What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that most commonly affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, and heart, according to the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases.
This type of aggressive, often-terminal cancer is almost always related to asbestos exposure, although it can be difficult to identify the source of the exposure in some cases.
The most common type of mesothelioma affects the pleura, a thin layer of tissue that lines the chest cavity and lungs. However, this cancer is different from lung cancer.
While much rarer, mesothelioma can also develop in cells in other parts of the body, including the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum) and the lining of the heart (pericardium).
Many malignant mesothelioma cases affect the lungs because inhalation is the most common way asbestos fibers enter the body.
Asbestos-containing products release microscopic particles when cut or moved. When a person breathes these asbestos fibers in, the particles end up in the lungs. Over time, particles trapped in the lungs can cause inflammation and, eventually, cancerous cell mutations.
Pleural mesothelioma generally has a poor prognosis, partly because it often reaches advanced stages before symptoms become apparent. Most people do not live more than a year following a pleural mesothelioma diagnosis, according to the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases.
Sometimes it is possible to identify the cancer at an earlier stage, before it spreads. This may occur because the person sees a doctor for another issue and the medical imaging or other tests reveal the cancer. When caught early, the five-year survival rate may increase, but the cancer usually spreads throughout the chest before it becomes symptomatic and is diagnosed.
There is no cure for malignant pleural mesothelioma. However, treatment can help extend survival beyond a few weeks or months for some people. There are treatments available, but they are not always effective for every patient and may only extend the person’s life, not save it.
Palliative care is a common option for those with late-stage mesothelioma. This type of supportive care helps manage pain and ease other symptoms, improving quality of life in the patient’s last weeks and days.
As of 2020, the National Cancer Institute Its ongoing research in the form of clinical trials to pursue effective treatments for mesothelioma, as well as screening methods that might allow medical care providers to identify those at an increased risk and check them regularly for signs of the disease.
If you or a loved one was exposed to asbestos and was diagnosed with one of the following diseases you may be able to obtain compensation for your medical expenses and other costs by joining this asbestos mesothelioma lawsuit investigation:
- Lung cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Larynx cancer
- colon cancer
- Asbestos-related pleural disease
- Pulmonary asbestosis
For a free legal consultation, fill out the form on this page or go to the asbestos open lawsuit investigation page for more information.