Malignant mesothelioma is a life-threatening type of cancer that attacks the cells in the lining that covers the lungs and other vital organs. It is caused by exposure to asbestos. Workers in many industries and their families were exposed to asbestos in the 1960s and 1970s when asbestos was widely used in manufacturing and a variety of consumer products.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you will need expensive medical treatments, such as radiation, to help fight the disease and prolong your life. The experienced mesothelioma attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault are here to fight for the compensation that you deserve from your employer or another negligent party who caused your exposure to asbestos and mesothelioma.
Two Major Types of Mesothelioma Caused by Exposure to Asbestos
Mesothelioma is caused when fibers of asbestos are inhaled or swallowed and become trapped in the linings of vital organs where they mutate into cancer cells. It can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years before the symptoms of this devastating disease emerge. There are two major types of mesothelioma:
- Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of this cancer, and the majority of patients exposed to asbestos develop this cancer. It affects the lining surrounding the lungs and the chest cavity.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma attacks the lining surrounding the abdomen and is caused when asbestos fibers are ingested. It is the second most common type of mesothelioma, and many of its victims are women between the ages of 50 and 59 years old.
How Radiation Can Help in the Treatment of Mesothelioma
Radiation is the use of high-energy x-rays to treat mesothelioma. It can be used at different stages of mesothelioma for different purposes. Some of the ways it can help include:
- Improving the cancer survival rate. Radiation treatment given in addition to surgery and chemotherapy can increase the survival rate of mesothelioma victims significantly. It is often used after surgery as an adjuvant treatment to increase the effectiveness of the surgery by killing cancer cells and helping to prevent a recurrence.
- Reducing pain. Radiation treatment can be a palliative treatment that helps by reducing the size of the tumor, which can reduce the patient’s pain. It is often used in later stages of the disease when the cancer is spreading more. Radiation is not often effective for peritoneal mesothelioma but may be used in later stages of the disease to manage the pain.
- Seeding prevention. During surgery, tiny cancer cells can be dislodged and move to new nearby areas. Radiation at the incision site can help kill these cells before they can grow into new tumors.
Types of Radiation Used in the Treatment of Mesothelioma
There is more than one type of radiation treatment, and newer procedures are being developed to maximize the effectiveness of radiation without harming other nearby cells. The main types of radiation therapy presently used are:
- External beam radiation. This is the most common type of radiation used and uses an external machine to direct x-rays to the area of the body where the mesothelioma cancer cells are present. The treatment itself is generally painless and is often administered several times a week for a number of weeks.
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). IMRT is a newer form of external beam radiation that uses a computer-driven machine to move around the patient while delivering radiation to better target the location of the cancer cells.
- Brachytherapy. This type of radiation treatment involves placing tiny radioactive rods directly in the body near the cancer cells to kill it. At present, it is not commonly used in the treatment of mesothelioma.
Radiation can cause side effects that can include fatigue, dry mouth, mouth inflammation, and skin problems, such as redness, swelling, and rashes.
Contact Our Experienced Legal Team for Help With Your Mesothelioma Claim for Compensation
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation from your employer or another negligent party who caused your exposure to asbestos for your expensive medical treatments, lost wages, and emotional trauma. However, you need the assistance of an experienced mesothelioma attorney if you hope to obtain the settlement that you deserve. Our skilled and compassionate legal team handles these cases on a contingency fee, which means that you owe us no fees until the settlement of your case. To learn of our experience fighting for the rights of mesothelioma victims and how we can help you, call our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.