Fighting for Victims of Asbestos Exposure Nationwide
Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer which affects approximately 3,200
people a year. Due to the nature of its rare occurrence, malignant mesothelioma
is often referred to as an orphan disease. Mesothelioma is linked directly to
asbestos exposure and is caused by breathing in
asbestos fibers. These carcinogenic fibers can be found in thousands of asbestos-containing
materials used in plants, refineries, shipyards, and mills.
Asbestos fibers are in products used by the following:
- Construction workers
- Heating and air conditioning experts
For experienced legal counsel, call (877) 958-7920. We are award-winning
mesothelioma lawyers with a proven record of success handling mesothelioma cases.
Mesothelioma in the Workplace
Asbestos occurs naturally and is a mineral highly valued for its commercial
purposes. Commonly used in construction prior to 1975, these fibers can
cause malignant mesothelioma if inhaled. The rapid development of mesothelioma
occurs the longer one is exposed and the volume of fibers one inhales.
The latency period of mesothelioma is so great that a person may not show
symptoms for 25 to 40 years. The age range of typical person diagnosed
with mesothelioma is between 50 and 70 years.
The mineral’s ability to resist heat and fire is what has made asbestos
so valuable in many manufacturing and fabrication products. These fine
fibers are flexible and have often be woven into flame-resistant clothing
that is tough to tear and is valued for its insulation properties. Families
of electricians, shipyard workers, and other industrial workers have often
been exposed to these fibers.
Mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed due to its rarity and nonspecific symptoms.
If you have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace, please see your
physician immediately to discuss your health risks.
Types of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma comes in four forms:
pleural mesothelioma (chest cavity),
peritoneal mesothelioma (abdomen),
pericardial (heart lining), and testicular mesothelioma (testes).
As the most common form affecting three-fourths of those diagnosed, pleural
mesothelioma attacks the lungs and respiratory areas of the body. The
only known cause of this malignant mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.
Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:
- A unrelenting cough with blood (hemoptysis)
- Chest pains
- Swollen face
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss
Although the prognosis for every type of this disease is generally grim,
patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma often have a better chance
at a longer survival rate due to the extensive research being done to
help patients. Depending on the stage at which a patient is diagnosed,
he or she could live for over three years. With chemotherapy, radiation
therapy, and immunotherapy, months or even years can be added onto one’s
Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common form of mesothelioma
and comprises only 20 to 30% of all cases. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects
the tissue that lines the abdominal wall, which is composed of mesothelial
cells. This lining protects the contents of the abdomen and lubricates
the organs to move and function properly.
Symptoms associated with peritoneal mesothelioma may include:
- Abdominal pains
- Abdominal swelling
- Bowel obstruction
- Weight loss
- Tissue build-up in the abdomen
Only about 40% of patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma qualify
for surgery with heated chemotherapy (HIPEC), but 50% of those who undergo
this treatment live for more than five years.
Like pleural mesothelioma, occupational and environmental asbestos exposure
is responsible for this fatal disease.
As an extremely rare form of malignant mesothelioma cancer, pericardial
mesothelioma represents approximately 5% of all cases. Pericardial tumors
are known to spread over the surface of the heart, superior vena cava,
the root of the aorta, and the pulmonary trunk. The spread of the tumors
can only be diagnosed through surgical exploration.
Symptoms associated with pericardial mesothelioma may include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
Few successful treatment strategies exist, with little to no benefit from
radiation and chemotherapy. As such, the prognosis for it is also quite
poor. 50% of patients live for about six months, though surgery can help
extend life expectancy.
The rarest form of mesothelioma develops in the lining of the testes. There
are fewer than 100 cases of testicular mesothelioma reported in medical
Symptoms associated with testicular mesothelioma may include:
- Scrotal swelling
- Painless testicular lumps
The average prognosis for this form of mesothelioma is 2 years, but with
surgery and chemotherapy, it is possible to live longer than the two year average.
Determining If You Have a Mesothelioma Claim
There are a number of situations that come into play when determining whether
or not a person is capable of seeking compensation from a potentially
negligent party. These are some of the factors that are considered:
- How and where the exposure to asbestos occurred
- Whether or not another party was responsible for the exposure
- When you are officially diagnosed with mesothelioma
It’s often difficult for individuals to figure all this out on their
own, so it’s important to hire a legal professional who can work
with you and help you determine if you have a legal right to file a claim
against the negligent party.
Can a Family Member Seek Compensation?
Unfortunately, mesothelioma is a terminal condition and many of the individuals
who are diagnosed end up passing away as a result. This doesn’t
necessarily negate the opportunity for filing a lawsuit against the responsible party.
For families of the decedent, there may be possible legal action under
a wrongful death lawsuit. You must understand the statute of limitations
on these types of cases, which typically allow up to two years following
the death for the family to take action.
Reach Out to Learn About Legal Recourse - Call Shrader & Associates
Shrader & Associates L.L.P. consists of a team of carefully selected
mesothelioma attorneys handpicked by our founder. You do have options
if you have been diagnosed with this disease, as almost all mesothelioma
cases involve asbestos exposure—meaning someone was clearly negligent
and should be held responsible.
free case evaluations. Call (877) 958-7920 to meet with us and discuss your situation.