Mesothelioma is a vicious and deadly cancer affecting the lining—or mesothelium—of the lungs, stomach, or heart. It is caused by exposure to asbestos and can take many years after being exposed to asbestos to develop.
A diagnosis of mesothelioma is devastating. With no cure and costly treatments to extend the sufferer’s life and ease his pain, this disease not only affects the victim, but his family as well. Even though we have known for decades what causes this horrible disease, little has been done to prevent it and an average of 10 new cases are diagnosed every day across America.
What can you do if this deadly disease has become your new reality?
First, learn all you can about the disease. We have created a library of resources on our website to help you learn more about mesothelioma and lung cancer due to asbestos exposure. This information will help you find the medical care you will need to extend your life and ease your suffering. Next, talk to a lawyer with experience in these cases to pursue compensation for your medical bills and your family’s financial future.
Please don’t hesitate to call us at (318) 561-2500 or fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.
Types of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is typed by location and the kind of cancer cells that are found. Almost all mesothelioma tumors are malignant. Benign tumors are extremely rare but can be treated successfully.
The terms you are likely to hear when you are diagnosed include the following:
- Pleural mesothelioma. Accounting for 80 percent of all new cases, the disease affecting the lining of the lungs is the most common form of mesothelioma. Symptoms often aren’t noticeable until the late stages of the disease, making the survival rate after diagnosis very poor.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma. Originating in the lining of the stomach, this disease often spreads to the liver, spleen, and bowels. The main symptom is severe abdominal pain. The prognosis is also poor, but recent treatment developments have been made.
- Pericardial mesothelioma. Cancer of the lining of the heart is extremely rare—affecting less than 1 percent of mesothelioma patients—and is often not diagnosed until after death.
- Epithelioid mesothelioma. This cancer cell type is the most common, found in 75 percent of all diagnosed mesothelioma cases. Of all of the cell types, it is the most responsive to treatment.
- Sarcomatoid mesothelioma. Accounting for only 10 percent of diagnosed cases, these cancer cells grow out of muscle and bone and are extremely difficult to treat.
- Biphasic mesothelioma. Approximately 40 percent of patients have a mix of epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells, known as biphasic disease.
Your doctor will discuss what your diagnosis means and what the best treatment is for you based on the location and cell type of your disease.
Treatment for Mesothelioma
There is no cure for this form of cancer, but aggressive treatment can extend a patient’s lifespan and ease some of the pain and discomfort associated with the disease. Your treatment plan will depend on the location of the cancer and how much it has spread, but most patients will endure some combination of the following:
- Surgery. Removing the tumors may be possible in the early stages of the disease. This may include removing the mesothelial lining and all or part of an affected organ, such as a lung.
- Chemotherapy. To kill cells that cannot be surgically removed, chemotherapy is often utilized. These drugs attack the fast-growing cancer cells.
- Radiation. Radiation therapy can be used to shrink tumors to make them easier to surgically remove.
- Complementary treatments. While not cures for mesothelioma, there are alternative treatments that can ease a patient’s suffering and improve their mental health including acupuncture, nutritional supplements, aromatherapy, touch therapy, meditation, and music therapy.
- Experimental treatments. In order to have access to experimental treatments, you often have to be accepted into a clinical trial. Progress is being made in immunotherapy and gene therapy treatments for mesothelioma, but these treatments are not yet widely available.
Learn more about the top Mesothelioma treatment centers across the U.S.
Whatever treatment your doctor recommends, it is likely to be very expensive. Without the compensation you deserve from the employer who caused your disease, the financial burden could be too much to bear.
Causes of Mesothelioma
The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is one of several naturally occurring fibrous minerals that is heat- and fire-resistant and was used in construction materials, insulation, and household products for many years. When the microscopic fibers are released, they can be inhaled and become lodged in the delicate linings of major organs, causing cancer. People are exposed to asbestos in the following ways:
- Manufacturing products containing asbestos. While the danger of asbestos has been known for decades, it has been used in hundreds of products including adhesives, millboard, automotive materials, cement products, plasters, electrical materials, flooring, roofing, and protective clothing. Anyone working in industries that manufactured these products may have been exposed to asbestos.
- Working with products containing asbestos. Construction workers, shipbuilders, oil refinery workers, automotive assemblers, and members of the military may have worked with materials containing asbestos, exposing themselves to the deadly fibers.
- Working in environments with exposed asbestos. Renovating or demolishing old buildings often releases asbestos that has been safely contained for many years. Recently, it was discovered that workers replacing cables with fiber optic cables for telecommunications companies were exposed to asbestos when dust was released from the protective pipes.
- Using household products containing asbestos. For many years, household products incorporated asbestos because of its heat-resistant properties. It is possible that people could be exposed to asbestos by using these products, particularly if they are in disrepair or are inhaled: slow cookers, hair dryers, baby powder, cigarette filters, attic insulation, and ironing board covers.
- Living with someone who brings fibers home on his clothing. Secondary exposure to asbestos is a major cause of mesothelioma. Cases of the wives and children of workers in high-exposure industries developing the disease are not uncommon.
When a diagnosis of mesothelioma is received, it is vital that a connection be made to the exposure event. At Neblett, Beard, & Arsenault, our dedicated attorneys will conduct the necessary research to determine the origin of the asbestos exposure.
Jobs That Have Been Linked to Asbestos Exposure
Workers in particular industries were exposed to high levels of asbestos and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in greater numbers than other workers. The following jobs have seen higher than average levels of mortality from mesothelioma:
- Petroleum refining
- Chemical production
- Electric power plant workers
- U.S. Navy service members
- Construction workers
- Insulation production and installation
Although these jobs have proven to be among the most dangerous for asbestos exposure, many other industries exposed workers to the deadly fibers throughout the 20th century.
Prognosis for Mesothelioma Patients
Unfortunately, the prognosis for most mesothelioma patients is very poor. Because of the long period—often decades—between exposure to asbestos and symptoms of the disease, it is often diagnosed in the very late stages. Most patients only live a year after diagnosis. While treatments may extend a patient’s life, there is no cure.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you are entitled to recover compensation for your losses, but you will need legal assistance to fight for what you deserve. Damages that can be recovered include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
The value of your damages will be determined by examining evidence of how the disease has affected your life, your family, and your livelihood. Medical records proving the extent and seriousness of the disease will also be examined. A mesothelioma attorney from Neblett, Beard & Arsenault has experience arguing these cases and will fight to get you the maximum possible settlement for your losses by exploring the following options:
- Settling with the company liable for your damages.
- Accessing a mesothelioma trust fund if your employer is now bankrupt.
- Taking the case to trial and receiving a jury award.
- Applying for veterans disability benefits.
Our attorneys will help you determine the best course of action for your particular case. Our Louisiana mesothelioma attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so there is no expense to you if you choose Neblett, Beard & Arsenault to handle your mesothelioma lawsuit claim until your case is settled.
Mesothelioma Claim Resources Available to You
While many companies responsible for exposing workers to asbestos went bankrupt many years ago, there are still sources of compensation available to victims. It is important that you fight for this recover to help with your high medical costs, future expenses, and the financial security of your family. There are approximately 60 trust accounts holding over $30 billion to compensate victims of mesothelioma. However, it is vital that you act quickly to claim your share. In many states, you only have one year from the date of your diagnosis to file a claim. In other states, the statute of limitations is two years.
Take Legal Action Now for the Compensation You Deserve
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you have limited time to take action. Neblett, Beard & Arsenault represents mesothelioma victims throughout the country and can assist you immediately. We come to you. We will handle all of the critical details, including access to Social Security disability benefits on an expedited basis.
Our goal is to help you navigate the legal system and protect your right to fair compensation.
Get a copy of our free book, Understanding Your Rights After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis, and call us at (318) 561-2500 or fill out a contact form today to schedule a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions about Asbestos Exposure & Mesothelioma Claims
- What products may have asbestos in them?
- What industries come in contact with asbestos?
- Where does mesothelioma cancer occur in the human body?
- How long should a person expect to live after being diagnosed with mesothelioma?
- How long does it take for mesothelioma cancer to develop in the human body?
- What are the most common treatment options for mesothelioma patients?