For the thousands of innocent victims affected by asbestos exposure each year, it’s important to know that recourse is possible and legal help is available. Perhaps most importantly, asbestos exposure victims should know that they do not have to be in a financial position to afford legal representation-for valid, qualifying cases, legal fees are paid out of the settlement or trial award received, not the victim’s pocket.
Most people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness-including other types of cancers, asbestosis and pleural effusion-did not even realize that they were at risk. This is because most victims of asbestos exposure did not even realize that they had come into contact with what is known to be a highly toxic and dangerous carcinogen.
Fortunately, there is a silver lining of hope for those who have suffered the physical and financial consequences of negligent and/or illegal asbestos exposure. Recourse and compensation is possible via multiple avenues, including toxic tort and workers’ compensation laws as well as disability claims through the Social Security Administration and (for veterans) the Department of Veteran Affairs.
PART XII: AN OVERVIEW OF MESOTHELIOMA TREATMENT OPTIONS
Understanding your mesothelioma treatment options is another important part of knowing your rights as a victim of asbestos exposure. As covered in the last section of our series, treatment modalities are constantly being studied and advanced, and one of the ways to get the best treatment available is to consider joining one of the many mesothelioma clinical trials available to you. Some trials consist of treatment methods that are new and different from the cancer-treatment standard but most include some combination or variation of three primary modalities.
The Three Standards of Mesothelioma Treatment:
An aggressive type of surgery, used to remove tumors and sometimes portions of the affected region, is often the first line of offense against both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. Once the tissue containing cancer cells has been successfully extracted, patients are often given a follow-up treatment in the form of either chemo or radiation therapy.
Chemotherapy is perhaps the most widely known form of general cancer treatment, involving the administration of strong and aggressive cancer-fighting drugs directly into the patient’s bloodstream. Chemo is, more often than not, one element of a multimodal treatment regimen.
Radiation therapy is another commonly used “add-on” in multimodal mesothelioma treatment plans. While once considered especially risky for its potential to damage other organs during treatment, radiation therapy is now available in newer, more localized forms that are sometimes even used duringsurgery to kill any remaining cancer cells before the incision is closed.