There are two causes of cancerous growths in the pleura, the thin membrane that lines the lungs and chest cavity. The only known cause of cancer that begins in the pleura is exposure to asbestos. This cancer is known as malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Medline reports that the only other known cause of cancer that occurs in the pleura is cancer that spreads from elsewhere in the body and invades the pleural space. This occurs when cancer cells travel to the area via the bloodstream or the lymph system. Both pleural mesothelioma and other types of cancer that metastasize to the pleura can cause pleural effusion, which makes it difficult to breathe.
Asbestos Exposure Causes Pleural Cancer
When a person inhales asbestos fibers, the body’s natural mechanisms go to work to repel these fibers and keep them out of the lungs. Many get stuck in mucus and are coughed out. Others break down before becoming deeply embedded in tissue. Some, however, make it into the lung tissue. As exposure continues, these fibers build up.
Some asbestos fibers embed deep enough to penetrate the tissue of the lung and reach the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, the pleura. It is the cells around these fibers that, over 20 to 40 years, begin to multiply uncontrollably. At first, symptoms are minor or absent.
Over time, though, as the cancer spreads across the surface of the structures inside the chest, symptoms begin. By this time, mesothelioma cancer cells may be all over the chest.
Pleural Cancer Treatment and Complications
Mesothelioma is difficult to treat, at least in part because it is so rarely identified and diagnosed at an early stage. Eventually, most patients develop pleural effusion, a build-up of fluid in the chest cavity which makes it difficult and painful to take a full breath.
If caught early, it may be possible to control the progress of mesothelioma with surgery and chemotherapy. When it has already spread throughout the chest cavity before diagnosis, it is much more difficult to treat. There is no known cure for this type of cancer. Treatment may be able to extend the person’s life, decrease symptoms, or greatly improve their quality of life.
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Pleural Mesothelioma Is Often Asbestos-Related
The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry reports that asbestos exposure is the only known cause of pleural mesothelioma and a common cause of some types of lung cancer that can spread into the pleura. If you have a history that includes moderate or heavy asbestos exposure, your cancer may be related to your previous occupation or another method of exposure.
A record of your exposure, including when and how, will be necessary to support your case. In addition, you will need medical evidence, such as your medical records or medical expert witnesses, to confirm your asbestos-related cancer diagnosis. With a compelling case and strong evidence, you may be eligible to join thousands of others in pursuing an award in the asbestos mass tort. The United States Government Accountability Office reports that “Since 1988, 60 trusts have been established to pay claims with about $37 billion in total assets.”
You may have options for trying to recover an award or settlement based on your pleural cancer diagnosis. This could include:
- Filing a claim with an asbestos trust fund
- Filing a lawsuit and fighting for an award
Your family should not have to pay for treatment and other cancer-related expenses when the asbestos company or companies benefited from your exposure. It is the asbestos companies, through the trust funds they established, who should pay for your damages, not you and your family.
Talk to a Mesothelioma Law Firm About Your Case Today
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm knows how to build a compelling case and pursue a settlement or award based on your asbestos-related pleural cancer diagnosis. We take on a wide range of cases and do not shy away from any case we believe deserves a payout. We will evaluate the merits of your case for free during your complimentary consultation with a member of our team.
When we build a case for our clients, we do so based on a contingency fee. This means they pay us nothing upfront and nothing out of pocket. We get paid contingent on recovering compensation for you. We only receive our fee after we get the settlement or award check for your case.
Call our office today at (800) 794-0444 for your free case evaluation.