Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that may affect the pleura, or the lining that surrounds the lung, but mesothelioma is not a form of lung cancer per se because it does not start in the lung itself. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 75 to 80 percent of patients with mesothelioma have pleural mesothelioma.
Other forms of the disease may begin in the lining that surrounds the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), the lining around the heart (pericardial mesothelioma), or the lining around the testicles. Mesothelioma may metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body, including the lungs.
Causes of Mesothelioma
Most patients with mesothelioma suffered exposure to asbestos at some point, often long before they received a diagnosis of cancer. Many people with mesothelioma therefore have no idea when or how they suffered exposure to the carcinogen.
Asbestos was used for decades in building materials, vehicle parts, fire blankets, appliances, cosmetics, holiday decorations, and other consumer products. Some companies continued to produce and sell goods that contained asbestos even after they learned that it could cause mesothelioma.
Construction workers, mechanics, firefighters, and others suffered exposure to asbestos on the job, often day in and day out over a long period of time. Workers were often not given protective equipment or warned of the danger. Some of them carried asbestos fibers home on their clothes and bodies and exposed their family members to the substance, causing those individuals to later develop mesothelioma. Members of the general public also frequently came into contact with asbestos by using common household products.
How Mesothelioma Spreads
If cancer cells travel through the bloodstream or lymph nodes, they can cause secondary tumors to form in other parts of the body. In stages 1 to 3, mesothelioma may spread locally and affect the bodily cavity where the cancer originated and/or spread regionally to lymph nodes. Stage 4 mesothelioma may metastasize and spread to other, more distant parts of the body.
A large percentage of patients with pleural mesothelioma see their cancer metastasize to other parts of the body, including the liver, adrenal glands, kidneys, and the opposite lung. Peritoneal mesothelioma may spread from the abdomen to the lungs, although that is not a common location of metastasis. Pericardial mesothelioma, which starts in the lining around the heart, may spread to the lungs. Testicular mesothelioma rarely metastasizes, but when it does, it may spread to the lungs.
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The Prognosis for Patients with Mesothelioma
Patients who are treated early with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation have a lower risk of having their mesothelioma spread than people whose cancer is detected later. Often, however, mesothelioma is detected when it has already reached an advanced stage and spread to other parts of the body, and the overall survival rate for the disease is therefore low. A patient’s age and overall health and the form of mesothelioma can also influence an individual’s prognosis.
Seek Legal Help to Pursue Compensation for Your Cancer
If you received a diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer that affected your lungs or other organs, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you seek justice. We pursue financial awards for many people who suffered exposure to asbestos and who later developed mesothelioma. We may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the company responsible for your exposure or seek compensation from an asbestos trust fund if the company has declared bankruptcy.
Since people who have mesothelioma often receive a diagnosis decades after they were exposed to asbestos, many do not know how they came into contact with the carcinogen. We have spoken to numerous clients, conducted research, and compiled a database with information on companies and products that used asbestos. That information can help us figure out how clients suffered exposure to asbestos years earlier and seek financial compensation from the company that was responsible.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today for Legal Help
If you are unable to work, facing a growing stack of medical bills, and struggling to cover your mortgage and other necessities, you may think that you could not afford to hire a lawyer. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm works on a contingency fee basis. That means that clients who come to us seeking help with personal injury cases do not have to pay us anything up front. We are only paid if we recover a financial award on a client’s behalf. Call our office at (800) 307-3113 to talk to a member of our staff about how we may be able to help you pursue justice.