Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that comes in several types and is associated with exposure to the material asbestos. According to the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center, there are four types of mesothelioma (classed according to the cancer’s location in the body). The vast majority of cases involve cancer in the lungs (pleural mesothelioma), with roughly 10% of cases occurring in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma). The other types, each of which is extremely rare and constitutes about 1% of all cases, include:
- Pericardial mesothelioma (located in the heart)
- Testicular mesothelioma (located in the testes)
Additionally, there are three main types of cells affected by mesothelioma. Epithelioid cells are involved in the majority of cases. They are located in the lungs and respond better to treatment than the other types of cells. Sarcomatoid cells, found in both the lungs and abdomen, are the least common but the most aggressive. This type of mesothelioma does not respond well to treatment and has a median survival outlook of roughly six months. Finally, biphasic mesothelioma is a mixture of the other two types of cells. Treatment will vary based on the exact proportion of epithelioid to sarcomatoid cells for that individual.
How Do You Get Malignant Mesothelioma?
Malignant mesothelioma can develop as a result of exposure to a number of different conditions. Researchers with the American Society of Clinical Oncology, however, attribute the vast majority of diagnoses to a person’s exposure to asbestos.
Exposure to asbestos or asbestos-related products can cause fundamental changes within a person’s DNA. As a person breathes asbestos particles in, those particles can negatively impact the lungs, causing scarring to the pleura. If the exposure continues, the pleura can suffer damage to the point where DNA in the lungs begins to mutate. The mutations can cause the cells in a person’s lung to grow at a rapid rate.
The same conditions can develop in a person’s stomach. If you swallow asbestos particles, those particles can cause similar irritation in your intestines and abdominal lining. The irritation there can cause peritoneal mesothelioma and intestinal tumors.
Where Can You Find Asbestos?
You can suffer exposure to asbestos when you come into contact with any of the following products that have not been updated in recent years:
- Electrical wiring
- Store-bought soil
- Car or commercial vehicle parts
It is not illegal for homeowners, property owners, or construction companies to use asbestos-related products. Some building sand products may still contain this material, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR), even though the public has been informed of the dangers of asbestos-related products for decades.
Other Causes for Malignant Mesothelioma
Other causes of malignant mesothelioma may include:
- Exposure to zeolites – Zeolites are similar to mesothelioma in their construction and can be found in certain types of rocks and soil, most often in desert areas.
- Radiation – If you frequently work in areas exposed to significant amounts of radiation, or if you do not move to protect yourself from equipment using radiation technology, you may have a higher risk of developing malignant mesothelioma.
- SV40 virus – Contracting the simian virus 40 can also increase your chance of developing mesothelioma, given its effects on the rest of your body.
- Age – Your chance of a mesothelioma diagnosis increases with age. While younger people can develop mesothelioma over time, individuals over 45 years old are more likely to develop symptoms.
- Gender – Men are more likely to contract mesothelioma than women.
- Genetic DNA mutations – Families can pass on a BAP1 mutation.
Taking Legal Action After a Malignant Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Taking legal action against a property owner or another party who used asbestos-related products on their property can be a challenge. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you believe asbestos exposure may be the cause, a mesothelioma lawyer can help. The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can assist you with the details of your case, help determine which party may be liable for your losses, and advise you how to pursue compensation. Call (800) 217-6099 today for a free consultation.
What is Metastatic Mesothelioma?
Metastatic mesothelioma is a type of cancer that has spread to other tissues and organs in the body from its original location. Microscopic cancer cells typically spread through the bloodstream from the primary tumor to other parts of the body where they create new tumors. Unfortunately, once the cancer has spread, treatment options become more limited to patients. Metastatic mesothelioma is considered rare, with approximately 3,000 new cases diagnosed in the United States each year, according to the American Cancer Society. Most cases are linked to asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma is considered an aggressive cancer because of how quickly it can spread through the bloodstream, lymph nodes, and lymphatic system. The disease is generally not called metastatic until it reaches stages 3 and 4.
At stage 3, the following is commonly seen:
- Localized spreading to one side of the body
- Cancer cells have metastasized to lymph nodes and organs on one side of the body
- Treatment options are limited, and the only option may be end-of-life care
At stage 4, the following is commonly seen:
- Multiple organs are affected as well as the lymph nodes and possibly the bones and brain
- End-of-life care may be the only option for these patients
Unfortunately, as with any type of cancer, once a tumor spreads, the disease is more difficult to control. When mesothelioma becomes more advanced, certain organs or tissues are more prone to developing secondary tumors such as the liver, kidney, spleen, and adrenal glands.
Different Types of Mesothelioma
Different types of mesothelioma are named for the cavity in which they develop, including:
- Pleural Mesothelioma – This type of cancer first develops in the lining of the lungs, or pleura. Asbestos fibers become trapped in the pleural membrane (lining of the lungs) and develop into tumors over time. Patients with advanced pleural mesothelioma survive for two years on average from diagnosis.
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma – These tumors develop in the lining of the abdominal cavity, or peritoneum. Studies have shown that these cancer cells spread to nearby organs, such as the kidneys and pancreas, as opposed to other distant organs in the body.
- Pericardial Mesothelioma – This type of disease can be the most challenging to detect and diagnose properly because it is so rare. In this case, the primary tumor is in the lining of the heart, or pericardium, and only accounts for 2 percent of all mesothelioma cases. In aggressive forms of the disease, the tumor can spread to the lungs, chest wall, and lymphatic system.
Symptoms of Advanced Mesothelioma
When it comes to any type of advanced disease that spreads to other areas of the body, patients can begin to experience more severe symptoms that affect quality of life. The types of symptoms also depend on where the cancer develops, according to Mayo Clinic.
Patients with pleural mesothelioma may experience:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Painful coughing
- Rare lumps of tissue under the chest wall
- Weight loss
Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma may experience:
- Stomach pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Weight loss
Patients with pericardial mesothelioma can experience:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
Because many of the symptoms of mesothelioma may mimic symptoms of other diseases and conditions, it is critical to see a doctor and undergo testing for a proper and quick diagnosis. The sooner a diagnosis can be made, the sooner treatment can begin.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 217-6099
Mesothelioma has been linked to asbestos exposure, most commonly in the workplace, according to the Annals of Translational Medicine (ATM). Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that once played a big role in American manufacturing. Although it has been banned in the United States for years, some industries are still at risk for exposure today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1.3 million construction workers are exposed to asbestos each year.
What Are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
Symptoms of mesothelioma are mistaken for other conditions, due to their similarity to more benign conditions. You should always monitor your health under any circumstances. However, it is vital that you visit with your doctor if you had any type of exposure to asbestos in your past that would put you at a greater risk of developing mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is not typically the first diagnosis a doctor would consider, as it is very rare. However, if exposed to asbestos or asbestos-containing materials regularly, you may be concerned about developing mesothelioma and wonder what the symptoms of mesothelioma are.
If you already received a diagnosis of any type of mesothelioma, you may be able to receive compensation for your condition. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 217-6099 to understand your legal options. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, so you do not pay until we win.
Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma is approximately 80% of all diagnosed mesothelioma cases. Pleural mesothelioma is when asbestos-containing particles travel and accumulate in the lungs. Over time, a malignancy develops and grows in the lungs from the asbestos particles. Since pleural mesothelioma originates in the lungs, most of the symptoms begin in the lung area. The most common first signs of mesothelioma are as follows:
- Chest pains
- Faint or harsh breathing
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty taking breaths
- Fluid buildup around the lungs
- Coughing up blood
- Blood clotting disorders
- Body aches
The sooner you address these symptoms and discover you have pleural mesothelioma, the better your chances of increasing your life expectancy. Often there are options available at earlier stages of mesothelioma, rather than at later ones. This is why it is critical if you were ever exposed to asbestos to always watch for symptoms and inform your doctors of your exposure. Medical professionals can check your test results or diagnose your symptoms against your asbestos exposure.
If you were diagnosed with this common type of mesothelioma, you may have the right to receive compensation for your condition. Our goal is to prevent any further harm from the source of your injury and have the liable party pay for your treatments and recovery. Contact the mesothelioma attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 217-6099 to learn about your legal rights.
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Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common type of mesothelioma, and typically affects 20% of all mesothelioma patients. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the abdomen and spreads quite rapidly. The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include the following:
- Feeling of fullness
- Abdominal swelling
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal fluid buildup (ascites)
- Bowel obstruction
Symptoms of Pericardial Mesothelioma
While this is a rare type of mesothelioma that only affects less than 1% of all mesothelioma patients, this type of cancer forms around the heart in the lining called the pericardium. The most common symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Heart murmurs
- Heart palpitations or arrhythmias
- Chest pain
- Night sweats
Symptoms of Testicular Mesothelioma
Another rare mesothelioma that affects less than 1% of all mesothelioma patients is known as testicular mesothelioma. Symptoms for this type of mesothelioma include:
- Testicular pain
- Lump in the scrotum
- Swollen testes
- Hydrocele (also known as fluid in the scrotum)
Contact a Mesothelioma Attorney
If you have any of these symptoms listed above and have had any kind of asbestos exposure in the past, you should receive medical attention as soon as possible. If your symptoms are mesothelioma, you may have the right to receive compensation for your condition. Many companies knew that their products contained the carcinogen asbestos and failed to warn people of the dangers. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 217-6099 to learn what your rights and legal options are. We do not shy away from tough cases.
What Are The Symptoms of Benign Mesothelioma?
The symptoms of benign mesothelioma are similar to those of malignant mesothelioma. The most common symptoms of benign mesothelioma are:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal distention
- Palpable lumps or masses
Some types of benign mesothelioma can also cause irregular menstrual cycles, bloating, and pelvic pain. However, many people with benign mesothelioma never experience symptoms at all. Their physicians may discover the condition incidentally through images or surgery that were ordered for other purposes.
Benign Mesothelioma vs. Malignant Mesothelioma
Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer. It can affect the lungs, chest lining, abdomen, and testicles. While rare, malignant mesothelioma is an especially aggressive and usually fatal type of cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the average time victims of malignant mesothelioma live after diagnosis is only one year.
Benign mesothelioma, on the other hand, is highly curable. People with this condition can usually experience a complete cure through surgical removal of the growths.
“Benign” and “malignant” are words used to describe whether a tumor or other growth in the body is cancerous or not. Benign growths are noncancerous, while malignant growths are cancerous.
The main difference between malignant tumors and benign ones is how they grow. Malignant tumors, according to JAMA Oncology, are:
- Have irregular borders
- Invade the surrounding tissues
- Can spread to other parts of the body from where they originally grow (called metastasizing)
Benign growths, on the other hand, are:
- Have clear, defined borders
- Do not invade surrounding tissues
- Do not spread to other parts of the body
It is possible that benign tumors can become malignant with time or can return as malignant after being removed.
Diagnosing the Symptoms of Benign Mesothelioma
When someone experiences the symptoms of mesothelioma, a doctor will likely order radiologic imaging. These images may be X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or pet scans. After confirming the presence of abnormal growths with the images, the doctor will then order a biopsy.
A biopsy is the removal of a small sample of tissue. Mayo Clinic explains that a physician can perform a biopsy either by inserting a needle through the skin or by collecting a sample during surgery. This sample of the tumor will then be identified through lab tests under a microscope, and the physician can officially diagnose benign or malignant mesothelioma from identifying the cells. The occurrence of benign mesothelioma is extremely rare.
Treatment of Benign Mesothelioma
Surgery to remove the benign growth(s) is the most common way to treat and manage benign mesothelioma. The medical journal StatPearls explains that in some cases, doctors may also recommend chemotherapy to prevent recurrence of the tumor. Chemotherapy could also be necessary in some situations to help shrink a tumor before a surgeon can remove it.
If a surgeon successfully removes the entire tumor without leaving any cells behind, it is unlikely that it will grow back. If some of the tumor remains after surgery, there is a much higher chance that it will continue to grow, and it may even become malignant or return as a malignant tumor.
Types of Benign Mesothelioma
Although benign mesothelioma is very rare, scientists have identified four different subtypes of this disease. They are:
- Benign multicystic peritoneal mesothelioma (BMPM), which causes cysts in the abdomen and pelvis of reproductive-aged women
- Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma (WDPM), which affects the lungs, heart, and abdomen
- Localized fibrous mesothelioma, which creates fibrous tumors in the lungs
- Benign adenomatoid mesothelioma, which can affect the reproductive organs of both women and men
Risk Factors for Benign Mesothelioma
There is no known cause of benign mesothelioma. Since this disease is so uncommon, scientists have not yet identified what causes it for certain. Known risk factors, however, include:
- Exposure to asbestos
- Prior surgery in the affected area
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
Asbestos exposure seems a likely cause of benign mesothelioma because it is the only known cause of malignant mesothelioma. Asbestos is a natural fiber, derived from a mineral, that is very durable and heat-resistant. Because of these qualities, it was used widely as a component of products for many years. People later discovered that inhaling asbestos fibers is very dangerous and can cause malignant mesothelioma and other dangerous health conditions, such as asbestosis.
Asbestos was most commonly used in the construction, shipping, and mining industries. Employees of power plants and railroads are also at a high risk for asbestos exposure. If you or your loved one suffers from mesothelioma, it is possible than an employer who asked you to work with this material, a retailer who sold it, or the manufacturer who created it could be responsible for your suffering.
You may be eligible to receive compensation for your mesothelioma diagnosis through a personal injury lawsuit or a claim on an asbestos victims’ fund. The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can investigate your case and inform you of your legal options and help you seek compensation. Call (800) 217-6099 today to schedule a free consultation.
What Is Benign Mesothelioma?
Typical mesothelioma is a rare, malignant, very aggressive, and often fatal type of cancer that can attack the lungs, chest cavity, abdomen, and testicles. What benign mesothelioma is, on the other hand, is a noncancerous tumor condition that is even rarer than malignant mesothelioma, but it is also much simpler to treat.
While victims of malignant mesothelioma live for an average of only one year after diagnosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), benign mesothelioma is highly curable. In most instances, benign mesothelioma can be completely cured through surgical removal of the tumors. In some cases, it is possible that the tumors could recur and become malignant.
Benign vs. Malignant
Tumors that are not cancerous are benign, while tumors that are cancerous are malignant. The main difference between benign and malignant tumors is how they grow. JAMA Oncology explains that malignant tumors grow quickly, have irregular borders, usually invade nearby tissues, and can spread to other parts of the body from where the cancer originally begins (called metastasizing).
Benign tumors, such as those that occur with benign mesothelioma, are the opposite. They grow slowly, have clear borders that make them simple to remove surgically, and do not metastasize. Benign growths are less dangerous than malignant or cancerous ones and easier to treat, but they can of course still be very dangerous. Even a benign tumor is an abnormal growth in the body, and it can compress nearby organs and endanger the patient’s life.
Sometimes tumors that are originally benign can develop malignancies. If a benign tumor recurs after removal, it has a higher chance of becoming malignant.
Types of Benign Mesothelioma
There are four subtypes of benign mesothelioma:
- Localized Fibrous Mesothelioma: Often called LFT, localized fibrous mesothelioma causes fibrous tumors in the lungs. Only about half of people with this condition experience symptoms, while the other half discover the condition from an incidental finding during imaging or surgery for other reasons.
- Benign Multicystic Peritoneal Mesothelioma: BMPM, also just called benign cystic mesothelioma, causes cysts in the abdomen and pelvis. This condition usually affects women who are of an age to reproduce.
- Benign Adenomatoid Mesothelioma: These tumors are slow-growing and usually do not cause any symptoms. They can affect the reproductive organs of both men and women.
- Well-Differentiated Papillary Mesothelioma: WDPM can be found in the lungs, heart, and abdomen. This condition is so rare and slow-growing that it is often asymptomatic and physicians usually only find it incidentally.
Symptoms of Benign Mesothelioma
In many instances, people with benign mesothelioma might not experience symptoms at all. Their doctors may discover that they have benign mesothelioma because of surgery or imaging ordered for other reasons.
When benign mesothelioma does cause symptoms, they are often similar to the symptoms of malignant mesothelioma. According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms can include:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Chronic coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Pelvic pain
- Abdominal distention
- Palpable lumps or masses
Diagnosing Benign Mesothelioma
A physician can diagnose benign mesothelioma through imaging and biopsies. Imaging studies might include X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or pet scans. A biopsy is when a physician takes a small sample of the tumor, usually by using a needle, and then conducts laboratory tests to identify the types of cells.
Treating Benign Mesothelioma
The medical journal StatPearls reports that the common treatment for benign mesothelioma is resection, which is when a physician surgically removes the tumor. If they are unable to remove all of the tumor cells, it could grow back, but if they do remove the entire tumor successfully, this is usually curative. In some cases, chemotherapy may be necessary to shrink the size of the tumor and make it easier to resect.
Causes of Benign Mesothelioma
The exact cause of benign mesothelioma is unknown. Scientists are still uncertain about what benign mesothelioma is since it is extremely rare.
The only known cause of malignant mesothelioma, however, is exposure to asbestos. When a person inhales asbestos fibers, these fibers can travel to the lungs, become lodged there, and cause malignant mesothelioma. Symptoms of malignant mesothelioma may not occur for decades after the inhalation of asbestos fibers.
Although the exact cause is uncertain, there may be links to benign mesothelioma and asbestos exposure. If you or your loved one suffers from mesothelioma and you think that asbestos exposure is the cause, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your suffering. Employers, retailers, and manufacturers responsible for exposing you to asbestos could be liable for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you seek compensation for a mesothelioma diagnosis. Call (800) 217-6099 today to schedule a free consultation at no obligation. We operate on a contingency fee basis, so you will never owe us any fees unless we can earn a settlement for you.
What Is Papillary Mesothelioma?
According to Cureus, “well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma of the peritoneum is a rare subtype of epithelioid mesothelioma, which is usually seen in young women with a history of asbestos exposure.” Mesothelioma is an aggressive and often times terminal form of cancer, according to Mayo Clinic. Early detection and proper diagnosis can be difficult due to the fact that the disease may lie dormant for years before symptoms start to present.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that attacks the thin layer of tissue (mesothelium) that covers the internal organs. Knowing the type of mesothelioma a person is diagnosed with and the stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis will help determine treatment options. But unfortunately, there is no cure for mesothelioma. Let us take a closer look at papillary mesothelioma: the causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
Causes of Papillary Mesothelioma
Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma is considered a rare form of the disease with a slower progression. It is a subtype of epithelial mesothelioma, the most common type of mesothelioma, according to the American Journal of Clinical Oncology. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer often linked to asbestos exposure and affects mainly men in their 50’s and 60’s. In stark contrast, papillary mesothelioma is usually seen in young female patients and has a low malignancy rate.
In most cases, papillary mesothelioma is found in the peritoneum or abdominal lining. Although some tumors have been found in the pleura or the lining of the lungs, where mesothelioma usually affects patients. With pleural mesothelioma, patients may experience several symptoms according to Mayo Clinic:
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent and painful coughing
- Pains in the chest
- Atypical lumps of tissue under the chest
- Weight loss
But in most cases of papillary mesothelioma, patients may present with no symptoms at all. This can make diagnosis more difficult. Some patients do develop excessive fluid build-up in the abdomen, which can result in pain and swelling. Of course, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention right away for an accurate diagnosis.
Treatment options are generally based on the progression of the disease. Surgery is recommended if the tumor is thought to be excisable. If the patient has no symptoms, a doctor may decide to observe the progression of the tumor. If the tumor is considered large and causing symptoms, a chemotherapy regimen may be ordered.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the survival rate for mesothelioma patients is sadly grim, with most only living one year. The survival is rare due to the fact the disease is generally not detected or diagnosed until it is in an advanced stage. For patients whose cancer was caught early, the 5-year survival rate increases. Of course, the length of time a patient lives after a mesothelioma diagnosis varies and can depend on many factors.
The encouraging news is patients with a papillary mesothelioma diagnosis may live for years or even decades. It is a slow-growing disease in many cases and at times non-malignant.
Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma
Most cases of the disease stem from asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that has been used in building construction materials for insulation. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asbestos has been used in a wide range of items, including ceiling and floor tiles, roofing shingles, and certain cement products.
While the use of asbestos was banned years ago in the U.S., some say the mineral is still being used in the construction industry, putting thousands of people’s health at risk.
Call a Law Firm that Cares
If you or a loved one recently received a mesothelioma diagnosis, you do not have to bear the emotional and financial burden on your own. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 217-6099 for a free case evaluation.
Our attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing upfront or out of pocket unless and until we secure a fair settlement on your behalf. We do not shy away from the tough cases, so call a team member today.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
If you or someone you love have been diagnosed with metastatic mesothelioma, and you believe asbestos exposure is to blame, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses and damages. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 217-6099 today for a free case evaluation. We do not shy away from tough cases, and you will not pay any fees up front unless and until we secure a fair settlement on your behalf.
How Is Malignant Mesothelioma Treated?
Malignant mesothelioma may be treated with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, clinical trials, or some combination of these approaches, depending on the location and stage of the cancer, according to Mayo Clinic.
How Mesothelioma Is Diagnosed
A doctor may perform a physical examination and order a series of tests when a patient presents with symptoms. Imaging studies (chest X-ray, CT scan, MRI, and PET scan) and a biopsy, which involves the removal of a small amount of tissue and examination under a microscope, can help a doctor detect the presence of mesothelioma.
Information gathered from tests can help a physician figure out the stage of the mesothelioma, or how serious it is. At an early stage, mesothelioma may be treatable. At later stages, the cancer may have spread from its original location to other parts of the body. In those situations, it may be difficult or impossible to treat. Rather than focus on trying to cure the mesothelioma, doctors may try to make a patient as comfortable as possible.
Why Mesothelioma Is Often Diagnosed Late
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer with a long latency period of 20 to 71 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People who have been exposed to asbestos may develop mesothelioma decades later. When they begin to experience symptoms, they may attribute them to a different, more common problem.
Doctors often initially misdiagnose mesothelioma since it is so rare and since people who have been exposed to asbestos may not think of it as a possible cause of their illness or may not even know that they were exposed. If mesothelioma is not diagnosed quickly, tumors can spread and affect other parts of the body. When the cancer is finally detected, it may be too late to cure it.
Mesothelioma Treatment Options
If mesothelioma is diagnosed at an early stage, it may be possible to remove most or all of the cancer through surgery. Depending on the circumstances, a doctor may suggest removing tissue around the lungs or removing a lung and the tissue surrounding it. A doctor may also perform a procedure to decrease the amount of fluid buildup in the chest and make it easier for the patient to breathe.
Systemic chemotherapy sends chemicals throughout the body. Chemotherapy may be used before or after surgery in an attempt to shrink tumors or slow the spread of the mesothelioma.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to target specific parts of the body. It may be used after surgery or if the cancer is at an advanced stage and surgery is not an option.
If other treatments have been ineffective, a doctor may recommend immunotherapy, which works to help the body’s immune system fight back against mesothelioma.
Targeted therapy attacks vulnerabilities in the DNA of cancer cells. Although targeted therapy drugs are not typically used to treat mesothelioma, a doctor may recommend that approach after reviewing the results of tumor DNA tests.
Clinical trials test new treatment options to find out if they are effective against mesothelioma. Some patients may be eligible to participate in clinical trials.
Seek Justice for Your Cancer
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may have been exposed to materials containing asbestos at home or at work. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. The progression of your illness would not change, but it may give your family some peace of mind. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 217-6099 to learn how we may be able to help you.
What Are The Symptoms Of Malignant Mesothelioma?
General symptoms of malignant mesothelioma may include fever, excessive sweating, fatigue, blood clots, loss of appetite, and unexplained weight loss.
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that starts in the mesothelium, or the layer of tissue that covers internal organs. Mesothelioma can affect several parts of the body. Some symptoms are specific to a particular form of the cancer where it originates.
Different Forms of Malignant Mesothelioma and Their Symptoms
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the illness. It affects the lining around the lungs. According to the American Cancer Society, people with pleural mesothelioma may experience pain in the side of the chest or lower back, accumulation of fluid in the chest (pleural effusion), lumps under the skin in the chest, a swollen face and/or arms, cough, hoarseness, shortness of breath, and trouble swallowing.
Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining that surrounds the abdominal organs. Symptoms may include anemia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and pain, swelling or fluid buildup in the abdomen.
Pericardial mesothelioma begins in the mesothelium around the heart. It can cause chest pain, an irregular heartbeat, a heart murmur, cough, weakness, and shortness of breath.
Mesothelioma may also affect the tunica vaginalis, or the lining that surrounds the testicles. This form may cause swelling, accumulation of fluid, or a mass in a testicle, according to Mayo Clinic.
Importance of Early Detection
Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that may be treatable if it is detected early. Unfortunately, mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed because it is rare and because its symptoms are similar to those of other conditions.
Mesothelioma has a long latency period, meaning patients often develop the cancer and its symptoms decades after being exposed to asbestos. They may not be aware of their past exposure or may not think about it since it happened so long ago.
When mesothelioma is diagnosed, it often already has spread to other parts of the body that can make it difficult or impossible to treat.
See Your Doctor
If you have symptoms that are consistent with mesothelioma and you know or have reason to believe that you may have been exposed to asbestos in the past (for example, while working in the construction, firefighting, shipbuilding, or military field, or when using one of the many products that contained asbestos), see a doctor and discuss your symptoms and history of asbestos exposure. If a member of your family worked in a field with known asbestos exposure, asbestos fibers may have been carried home on their body or clothing, and you may have been exposed. Tell your doctor if a member of your family might have worked around asbestos and unintentionally exposed you to the carcinogen.
Since mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, a doctor may initially think you have another, more common condition and may not test for it. If you have reason to believe that you may have been exposed to asbestos, tell your doctor so they can order appropriate tests.
Seek Legal Help
If you developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos, you may be entitled to compensation. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the company that was responsible for your exposure. We can then seek a financial award to cover your costs for past and future medical treatment, lost income, and pain and suffering. Call our office today at (800) 217-6099 to discuss your case with a member of our staff.
The Difference Between Benign and Malignant Tumors
A tumor forms when healthy cells divide quickly and form a solid lump of cells. Tumors can be benign or malignant. Malignant tumors are cancerous, but benign tumors are not.
Benign tumors do not spread to other parts of the body, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. That makes them less serious than malignant tumors, although benign tumors can cause complications in some instances. If a benign tumor grows large enough, it can affect other tissues and the ability of organs to function.
Benign mesothelioma can occur at any age and is not caused by exposure to asbestos. Benign mesothelioma tumors can be located in several parts of the body, including the chest, abdomen, testicles, and uterine wall. Most patients with benign mesothelioma have tumors in their lungs.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Benign Mesothelioma
Both benign and malignant mesothelioma generally present with similar symptoms. A physician may order the same types of tests that are used to diagnose malignant mesothelioma. Those may include one or more imaging tests, bloodwork, analyses of fluid and/or tissue samples, and pulmonary function tests.
A doctor may not order all of those tests for each patient. The results of a medical history, physical examination, and initial test results may influence the doctor’s decision on further testing.
In most benign mesothelioma cases, surgery can be performed to remove the tumor. The specific surgical procedure used depends on the size and location of the tumor. In rare cases, it may be necessary to remove the entire lung. Other forms of treatment, such as chemotherapy, are generally not necessary to treat benign mesothelioma.
Pleural effusion, or a buildup of fluid in the chest, is the most common side effect of surgery. A chest drain can remove fluid and alleviate that problem. Most patients who undergo surgery to remove a benign mesothelioma tumor make a complete recovery.
It is possible for tumors to recur, however, according to Stat Pearls. If they come back, tumors may be cancerous. Patients who have recovered from benign mesothelioma should therefore be monitored to check for new tumors.
How Medical Mistakes May Occur
Sometimes physicians make errors when diagnosing and treating patients. For example, a doctor may make an inaccurate diagnosis if appropriate tests are not ordered or test results are misinterpreted.
If your doctor diagnosed you with malignant mesothelioma, but you actually had benign mesothelioma, you may have undergone unnecessary treatment. If your physician told you that you had benign mesothelioma, but in fact, you had a malignant form, you may not have received treatment that might have saved your life or increased your chance of survival.
You May Be Entitled to Financial Compensation
If your physician made an inaccurate diagnosis and you suffered as a result, you may be eligible for a financial award. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (800) 217-6099 to learn more about how we may be able to assist you.
How Is Benign Mesothelioma Diagnosed?
Benign mesothelioma is diagnosed after an imaging test such as a chest X-ray, CT scan, or MRI scan. The test is normally ordered when a patient complains of chest pain, shortness of breath, or a cough that will not go away. A doctor may further order a tissue or fluid biopsy that will enable suspected tumor cells to be examined.
Explaining Benign Mesothelioma
Benign mesothelioma, unlike its dangerous, often fatal counterpart, is not cancer and not deadly. Benign mesothelioma is cured through surgery.
Several different types of benign mesothelioma exist, including benign multicystic peritoneal mesothelioma, well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma, adenomatoid tumor, and localized fibrous tumor. All of these types are rare, and some people do not experience any symptoms, especially with adenomatoid tumors.
Benign mesothelioma may occur in the lining of the abdomen, heart, lungs, testicles, or uterus. Approximately 75% of patients develop lung tumors and need to undergo a surgical procedure called a thoracotomy in order to remove a portion or lobe of a lung. Rarely, an entire lung will need to be removed. Follow-up treatment is not necessary, but some patients may need to be monitored to make sure that the condition does not return.
The highest risk for benign mesothelioma patients is postsurgical complications, the most common of which is fluid buildup around the heart and lungs. A chest drain often takes care of this problem.
Explaining Malignant Mesothelioma
Many people, when they hear the word mesothelioma, think of this kind of mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma is often heard of in the news and on TV and radio commercials due to the many lawsuits that have been justifiably brought against companies that exposed workers to asbestos.
Asbestos is often found in insulation, ceiling and floor tiles, paints, automotive products, garden products, and naturally in mines. In the 1960s, a link was discovered between asbestos and malignant mesothelioma, and in the late 1970s, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission began banning its use. In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned all new uses of asbestos. Despite these bans, some companies continued to make products with asbestos, knowing the risk involved.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), no safe level of asbestos exists. Malignant mesothelioma has been discovered in humans after only a few days of asbestos exposure. The majority of people who develop malignant mesothelioma are men, and it is usually through occupational-related exposure such as those who work in the construction or manufacturing industry. Miners also are prone to getting the disease, since asbestos occurs naturally in mines.
Symptoms of malignant mesothelioma are similar to lung cancer symptoms and may include a persistent cough, trouble breathing, weight loss, and pain. Because it usually takes 20 to 50 years or more for symptoms to appear, it is usually advanced when it is discovered and diagnosed, making it difficult to treat. Once a patient is diagnosed, they can expect to live approximately 18 months.
Malignant mesothelioma is diagnosed with a chest X-ray and lung biopsy or bronchoscopy, and it is commonly treated with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Because of its long latency period, proving liability can be difficult. A mesothelioma lawyer who has handled these types of cases before will know the appropriate steps to take in determining how and where a patient may have been exposed to asbestos.
Work with a Lawyer to Help You with Your Mesothelioma Diagnosis
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may want to consider calling Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 217-6099. During a free case review with one of the members of our team, you can learn more about the different types of mesothelioma and what your options may be.
If you or a loved one received a diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma, you may be eligible to receive a settlement or compensation that will help with covering the costs you have incurred due to the disease. You have already endured much suffering and hardship; you should not have to suffer further by paying for costs due to an injury that was not your fault.
We work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you pay nothing up front. Our fee comes from any settlement or compensation that we earn for you. You will want to get started right away, because each state has a different statute of limitations that limits the time you have to file a personal injury claim.
How Is Benign Mesothelioma Treated?
Benign mesothelioma is treated with surgery and sometimes hormonal therapy.
According to StatPearls, benign mesothelioma is rare. When it is diagnosed, it is not due to asbestos exposure. Although asbestos-related mesothelioma is cancerous and usually fatal, benign mesothelioma is not. The cause is unknown, and it can strike at any age. There are several different types of benign mesothelioma, including:
Benign Multi-cystic Peritoneal Mesothelioma (BMPM)
BMPM is a very rare cystic tumor, according to the National Institutes of Health. It occurs in the abdominal wall lining or pelvis of young to middle-aged women who have a prior history of abdominal surgery, endometriosis, or pelvic inflammatory disease. It may also occasionally occur in men and children. Symptoms can include abdominal pain and swelling.
Aggressive surgery is the only effective treatment for BMPM, although hormonal therapy has been given in some cases with occasional success.
Well-Differentiated Papillary Mesothelioma (WDPM)
WDPM has the highest chance for becoming malignant. Most cases occur in the abdominal cavity of women who are between 30 and 40 years old, but it may also occur in the linings of the heart, lungs, or testicles. Symptoms can include pain and fluid accumulation.
Adenomatoid Tumor (AT)
This type most commonly affects the lining of the testicles in men and the uterine wall in women. It is usually painless, presenting as a small mass.
Localized Fibrous Tumor (LFT)
Localized fibrous tumors affect the chest wall and lungs. May also affect the linings of the heart, testicles, and abdominal organs. About half of patients have no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can include cough, breathlessness, and pain.
Treatment for Benign Mesothelioma
Because some patients with benign mesothelioma develop lung tumors, a surgical procedure called a thoracotomy is often performed to remove a portion or lobe of a lung. Rarely will the entire lung need to be removed. Follow-up treatment is not needed, but sometimes certain patients need to be watched to ensure that the benign mesothelioma does not return.
Since benign mesothelioma is not cancerous, the highest risk for patients involves complications following surgery. The most common complication after surgery is fluid buildup around the lungs and heart. This is often treated with a chest drain.
All types of mesothelioma are considered rare diseases, but when a patient is diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it is cause for concern. Malignant mesothelioma is caused by inhaling microscopic asbestos particles. Once inhaled, cells in the mesothelium (the lining of the lungs, heart, and abdomen) can mutate and lead to tumor growth. The average life expectancy for a patient newly diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma is just 18 months.
Exposure to asbestos can happen to anyone, although it is usually occupational-related. Workers in the construction and manufacturing trades are most often exposed, as are military workers. Most victims are men since men make up the majority of the occupational trades where a worker is likely to be exposed to asbestos. Symptoms do not appear for a very long time, usually at least 20 years and up to 50 years after exposure.
Secondary exposure can occur, such as when a worker who has been exposed to it brings it home on their hair, clothing, or skin, and unintentionally transmits it to their family.
Over the last several decades, since asbestos was linked to mesothelioma, many lawsuits have been filed against entities that continued to work with asbestos despite knowing the health risks involved, according to Reuters.
A Lawyer Can Help with Your Mesothelioma Case
If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma or want to speak with a lawyer about different types of mesothelioma, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 217-6099 for a free consultation. Patients with malignant mesothelioma may be eligible for compensation, and our legal team can help.
Act quickly, as a statute of limitations may apply if you should choose to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. If you wait too long, you could risk your rights to take any legal action against a negligent party. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we may begin working on your case.
You do not have to worry about any legal fees. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing upfront or out of pocket. Our fee comes from any settlement or award we obtain for you. Our lawyers are ready to fight for your rights and represent you in court, if necessary.
What Is Malignant Mesothelioma?
Malignant mesothelioma is a disease in which cancerous cells grow in the linings of the lungs, chest wall, abdomen, heart, or testicles, according to the National Cancer Institute. Malignant mesothelioma is so rare that screening for the disease is not routine practice for most doctors, making it difficult to diagnose in the early stages. As with most forms of cancer, there is no one-size-fits-all prognosis for any patient. While there are multiple risk factors that can result in malignant mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos is one primary cause.
There are currently regulations in place to prevent today’s most vulnerable populations from unnecessary asbestos exposure. However, with a latency period that can take decades, malignant mesothelioma is a real risk for former construction workers and their families. New cases of malignant mesothelioma are developing now in people who were affected years ago, before asbestos exposure was a well-known risk factor for the disease. If you or a loved one received a malignant mesothelioma diagnosis, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can ease the burden of seeking compensation for your care. Call us today at (800) 217-6099 to discuss your legal options.
Asbestos Exposure Increases Malignant Mesothelioma Risk
People with malignant mesothelioma tend to have one important risk factor in mind—they worked or lived in a place with regular asbestos exposure. The scenario can be different for every malignant mesothelioma patient, but often includes working in an industry like construction where asbestos materials were used. In recent cases, the children of construction workers and people who live or lived in buildings made with asbestos are being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.
Symptoms of Malignant Mesothelioma
One of the challenges of diagnosing malignant mesothelioma is distinguishing between the symptoms of other non-fatal conditions. Some common symptoms of malignant mesothelioma include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chronic cough
- Pain felt underneath the rib cage
- Swelling, pain, or lumps around the abdomen
- Excessive or unusual blood clotting
- Losing weight without trying
The list above does not include every symptom that you or a loved one may experience. These symptoms can indicate malignant mesothelioma, but they can also be indicative of other conditions that range in severity—from benign medical issues to lung cancer.
Thankfully, doctors can distinguish what is malignant mesothelioma from other chest conditions, including lung cancer. The tests and procedures used to pinpoint the exact starting point of malignant mesothelioma often varies based on each doctor’s preference and other factors. The diagnostic procedures for malignant mesothelioma are increasingly invasive, depending on the level of the condition:
- Physical exam: This option is the least invasive. It includes a physical wellness exam and a discussion about the individual’s work and life history to gauge risk of asbestos exposure.
- X-ray or CT scan: Doctors can use an X-ray or CT scan to get an internal image of an individual’s organs and bones, looking for any unusual physical growths or visually apparent damage from asbestos.
- Biopsy: Collecting cell overgrowth and tissue from affected areas of the body can be helpful for diagnosis. With suspected cases of malignant mesothelioma, biopsy procedures can be minimally invasive or may require an incision and more complicated measures.
Once cell tissue is removed and analyzed, doctors can give their prognosis. However, each case of cancer is unique and will not necessarily be limited by a doctor’s predictions. In any case, treatment of malignant mesothelioma can be costly to one’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being.
Legal Help for Malignant Mesothelioma
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) provides an outline of workers’ rights in the event of hazardous working conditions, including asbestos exposure. Employees have a right to safe working conditions under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, so even people with seemingly outdated cases of malignant mesothelioma could seek justice for the cost of treatment under the law.
If you or a loved one were needlessly exposed to asbestos, you can hold liable employers accountable by seeking compensation for your injuries.
Get Malignant Mesothelioma Help from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
You do not have to face this legal battle alone. A malignant mesothelioma lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can guide you through the litigation process and help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Call (800) 217-6099 today for a free consultation with a member of our team.