemotherapy. Once a patient recovers from surgery, chemotherapy can begin – but in some cases, it can be given prior to or during surgery.
Radiation therapy is available after the surgical procedure of a patient in order to avoid local recurrence. However, when used prior to surgery, researchers have discovered that this therapy provides better survival rates.
Patients, in addition to surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, can partake in palliative treatments. These forms of care, including clinical trials and/or alternative and complementary therapies, are for patients who are not healthy enough to undergo intense treatments. Although not yet approved by the FDA, two evolving clinical treatment areas for this cancer are gene therapy and immunotherapy. In addition, therapies such as yoga, nutritional counseling, and acupuncture, help improve overall health and immune system – especially when combined with other treatments.
Patients may react differently to treatments, and although there is no known cure for mesothelioma patients may still benefit from exploring any available treatment. By doing so, a patient’s life expectancy could be lengthened.
Stage Three Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of the patient categorized as Stage 3 Mesothelioma depends not only on the stage in which they are categorized (Stage 3A or Stage 3B), but also on the response to treatment and the extent of involvement of the lymph nodes. The percentage of Stage 3 Mesothelioma patients that live at least two years is between 26 to 30 percent. Whereas the percentage of Stage 3 patients that live up to five years is between 5 to 8 percent. Although every patient’s case is different, a successful response to surgery, post-operative therapies, and keeping the mind and body as healthy as possible will generally be beneficial and help patients to live longer.
The Asbestos Cancer Organization
The asbestos cancer organization https://asbestoscancer.org/ was founded to help victims of asbestos exposure obtain new and relevant information regarding mesothelioma. The asbestos cancer organization focuses on helping mesothelioma patients with new relevant information to help them with understanding their disease better. Knowing that mesothelioma is a terminal illness is very difficult for some patients to handle. For this reason information is power here. Information related to palliative care can also help guide patients in their treatment choices as when it comes to medical advice, we do not provide any, but we are more than willing to present factual information that we know and allow patients to make their own decisions.
Popular Mesothelioma Cases
Lisa Gonneville from Maine was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the tissue lining of the abdomen. She was first diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. This diagnosis was completely inaccurate. She was having symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome such as stomach pain and cramping. She was tracking her digestion and trying to suppress the symptoms but nothing changed.
Being only 40 years old, doctors thought she was too young to have cancer. During her yearly checkup at the gynecologist, she received an ultrasound. This ultrasound revealed the very pelvis may have been full of blood. The next day they sent her in for a CT scan which is when they found the mesothelioma cancer.
Her mesothelioma was caused by ingestion to asbestos. Lisa Gonneville was exposed to mesothelioma through her father who worked as a laborer and road construction worker. She moved to Pittsburg to get the best care team possible. There is no cure but her treatment was to manage the tumors by getting chemotherapy every 3 weeks. Her only hope left was clinical trials for mesothelioma. Unfortunately Lisa Gonneville succumbed to mesothelioma at the age of 43 but was a huge advocate for mesothelioma research up until her death.
A crazy fact about mesothelioma is that, although the mortality rate of approximately 8 people per million yearly, the number of deaths per year is about equal to the new number of cases per year. That is mainly because mesothelioma is such a rigorous cancer that still has no cure. The average life expectancy for mesothelioma patients is about a year.
Mesothelioma is more frequently diagnosed in men rather than women. However, this trend is starting to shift as women now populate one-fourth all mesothelioma cases. The ratio of men vs women with mesothelioma has been the closest in the last 10 years than it has since the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results(SEER) started tracking mesothelioma in 1975.
Research studies have found that asbestos-related cancers have not peaked yet. They predict they will end up peaking in the 2020s or 2030s. However, in the U.S. it is likely that asbestos mesothelioma incidence has already occurred. This prediction is due to the link between asbestos and mesothelioma causing restrictions to be put in place by the government. The highest rate of mesothelioma in the U.S. was between 1989 to 2002. However, the rate of mesothelioma stays pretty constant in the U.S.
Mesothelioma has a very long and unusual latency period of 20-50 years. This is the primary reason most patients are diagnosed at an older age. People in the age group of 80 to 84 years old have the highest mesothelioma incidence. The next highest incidence rate group is ages 85 and up.
Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed before the age of 65 in comparison to men. It is found that there is a gap between men and women and the age they are diagnosed with mesothelioma. The reasoning behind this is still unknown.
The mesothelioma incidence for black Americans is much less than whites. Black men have a higher mesothelioma incidence in comparison to black women. However, the difference is much closer than of white males and females.
The most common mesothelioma type is pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is when asbestos is ingested into the lungs. This type had an incidence rate of 3.05 cases per 100,000 individuals. The next most common type of mesothelioma is peritoneal with .21 cases per 100,000 people.
Asbestos Hot Spots
Some states with the most cases of mesothelioma linked to industrial usage of asbestos are: Alaska, New Jersey, Washington, Maine, and West Virginia. This is due to the type of industry in these states. The majority of mesothelioma patients were exposed to asbestos on the jobsite. Communities with high rates of mesothelioma has been linked to regions that heavily rely on asbestos.
An example of an area that heavily relied on asbestos was in Manville, New Jersey. From 1912 to 1980 the Johns Manville Corporation employed a large asbestos production plant. In this borough, many residents found employment at the factory. A direct result of this was that the mesothelioma rate in Manville, New Jersey was around 25 times higher than the statewide average.
Asbestos is not just manufactured but occurs naturally as well. Areas that have naturally occurring deposits of asbestos are linked to high levels of mesothelioma cancer. California has the largest naturally occurring asbestos deposits in not just the U.S., but the world. The state also leads for the number of mesothelioma deaths in the U.S.. In 2015, the state of California had 247 mesothelioma deaths. The second most deaths was in the state of Florida with 143 deaths.
Asbestos researchers predict that the next hot spot for mesothelioma deaths is going to be New York City. When the Twin Towers collapsed on 9/11 a large amount of asbestos dust was released into the air. It is feared that mesothelioma is going to be a big problem for the first responders who were on the scene and on clean up at the World Trade Center. It is also feared that people who lived in the area during the time of the collapse would be in danger of mesothelioma.
Florida is ranked second in the U.S. for the most mesothelioma related deaths but asbestos does not naturally occur in Florida. An estimated 110,000 tons of asbestos were shipped from Libby, Montana to five cities in Florida: Boca Raton, Jacksonville, Pompano Beach, St. Petersburg and Tampa. The materials and buildings that contain asbestos are non harmful unless they are damaged or disturbed. However, many businesses have taken asbestos out of their buildings in fear of harming the public. Asbestos related lawsuits are very costly.
Pennsylvania is ranked third in the U.S. for mesothelioma deaths. Asbestos occurs naturally and was mined in Pennsylvania. The state has a very long history of mining asbestos. There were four recorded asbestos mines in the southeastern region of the state. The most dangerous type of asbestos was mined here.
Pennsylvania also once received large shipments of asbestos from Libby, Montana for over 40 years. Asbestos was used in shipbuilding, construction, and pipefitting. In January 2019 asbestos was found at a jobsite at Rockhill Quarry. Production was halted after a congressman wrote a letter to the quarry contractor urging mining to be halted. The site is currently under environmental review.
Libby, Montana and Asbestos
A mineral called vermiculite was mined from Libby, Montana all the way back in 1919. Vermiculite is used in various construction materials. However, most vermiculite contains asbestos. The vermiculite was mined for decades which has proved to be extremely toxic to those living in Libby, Montana as well as though who worked at the jobsite. The company that oversaw the mining knew the mineral contained asbestos and was dangerous to health and linked to mesothelioma, yet they contained operations without warning the public. A Mesothelioma Diagnosis https://asbestoscancer.org/mesothelioma-diagnosis/ is important.
Libby, Montana has a small population of less than 3,000, yet an estimated 400 Libby residents have died and are suffering from asbestos exposure related ailments, such as mesothelioma. The mine closed in 1990 but the devastation did not reach the public eye until in 1999 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began to clean up the area.
Following the devastation caused by asbestos mining in Libby, the EPA conducted the largest and longest running asbestos clean up project ever. Not only did the vermiculite have to be removed from libby homes and business but the mining site also had to be cleaned up. The company responsible for the mining and harm to Libby residents and workers were forced to provide 250 million dollars to cover any future clean up costs. More than 8,000 properties were investigated and clean ups occurred at around 2,600 sites.
A district court job approved on a forty-three million dollar settlement over asbestos exposure against Grace & Co.. More than 1,300 plaintiffs were awarded money for their grievances. A second major lawsuit occured in January 2017 when more than one thousand people received 25 million dollars in settlement money. The mining company is responsible for thousands of being exposed to asbestos and now some being infected with mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma in the United States
Mesothelioma has a direct link to asbestos exposure yet, asbestos use is not banned in the United States. The United States has restricted and put regulations on the use of asbestos. This is what leads researchers to estimate that mesothelioma has already hit its peak in the U.S.. The cancer takes years to develop because it has a large latency period. This means that although asbestos has been regulated, there will still be many cases that develop in the coming years.
From 2008 to 2054 a study predicted there would be about 85,000 cases of mesothelioma in the U.S.. Today, most exposure is through demolition, maintenance, and remodeling of homes built before the 1980s. Up until then asbestos products were heavily used in the insulation of homes. Many people are exposed and at risk of mesothelioma and are still unaware.
Mesothelioma in the World
Most of the world’s asbestos exposure and mesothelioma cases are from occupational exposure. In many places because of heavy regulations put in place, asbestos use is receding. Many countries have completely banned asbestos use in their country. All 28 countries in the European Union have banned the use of asbestos and asbestos products. Australia has also banned asbestos as of 2004, but prior usage is still affecting citizens in the continent. In 2018 Canada banned asbestos leaving U.S. as the only other majorly industrialized country to not ban asbestos.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos was widely used throughout the 20th century as a form of insulation. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral from the earth that possess very unique aspects which allow it to retain an extremely high melting point. Comparable to carbon fiber in modern times. However, being exposed to asbestos carries a plethora of harmful affects. Being a well known carcinogen, this mineral when inhaled leads to a number of issues due mainly to its size. Asbestos when inhaled typically lodges itself within the mesothelium membrane of the lungs causing massive issues with a human’s immune system. The immune system as now active was to remove this mineral, this is mainly due to its dense nature and the size of asbestos.
How Can You Be Exposed to Asbestos?
Asbestos exposure https://asbestoscancer.org/asbestos-exposure/ is very bad for anyone. Being exposed to asbestos is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to someone. This harmful carcinogen leads to a plethora of harmful effects on the human body. Asbestos exposure has been known to lead to various diseases, one of which is mesothelioma. This carcinogen has led to many diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other forms of lung cancer.
Occupations at Risk for Asbestos Exposure
Due to its common nature, there are many forms of occupations which were exposed to asbestos. Most of which are in the industrial industries and household laborers. Thousands of asbestos products were produced throughout the 20th century. Companies like owens corning profited billions in asbestos product sales to industrial corporations seeking this heat resistant mineral in products like insulation for pipefitting and various other components and machines which needed some form of protection. For this reason, anyone who worked with or around these products is at risk for mesothelioma and should contact https://asbestoscancer.org/
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