The lawyers and attorneys at our firm are offering free consultations to victims of mesothelioma and their families. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is almost always caused by asbestos exposure. The victims of this usually fatal disease face a great deal of pain and suffering, as well as lost wages and astronomical medical bills. If you or a loved one suffers from this horrible disorder, we urge you to contact one of our mesothelioma lawyers as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.
Mesothelioma affects the protective lining of the internal organs, which is known as the mesothelium. Because asbestos fibers can be inhaled, mesothelioma almost always attacks the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it may also occur in other areas of the body such as the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity) and the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart).
Our mesothelioma lawyers know the devastating toll this disease – physically, emotionally and financially – takes on victims and their families. While no amount of money can make up for the pain caused by mesothelioma, fair compensation can be a great comfort to people who often face financial uncertainty following a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Asbestos and Mesothelioma
Millions of people in the U.S. have been exposed to asbestos, and it is estimated that approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. Mesothelioma is usually diagnosed in people who have had occupational exposure to asbestos. However, people exposed to asbestos dust and fiber in other ways, such as by washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos, have also developed the disease. Regardless of the avenue of asbestos exposure, our mesothelioma lawyers will work hard to make sure that our clients receive the compensation they deserve.
Mesothelioma risk is believed to be increased in people who are exposed to high levels of asbestos, in people who are exposed to asbestos over a long period of time and in people exposed to asbestos at a young age. There are currently about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed per year, mostly in men over the age of 40. It is estimated that there will be about 250,000 cases of mesothelioma before 2020.
When asbestos is broken up, such as during the mining process or when removing asbestos insulation, dust may be created. If the dust is inhaled or swallowed, the asbestos fibers may settle in the lungs or other organs, where they can cause irritation that may lead to mesothelioma, though how exactly this happens isn’t understood. While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) long ago banned new uses of asbestos, existing asbestos continues to pose a significant danger, as it is still found in older buildings, including homes and schools.
Asbestos was first linked to mesothelioma in the 1930s. But for decades, the industry covered up the truth, even going so far as to fund studies that purported to show no association between the toxin and the disease. For instance, in 1958, the Quebec Asbestos Mining Association published a study that supposedly concluded that asbestos miners did not suffer from higher incidence of lung cancer than the general population. But it is now known that an unpublished version of the study, concealed by the asbestos industry, actually proved the opposite was true.
In their investigation of the industry, our mesothelioma lawyers have uncovered many instances where the true dangers of asbestos were covered up. Because of this deception, asbestos continues to sicken and kill those exposed to it. Our mesothelioma lawyers are committed to making sure that manufacturers are held accountable for these illnesses and deaths.
Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. Shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. Some patients, however, may show no symptoms at all. Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms include pain or swelling in the abdomen, nausea, weight loss, bowel obstruction, anemia or swollen feet. Unfortunately, tumors that affect the abdominal cavity often do not cause symptoms until they are at a late stage.
In severe cases, a mesothelioma victim may have many tumor masses. The individual may develop a collapsed lung. The disease may metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body. Mesothelioma is described as localized if the cancer is found only on the membrane surface where it originated. It is classified as advanced if it has spread beyond the original membrane surface to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, lungs, chest wall, or abdominal organs.
While there is no known cure for mesothelioma, there are treatments that can extend a victim’s life, or ease their symptoms, Some of the treatments currently available include:
- Surgery: Certain surgical procedures alleviate symptoms or slow the progression of mesothelioma. Surgery may be performed in tandem with other treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses certain chemical agents or drugs that are specifically destructive to malignant tissues and cells. Doctors may recommend single agent chemotherapy or a combination chemotherapy treatment. While it is not a cure for mesothelioma, chemotherapy treatment may slow the progression of the cancer.
- Radiation: Radiation therapy is an intense X-ray treatment to damage or kill cancer cells. Although not a cure for mesothelioma, radiation therapy nonetheless may be used at different stages of the disease to slow its growth.
Even with the best treatment, mesothelioma is usually fatal. Mesothelioma patients have a median survival time of 6 – 12 months after presentation. If the cancer is found early, approximately 50% of the patients survive 2 years and approximately 20% survive 5 years.
Legal Help for Victims of Mesothelioma
The mesothelioma lawyers at our firm have represented hundreds of mesothelioma victims and their families with dignity and compassion. If you or someone you love was exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma, you have valuable legal rights. Please fill out our online form, or call 1-800 YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to speak with one of the experienced mesothelioma lawyers at our firm.