What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma, commonly referred to as “asbestos cancer”, is a disease which affects the thin lining surrounding the lungs known as the pleura. It is re;atively rare as it is caused by asbestos exposure, which was widely used in various industries, mostly in construction, since asbestos had fire-resistant properties. Lung Mesothelioma, or Pleural Mesothelioma, is the most common form of this type of cancer.
Mesothelioma cancer can also affect other areas of the body
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma – cancer affecting the lining of the abdominal cavity.
- Pericardium Mesothelioma – cancer affecting the sac which surrounds the heart.
You, a loved one, or someone you know may be entitled to substantial compensation if diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos-related cancer. Bagolie Friedman, Mesothelioma Layers, invite you to fill out the No-cost Case Evaluation and Consultation form today. Bagolie Friedman Injury Lawyers is an award-winning law firm. Let Bagolie Friedman be your Mesothelioma Lawyers in Jersey City.
How Does Mesothelioma Develop?
Mesothelioma develops over time as a drawn-out process, which makes it difficult to diagnose and treat. Mesothelioma can evolve over decades before symptoms become apparent. The presence of Mesothelioma can go unnoticed because symptoms are similar to those of more common respiratory problems.
What Are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
Signs of Mesothelioma include shortness of breath, chest pains, or combination of both. As mesothelioma progresses to the end stage, symptoms may become more severe and include increase severeness of chest pain, bloating, lung pain, coughing up blood, swallowing dificulties, or fluid in the chest cavity. Other symptoms inlude lack of engery or feeling really tired all the time, having no appetite, progressive weight loss, rashes on the skin, feeling nauseas, vomiting, abdominal pain, night sweats, and fever.
The estimated number of new mesothelioma cases anually in the U.S is 2,000 to 3,000.
The majority of people with mesothelioma are those who have served in the armed forces or anyone in frequent contact with asbestos.
It was found that all types of U.S. Navy ships that were in service from the 1930s to the early 1960s contained extreme amounts of asbestos. Decks, compartment walls, hulls, electrical systems, steam pipes, and more contain asbestos fibers in order to add tensile strength, resistance to fire and heat, and low electrical conductivity. The purpose was to improve safety, particularly in regards to extreme temperatures or in case of fires. But sailors, Marines, and repair yard workers were exposed to these large amounts of asbestos contained in materials present in warships and auxiliary vessels. Personnel were exposed to carcinogenic asbestos fibers which trigger mesothelioma.
On the civilian side, many construction sites, electrical plants, steel mills, manufacturing facilities, oil refineries, welding businesses, for example, used asbestos routinely prior to the ban of asbestos. Before the ban which took place in the late 20th Century, asbestos was used in many industrial plants, port facilities, and other buildings across the world where millions of workers were regularly exposed to asbestos.
Places where fire and/or high temperatures were used in the manufacturing process used extreme amounts of asbestos to make their production facilities safer and more efficient. Asbestos was added to many factory components to make them resist flre and extreme heat as well as making the components stronger. Although positive results in preventing fires or diminishing the damage from fires, many industrial workers were exposed to asbestos fibers.
Even though any person with exposure to asbestos is at some risk of developing mesothelioma, the average patients are usually males. The reason being males were the predominant gender in work areas where asbestos was used prior to its ban. Because it can take between 10 and 50 years from the initial exposure to a conclusive diagnosis, mesothelioma patients are commonly older men around the ages of 60-70 years.
As previously mentioned, it is unfortunate that it can take anywhere from 10 to 50 years for doctors to diagnose mesothelioma because the symptoms don’t show for quite a while after exposure.
In obtaining a suspected diagnosis, several blood tests, CT scans, chest X-rays along with a biopsy are usually performed. The biopsy allows the physician to remove bits of lung tissue to search for asbestos fibers or indications of lesions or tumors. Once a patient is diagnosed with mesothelioma, the physician can assess the stage of the disease.
The Four Stages of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma has four stages. The first stage is the earliest of the disease where the mesothelioma tumor is not fully formed. Stage 1 mesothelioma patients have the best chances to have the cancerous cells removed. Stage 2 mesothelioma still renders hope for the patient since the tumor, although it has increased in size, still has not spread to the point in which surgery is not an option. As the mesothelioma tumors grow and affect more healthy tissue, the stage number progresses to Stage 3.
When a mesthelioma patient reaches Stage III, the cancer has moved to adjacent parts of the body and a patient’s life expectancy is shorter when compared to that when the cancer was in Stages 1 and 2. If the tumor is a mass, surgery may still be an option for certain patients. But if mesothelioma reaches Stage 3, the prognosis is not a good one and physicians will search for palliative treatments instead of treatments that promise a cure. Palliative treatments focus on helping mesothelioma patients manage pain and prolong their lives instead of attempting to remove the tumors. In the majority of cases, the tumors are far too widespread during this stage to be surgically removed.
The four stages of mesothelioma are listed and defined below:
Stage 1a: Tumor is found in the outer layer of the pleura (parietal pleura).
It is not in the pleura covering the lung (visceral pleura).
Stage 1b: Tumor is in both the parietal and visceral pleura
Stage 2: Tumor has spread into the lung or diaphragm.
Stage 3: Tumor has spread to one or more of these organs or areas: the pericardium, part of the chest wall, or lymph glands inside the chest
Stage 4: Tumor has metastasized to one or more of the following: across the chest wall or pericardium, various areas of the chest wall, the heart, liver, windpipe or esophagus, or the opposite lung.
Unfortunately, many individuals may not even know they have mesothelioma until they have been diagnosed. Some patients’ mesothelioma tumors are not found until they’re reached Stage 4 since it takes decades from the initial exposure to asbestos for the first symptoms to show manifestation.
Chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of both are the most effective forms of mesothelioma treatments currently available. However, if the disease is detected in Stages 1a or 1b, surgery is almost always recommended in order to remove the tumor but the patient must meet certain health and age requirements. Older patients and/or patients with less-than-ideal health conditions may not be able to withstand the physical demands of a surgical procedure.
If the cancer has progressed to the late stages, especially Stage 4, multimodal treatment options are used. Multimodal treatment is a combination of two different types of treatments, typically chemotherapy and radiation. Surgery is not a widely-used option for patients with Stages 3 and 4 mesothelioma, since the poor state of health of the patient, as well as the possible metastasis of the tumor makes surgery extremely risky.
Many mesothelioma patients have chosen a wide variety of alternative treatments. Herbal therapies which involve the use of herbs and vitamins, acupuncture, holistic healing, meditation, and yoga are a fraction of the alternative treatments that can be employed against mesothelioma. Although many alternative treatments are not recognized in traditional medical practices, many doctors and healthcare practitioners are more accepting and open minded of how effective these non-traditional treatments can be. As a result of their willingness to embrace new ideas, some of these enterprising doctors have opened up their own alternative medicine practice.
Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma caused by Asbestos
if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related cancer, or asbestosis, Bagolie Friedman may be able to help. Just fill out the form for a No-Cost Mesothelioma Consultation.
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