Mesothelioma asbestos cancer affects the pleura, a thin membrane that lines the chest cavity and lungs. It can also spread to the diaphragm and inside the lungs in its later stages. Mesothelioma occurs because of known asbestos exposure in about 80 percent of cases, and there is a likelihood of unknown exposure to this material in other cases.
Mesothelioma occurs because of the irregular growth of mesothelial cells that make up the pleura. This cancer is aggressive and deadly and is usually asymptomatic until it reaches later stages. There is no cure for malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Pleural Mesothelioma Affects the Respiratory System
There are several types of mesothelioma. Each type affects the mesothelial cells in a different area of the body. Mesothelioma that affects the respiratory system by infecting the lining of the chest and the membranes that surround the lungs is known as pleural mesothelioma. This is the most common type of malignant mesothelioma.
While mesothelioma is relatively rare overall, mesothelioma that affects other organ systems outside of the respiratory system is even rarer. Other types include:
- Peritoneal mesothelioma that affects the lining of the abdomen
- Pericardial mesothelioma affecting the lining around the heart
- Testicular mesothelioma that affects the testicles
Mesothelioma Makes It Difficult to Breathe
While mesothelioma does not grow tumors in lung tissue initially, pleural mesothelioma affects the way the respiratory system functions and causes symptoms that make it difficult to breathe. This includes:
- Difficulty taking a deep breath
- Pain under the rib cage, especially when inhaling
- Unexplained weight loss
Because the symptoms are very general, malignant mesothelioma often spreads throughout the chest cavity before the person receives a diagnosis. The person may not realize there is a problem until they develop pleural effusion, which is a build-up of fluid around the lungs that makes it difficult to breathe. Draining this fluid can improve symptoms immediately, but the doctor will need to diagnose their condition and begin treatment because it will likely recur.
The doctor will likely call for chest X-rays and a computerized tomography (CT) scan to see what is happening inside the chest. If they spot a tumor, it may be difficult to know whether it is malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer, or a benign growth. To find out, they will need to order a biopsy.
Prognosis for Patients with Mesothelioma that Affects the Respiratory System
Once they confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis, they will discuss your treatment options with you. Mesothelioma is a deadly and aggressive cancer that greatly impacts the ability of the respiratory system to oxygenate the blood.
Most people diagnosed with this type of cancer pass away from respiratory failure within two years. They are also especially susceptible to pneumonia and other infections that affect the respiratory system.
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Pursuing an Award Based on Asbestos-Related Cancer
If you develop mesothelioma or another asbestos-related cancer, and you have a proven history of exposure to this deadly material, you may be eligible to take legal action to hold the asbestos company responsible and to collect compensation to help pay for your treatment and care. For more than 40 years, the mass tort against asbestos product manufacturing companies has helped workers and others who develop asbestos-related medical conditions recover awards for their suffering.
If you or a loved one developed cancer as a result of asbestos exposure, the company that profited from your exposure should have to pay for your related expenses and losses, not your family. While many of these companies filed for bankruptcy over the last 30 years, the courts required them to establish trust funds to compensate victims. You may be able to get a settlement or award from one of these funds.
Talk to a Mesothelioma Cancer Attorney About Your Case
The mesothelioma cancer lawyers from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm know how to pursue a payout through filing a claim or lawsuit in an asbestos cancer case. We do not shy away from tough cases. Instead, we work to collect evidence and build a compelling case to prove you suffered asbestos exposure, the asbestos company is responsible, and you developed a medical condition as a result. To learn if you are eligible, request a free case review today.
If we work together to pursue an award or settlement in your case, you will pay nothing out of pocket, and there are no upfront expenses. We take our fee only after we receive the check from the asbestos trust fund. We do not get paid attorney’s fees unless you recover an award.
Call (800) 794-0444 now to learn more or to get started with your case review.