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Mesothelioma Help Center - Malignant Mesothelioma

Did You Know?
During the 20th century, some 30 million tons of asbestos were used in industrial sites, homes, schools, shipyards and commercial buildings in the U.S.

What is malignant mesothelioma?

Malignant mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the sac lining the chest (the pleura) or abdomen (the peritoneum). Most people with malignant mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they breathed asbestos.

A doctor should be seen if a person has shortness of breath, pain in the chest, or pain or swelling in the abdomen. If there are symptoms, the doctor may order an x-ray of the chest or abdomen.

The doctor may look inside the chest cavity with a special instrument called a thoracoscope. A cut will be made through the chest wall and the thoracoscope will be put into the chest between two ribs. This test, called thoracoscopy, is usually done in the hospital. Before the test, the patient will be given a local anesthetic (a drug that causes a loss of feeling for a short period of time). Some pressure may be felt, but usually there is no pain.

The doctor may also look inside the abdomen (peritoneoscopy) with a special tool called a peritoneoscope. The peritoneoscope is put into an opening made in the abdomen. This test is also usually done in the hospital. Before the test is done, a local anesthetic will be given.

If tissue that is not normal is found, the doctor will need to cut out a small piece and have it looked at under a microscope to see if there are any cancer cells. This is called a biopsy. Biopsies are usually done during the thoracoscopy or peritoneoscopy.

The chance of recovery (prognosis) depends on the size of the cancer, where the cancer is, how far the cancer has spread, how the cancer cells look under the microscope, how the cancer responds to treatment, and the patient's age.

Malignant Mesothelioma Attorney - Filing a Lawsuit :

More than 6,000 asbestos companies have been named in asbestos lawsuits in the last 40 years. It is not uncommon for there to be 20-30 companies that are named in an asbestos lawsuit in the United States.

For example, a worker in California may have been exposed to asbestos from asbestos products shipped from Libby, Montana, an iron ore plant in St. Paul, Minnesota, shipyards, oil refineries, power plants, railroads, boiler rooms or construction sites. This is why it is very important to obtain an experienced asbestos lawyer that knows all of the companies in each state who have responsibility for your asbestos exposure.

Use our Quick Contact Form or call our FREE Malignant Mesothelioma Attorney at Toll Free 800.291.0963!

There are many things which you should consider when looking for an asbestos lawyer. We have helped asbestos victims across the country receive millions of dollars worth of compensation for:

Medical treatments including surgery and chemotherapy
Hospice and/or palliative care
Funeral/burial expenses
Pain and suffering
Loss of companionship

We are proud of these recent signficant mesothelioma verdicts of our lawyers we are working with:

  • Yancy and Mudgett vs. Plant Insulation Company
  • Hearn, Harris, Wetch vs. Plant Insulation Company
  • Los Angeles Jury Awards $4.9 million in Cookus Case
  • San Francisco Jury Awards $5,900,000 to Peninsula Executive
  • San Francisco Jury Awards $5,150,000 to HVAC Mechanic and his Wife
  • San Francisco Jury Awards $2,245,000 to Bulldozer Driver and his Wife
  • Victor and Francesca Trinchese vs. Union Carbide, Inc.
  • San Francisco Jury Returns $11.5 Million Verdict Against UNOCAL for Pipefitter's Wife
  • San Francisco Jury Returns $1,125,579 Verdict Against Allied Signal, Inc.

Malignant Mesothelioma Attorney - Choices: Deciding which asbestos lawyer to represent you and your case is very important. Choosing the right asbestos lawyer will be important to your settlement. You are entitled to an experienced asbestos lawyer who has a track record of success in asbestos lawsuits nationwide.

Malignant Mesothelioma Attorney - Loss of a Loved One: If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos cancer or Mesothelioma cancer, or a family member has died as a result, you may be entitled to recover compensation from the companies that made these asbestos products.

The vast majority of cases of asbestosis and mesothelioma are due to exposure to the carcinogenic mineral asbestos, which was used in thousands of products dating from the 1880s through 1989. Every asbestos lawyer knows of the devastation that this cancer has on patients and their families. We are here to help you file a claim.

Those dealing with asbestos cancers face a number of challenges, including the tremendous costs of treatment. If you were unknowingly exposed to harmful levels of asbestos, you have legal rights and there is compensation help available for you.

This site is dedicated to providing important information on asbestos & mesothelioma cancers. We help asbestos patients and families make educated decisions about how to proceed when filing asbestos and mesothelioma claims.

Contact an Experienced Malignant Mesothelioma Attorney Today

Malignant Mesothelioma Attorneys who represent asbestos and mesothelioma patients are prepared to discuss your case with you today and will advise you of your legal rights. Whether you simply have questions or need full legal representation, the first step is to contact an asbestos mesothelioma lawyer today for a FREE complimentary consultation.

Use our Quick Contact Form or call our FREE Malignant Mesothelioma Attorney Hotline at Toll Free 800.291.0963!

Stages of malignant mesothelioma

Once malignant mesothelioma is found, more tests will be done to find out if cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. This is called staging. A doctor needs to know the stage of the cancer to plan treatment. The following stages are used for malignant mesothelioma.

Localized malignant mesothelioma

Stage I: The cancer is found in the lining of the chest cavity near the lung and heart or in the diaphragm or the lung.

Advanced malignant mesothelioma

Stage II: The cancer has spread beyond the lining of the chest to lymph nodes in the chest.

Stage III: Cancer has spread into the chest wall, center of the chest, heart, through the diaphragm, or abdominal lining, and in some cases into nearby lymph nodes.

Stage IV: Cancer has spread to distant organs or tissues.

Recurrent malignant mesothelioma

Recurrent disease means that the cancer has come back (recurred) after it has been treated. It may come back in the lining of the chest or abdomen or in another part of the body.

How malignant mesothelioma is treated
There are treatments for all patients with malignant mesothelioma. Three kinds of treatment are used:

  • surgery (taking out the cancer)
  • radiation therapy (using high-dose x-rays or other high-energy rays to kill cancer cells)
  • chemotherapy (using drugs to fight the cancer)

Surgery is a common treatment of malignant mesothelioma. The doctor may remove part of the lining of the chest or abdomen and some of the tissue around it. Depending on how far the cancer has spread, a lung also may be removed in an operation called a pneumonectomy. Sometimes part of the diaphragm, the muscle below the lungs that helps with breathing, is also removed.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external radiation therapy) or from putting materials that produce radiation (radioisotopes) through thin plastic tubes in the area where the cancer cells are found (internal radiation therapy).

If fluid has collected in the chest or abdomen, the doctor may drain the fluid out of the body by putting a needle into the chest or abdomen and using gentle suction to remove the fluid. If fluid is removed from the chest, this is called thoracentesis. If fluid is removed from the abdomen, this is called paracentesis. The doctor may also put drugs through a tube into the chest to prevent more fluid from accumulating.

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be taken by pill, or it may be put into the body by a needle in the vein or muscle. Chemotherapy is called a systemic treatment because the drug enters the bloodstream, travels through the body, and can kill cancer cells throughout the body. In mesothelioma, chemotherapy may be put directly into the chest (intrapleural chemotherapy).

Intraoperative photodynamic therapy is a new type of treatment that uses special drugs and light to kill cancer cells during surgery. A drug that makes cancer cells more sensitive to light is injected into a vein several days before surgery. During surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible, a special light is used to shine on the pleura. This treatment is being studied for early stages of mesothelioma in the chest.

Treatment by stage

Treatment depends on where the cancer is, how far it has spread, and the patient's age and general health.

Standard treatment may be considered because of its effectiveness in patients in past studies, or participation in a clinical trial may be considered. Not all patients are cured with standard therapy and some standard treatments may have more side effects than are desired. For these reasons, clinical trials are designed to find better ways to treat cancer patients and are based on the most up-to-date information. Clinical trials are ongoing in many parts of the country for many patients with malignant mesothelioma. To learn more about clinical trials, call the Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-Cancer (1-800-422-6237); TTY at 1-800-332-8615.

Localized Malignant Mesothelioma (Stage I)
If the cancer is only in one place in the chest or abdomen, treatment will probably be surgery to remove part of the pleura and some of the tissue around it.

If the cancer is found in a larger part of the pleura, treatment may be one of the following:

1. Surgery to remove the pleura and the tissue near it to relieve symptoms, with or without radiation therapy after surgery.
2. Surgery to remove sections of the pleura, the lung, part of the diaphragm, and part of the lining around the heart.
3. External beam radiation therapy to relieve symptoms.
4. A clinical trial of surgery followed by chemotherapy given inside the chest.
5. A clinical trial of surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.

Advanced Malignant Mesothelioma (Stages II, III, And IV)
Treatment may be one of the following:

1. Draining of fluid in the chest or abdomen (thoracentesis or paracentesis) to reduce discomfort. Drugs also may be put into the chest or abdomen to prevent further collection of fluid.
2. Surgery to relieve symptoms.
3. Radiation therapy to relieve symptoms.
4. Chemotherapy.
5. A clinical trial of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
6. Chemotherapy given in the chest or abdomen.

Sources: http://cancerweb.ncl.ac.uk/cancernet/201071.html

You May Be Entitled To Monetary Compensation.

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Mesothelioma Symptoms

The most common Mesothelioma symptoms are the following:

Recent onset of shortness of breath (31%)
Recent increase in shortness of breath (30%)
Chest pain (43%)
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