What is mesothelioma?
Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects people who have been exposed to asbestos in their past. There are three main types of malignant mesothelioma, each type involving tumors in the lining surrounding the body's major organs: pleural mesothelioma (lungs), peritoneal mesothelioma (abdomen), and pericardial mesothelioma (heart).
What causes mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure that occurs approximately 20 to 50 years before symptoms of the lung disease begin to surface. When individuals who are exposed to asbestos inhale or ingest asbestos fibers or asbestos dust, the asbestos particles can attach to the lining of the chest wall — causing irritation and tumors to eventually develop and causing fluid to accumulate.
Have I been exposed to asbestos?
Most people have been exposed to asbestos at some point in their lifetime. However, workers from certain occupations are at a higher risk, such as construction workers, miners, insulators, carpenters, and individuals working in the Navy, particularly in the years during and after World War II. Other people suffer from secondary exposure to asbestos as a result of asbestos fibers brought home on the clothes or hair of family members who worked with asbestos products or in asbestos contaminated areas. Any work history or family work history involving asbestos exposure should be shared with your doctor.
What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
Early symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to symptoms associated with other medical conditions and are frequently overlooked. The most common symptoms of mesothelioma include chest pain or abdominal pain, persistent cough, and shortness of breath. When examined via chest X-Ray, the most common symptom is pleural effusion (an accumulation of fluid in the lining surrounding the lungs).
What is the life expectancy for people diagnosed with mesothelioma?
Because of the latency period between the actual asbestos exposure and the mesothelioma diagnosis, most people are not diagnosed until the disease has developed to the advanced stages of mesothelioma. Upon diagnosis, the disease is usually fast acting and fatal. Most patients are given a life expectancy ranging from a few months up to a year. However, this varies between each patient. There have been cases where people have outlived the prognosis given by their doctor.
Do I have treatment options?
Mesothelioma treatment options focus on increasing life expectancy (if only by a few months) and making life more comfortable (by alleviating or controlling symptoms. Some of the treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. However, some cancer treatment centers are conducting trials involving other approved treatment methods.
Should I file a lawsuit for compensation?
If you are suffering from mesothelioma or if a loved one has died from mesothelioma, you are entitled to compensation for your suffering and losses. Compensation obtained in a settlement can alleviate the financial burdens associated with mesothelioma treatment, medical care, and much more. However, obtaining compensation can be difficult — especially since many of the responsible businesses have gone bankrupt.
Where can I turn for legal help in Texas?
An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can thoroughly assess your situation and identify all responsible parties, from former employers to manufacturers and suppliers of the asbestos. We can help you pursue rightful compensation.
Our Dallas personal injury attorneys at Crain ♦ Lewis, LLP, can handle all aspects of your mesothelioma claim so that you can focus on more important things, like your treatment and your family.
Contact us for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer at Crain ♦ Lewis, LLP.