Frequently Asked Questions About Mesothelioma
What is malignant mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a very aggressive and deadly form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. It can appear in several different regions of the body, including the cavity in which the lungs are located, the abdominal cavity, and the cavity in which the heart is located. Though mesothelioma most commonly occurs in those who have been exposed to asbestos over a long period of time, there are many documented cases in which people develop the disease after a single or short-term exposure to the carcinogenic material. Of the three types of mesothelioma, the most common is pleural mesothelioma, which is located in the lungs. Pleural mesothelioma is diagnosed in roughly 80% of mesothelioma cases, with peritoneal (abdominal cavity) mesothelioma diagnosed in 10 to 15% and pericardial (heart cavity) diagnosed in even fewer cases. With only 3,500 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed each year, it is one of the rarest forms of cancer, as well as one of the most deadly.
Most of the people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos in the workplace. In some cases the asbestos was present in their environment and in other instances they were actually working with a material or product that contained asbestos. In either case, the asbestos broke down into fibers that were easily inhaled or ingested, thus allowing the material to enter their bodies and become embedded in their cells. There is ample evidence that shows that companies were well aware that their products were sickening people but chose to continue working with asbestos because it was so profitable. As a result, these companies are now held legally responsible for the damages that this caused. Asbestos companies have been sued for billions of dollars in mesothelioma lawsuits and have been required to establish asbestos trust funds specifically to compensate those who they have hurt. Those trust funds are currently valued at over $30 billion, and if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma then you may be eligible to file a claim against them.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, you may be entitled to compensation from the asbestos companies. No matter what your mesothelioma stage, this compensation can come from filing a mesothelioma lawsuit or from filing a claim with the $30 billion asbestos trust funds. For more information on your rights and the reimbursement you may be able to receive, contact us today. We will send you a free Financial Compensation Packet, or put you in touch with one of our compassionate and experienced mesothelioma attorneys.
Why is it called mesothelioma?
The term “mesothelium” refers to a specialized organ that provides a protective covering or membrane to the body’s vital organs. It is usually made up of two distinct layers, one of which lines the area that surrounds the organ and the other that surrounds the organ itself. The mesothelium is referred to by different names depending upon where it is situated in the body and what organs it protects. The mesothelium that is located in the lung area is called the pleura, while the mesothelium that protects the abdominal cavity is called the peritoneum. When asbestos fibers become embedded in the cells of any of these membranes and mutate into cancerous cells, the cancer is referred to as mesothelioma.
Where does mesothelioma come from?
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was widely used in industrial and construction settings in the 20th century. Asbestos breaks down very easily into a fine dust that is easily inhaled or ingested. In most cases the asbestos exposure takes place over a long period of time, but in some cases it can be the result of short-term exposure. In most cases, mesothelioma victims were exposed to asbestos in their work environment, but there are also a number of documented cases where family members of those who worked with asbestos were sickened after having been exposed to asbestos dust on their clothing, hair, or skin. This is called second-hand exposure. There are also instances where people who lived near asbestos companies or asbestos mines have been diagnosed with the disease.
Is there a cure for mesothelioma?
Unfortunately, mesothelioma is always considered to be a fatal disease. Though researchers and physicians have worked tirelessly to find an effective treatment protocol for the condition, at this point the best that they have been able to achieve has been an extension of survival time.
How much does mesothelioma treatment cost?
The cost of treatment for mesothelioma depends upon the protocol that you and your physician decide is most appropriate for your individual case. That being said, the cost of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other protocols that have proven to be effective can quickly climb into tens of thousands of dollars. There are a number of charities and programs that are available to help mesothelioma patients shoulder the costs. You also may be eligible to file a mesothelioma lawsuit or to file a claim against the asbestos trust funds to provide you with compensation for your medical expenses.
Is there any hope for extended survival using new treatments that are being investigated?
Mesothelioma is a condition that is being targeted by researchers all around the world. The National Cancer Institute is a good resource for learning about new clinical trials being explored at research facilities in the United States. You may want to speak to your physician to determine whether you are eligible for any of these studies, which focus on investigating the safety and effectiveness of different treatment protocols at all stages of the disease. If you would like to find out whether you are eligible for a specific trial, call 1-800-40CANCER to speak to the Cancer Information Service.
If I got mesothelioma from my work environment, what can I do?
People who are victims of negligent asbestos exposure have a number of options available to them. These options are generally available to those who were exposed to asbestos either at work or because they worked with a product that was contaminated with asbestos. One option is to file a mesothelioma lawsuit against the company that exposed you and did not provide you with either protection or warning. Another option is to file a claim against the asbestos trust funds that many of the asbestos companies have been required to set up to compensate mesothelioma victims.
The reason that these lawsuits and trust funds are available is that many of the asbestos companies were aware that the material was causing serious health conditions, yet chose to continue working with it anyway. A mesothelioma attorney will be able to help you gather the evidence that proves that you worked with an asbestos-contaminated product and that this is how you were sickened.
What does a mesothelioma attorney do?
A mesothelioma attorney is a lawyer that has extensive knowledge and experience in representing victims of asbestos exposure. In addition to being highly trained and aware of all applicable asbestos law, they also have comprehensive resources regarding the asbestos companies and the damage that mesothelioma victims suffer. A mesothelioma attorney will use their experience to fight for justice and compensation on behalf of those who have suffered due to asbestos exposure.
How do I get more information about my rights and what I may be entitled to?
People who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma may be eligible for compensation from the $30 billion asbestos trust funds, or to file a mesothelioma lawsuit against the asbestos companies that negligently exposed them to asbestos. If you or someone you love has an asbestos-related condition like mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos lung cancer, contact our office today at 1-800-706-5606. We will put you in touch with one of our experienced mesothelioma attorneys or send you a free Financial Compensation Packet that will provide you with helpful information about the compensation that you may be eligible to receive.