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Everything That You Should Know About Mesothelioma Malignant mesothelioma, which is commonly referred to simply as mesothelioma, is an extremely rare form of cancer that starts in the cells that line the outside of the organs including the heart, lungs,…
Everything That You Should Know About Mesothelioma
Malignant mesothelioma, which is commonly referred to simply as mesothelioma, is an extremely rare form of cancer that starts in the cells that line the outside of the organs including the heart, lungs, and abdomen.
Most often, mesothelioma initially develops in the thin layer of cells lining that serves as the outer lining of the lungs, called the pleura. When mesothelioma starts in this part of the lungs it is referred to as pleural mesothelioma. These types of cases account for about 70% of all mesothelioma cases. The other two types of mesothelioma are peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdominal cavity and pericardial mesothelioma affects the lining of the heart.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year. Most cases involve workers who have had long-term exposure to the carcinogen, asbestos. The most common settings that asbestos exposure can occur are ship construction and repair, factories, construction sites, and automotive construction and renovation. Asbestos cases also derive from situations in which a person was living or working for an extended period in an older building infested with asbestos. Unfortunately, secondary exposure—or “Shaker Cases”—are also frequent in Louisiana. Secondary exposure occurs when a family member is indirectly exposed to asbestos through a loved one who brings home asbestos in their clothing, skin, or hair.
Many people who have been exposed to asbestos often do not know that they have been. Symptoms of mesothelioma will not appear in individuals exposed to asbestos until long after the exposure took place; sometimes years and even decades. If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos in the past, you should immediately consult a physician who is trained in diagnosing mesothelioma. The earlier mesothelioma is detected, the more likely it is that the disease will be in the early stages and therefore more easily treatable.
Types of Malignant Mesothelioma
There are three main types of malignant mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma. There are two other forms of mesothelioma which are testicular mesothelioma and benign mesothelioma,.
Pleural mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining and wall of the lungs called the pleura and is the most common type of mesothelioma, representing 75% of the total mesothelioma cases. This type of mesothelioma is caused by the thickening or calcification of the lung lining. These calcifications and areas of thickening lining are called pleural plaques. In many cases these plaques develop into mesothelioma. This type of mesothelioma often spreads quickly from the lining of the lungs to the outer chest wall, heart, and even abdomen in some situations. Most cases of pleural mesothelioma are fatal. There is no cure for pleural mesothelioma, but some treatment options are available such as chemotherapy and surgery in the early stages.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma is the second most common type of the disease and it affects the abdominal area. It occurs when the thin membrane of the abdomen becomes hardened normally due to ingestion of asbestos fibers. The fibers affect the digestion systems in the body. Peritoneal mesothelioma can also occur when pleural mesothelioma metastasizes from the lungs to the abdomen. Like pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma is fatal. There are some treatments available including chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Pericardial Mesothelioma is a more rare form of the disease. It affects the lining of the heart, and is most often diagnosed in men. It occurs when asbestos fibers are lodged in the pericardial membranes which line the heart. This leads to the thickening of the pericardial membrane, similar to the thickening of the membranes that occur in pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. This thickening causes a buildup of fluid in the pericardial membranes and puts pressure on the heart. Like the other forms of mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma is hard to treat, and often the prognosis for patients diagnosed with this disease is not a good one.
Testicular mesothelioma is the rarest form of the disease, affecting the tissue around the testicles. Because it is so rare, little is known about this type of mesothelioma, and treatment is not well developed.
Benign mesothelioma is different from malignant mesothelioma because it does not invade the nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body. It is much more easily treated than malignant mesothelioma. However, patients who are diagnosed with benign mesothelioma may exhibit the same symptoms as a patient with malignant mesothelioma. Benign mesothelioma is usually treated through surgery. The most common surgical procedure used to treat benign mesothelioma is called a thoracotomy.
These forms of mesothelioma can all be caused by asbestos exposure, and they are all deadly. It is very important to be aware of symptoms of these diseases so that a diagnosis can be made in the early stage of the disease. Treatment in the early stages of the disease is normally much more successful than treatment in the late stages.
What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
There are many different signs and symptoms associated with each of the three main types of mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma, the most common form of mesothelioma, which affects the outer linings of the lungs,…
There are many different signs and symptoms associated with each of the three main types of mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma.
Pleural mesothelioma, the most common form of mesothelioma, which affects the outer linings of the lungs, can lead to the following signs and symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Pleural effusion (the buildup of fluid surrounding the lungs)
- Wheezing or hoarseness
- Blood in the sputum
In extremely severe cases that are left undiagnosed, pleural mesotheliolama can lead to tumors on the lungs or pneumothorax, which is collapsing of the lung. Like all forms of cancer pleural mesothelioma can metastasize and spread to other parts of the body including the heart and the abdomen. Pleural mesothelioma is a fatal cancer, and most prognoses for patients diagnosed with the disease are not good. The majority of patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma do not survive for more than a year.
Peritoneal mesothelioma, the type of mesothelioma that forms in lining of the abdominal cavity can lead to the following signs and symptoms:
- Bowel obstruction
- Blood clotting abnormalities
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Ascites (the buildup of fluid in the abdomen)
Pericardial mesothelioma, the type of mesothelioma that forms in the lining surrounding the heart known as the pericardium can lead to the following signs and symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Heart murmurs
- Heart palpitations
Like pleural mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma is a potentially fatal disease.
In extreme cases of mesothelioma more severe signs and symptoms of the disease are exhibited including:
- Severe Ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdomen)
- Pulmonary emboli (blood clots in the lung arteries)
- Severe Pleural effusion (accumulation of fluid around the lungs)
- Blood clots in veins
- Low blood sugar
Some symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to symptoms of lung cancer caused by smoking. These include scarring of the lungs, lung tumors, coughing up blood, and shortness of breath. Smoking has been shown to increase the development of mesothelioma by certain studies, although asbestos is still considered the main factor that causes the disease.
How is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?
Doctors often have a difficult time reaching a conclusive diagnosis of mesothelioma. Many of the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma are shared by or similar to other diseases. Diagnosis usually begins by looking at a person’s medical history and any…
Doctors often have a difficult time reaching a conclusive diagnosis of mesothelioma. Many of the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma are shared by or similar to other diseases. Diagnosis usually begins by looking at a person’s medical history and any history of asbestos exposure. If a person has had previous asbestos exposure and any of the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma are present, specialists will then conduct a physical examination, as well as lung function tests, and possibly chest and abdominal x-rays. These procedures are usually followed by a C.T. scan or M.R.I, which will allow the doctor to see if the linings of the lungs, linings of the abdominal cavity, and the linings of the heart appear thick. If these linings look abnormally thick, it is often indicative of mesothelioma, and biopsies are usually the next step in diagnosing.
Experts need different types of biopsies for each of the three main types of mesothelioma. Doctors try to use the least invasive biopsy necessary to diagnose or rule out mesothelioma conclusively. A biopsy may be done to determine the presence of pleural mesothelioma by testing the pleural fluid through thoracentesis or tube thoracostomy. A biopsy may be done to determine the presence of peritoneal mesothelioma by examining the ascites fluid through paracentesis or ascitic drain. Finally, a biopsy may be done to determine the presence of pericardial mesothelioma by testing the pericardial fluid through pericardial effusion with pericardiocentesis.
In all cases, doctors check the fluids for malignant cells, which would indicate mesothelioma.
If you or your family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the next step is to discuss treatment options with your doctor and develop a treatment plan. There have been recent breakthroughs in medical treatment for all types of mesothelioma. There are traditional treatments as well as experimental treatments, alternative therapies, and clinical trials available for some types of mesothelioma patients to participate.
Manufacturers, employers, and insurance companies often deny liability in mesothelioma cases by arguing the uncertainty of where the asbestos exposure may have occurred. Since these companies aggressively defend their claim, you will also require an aggressive advocate to tell your story and prosecute your case.
OUR APPROACH—PERSONALIZED ATTENTION
Cueria Law Firm, L.L.C.’s New Orleans Mesothelioma attorney, will treat your claim on an individual basis. Unlike other asbestos litigators, our firm does not file asbestos claims as a class action. This difference allows us to concentrate our time and resources on prosecuting your claim aggressively and efficiently without being “bogged down” in the backlog of class asbestos claims that have made media attention.
Many mesothelioma cases are being litigated in Louisiana today. Mesothelioma litigation is complicated. Defendants in these cases, along with their insurance companies hire teams of lawyers to try to prove that they are not responsible for the injuries mesothelioma patients suffer. It is essential that if you or your family member is suffering from mesothelioma, you have an experienced mesothelioma attorney on your side. We can help prove your case by presenting the proper evidence and information it takes to show that asbestos exposure caused your mesothelioma.
The team at Cueria Law Firm are not only available to help you navigate the tricky and challenging aspects of litigation, but we are also available to help you and your family members cope with this terrible disease. Symptoms, effects, and treatments associated with mesothelioma can place a lot of strain and pressure on victims and their families. We will work with you to alleviate as much of the stress associated with litigation and with the disease as we can.
We believe in personalized attention. Our initial meeting will be face-to-face at the client’s home. Together with local counsel, we can represent clients throughout the country and are willing to schedule a meeting at your home at your convenience. This meeting involves no out-of-pocket cost or obligation to the injured party or the family. Following our meeting, we are prepared to quickly obtain investigative reports from the proper investigative agencies and request all available information concerning your injury according to the Freedom of Information Act.
Mesothelioma litigation is still going on today, with many hundreds of cases being filed each year. It is essential that you find a mesothelioma attorney who you can trust to handle your situation correctly and efficiently. You need an attorney who will give your case personalized attention and focus.
Depending on the gravity of your injury, you may be entitled to claim pain and suffering, loss of wages, loss of life enjoyment, and medical expenses, to name a few. Therefore, we will take all necessary steps to investigate your issues to present the strongest case possible thoroughly, be it in settlement negotiations or at trial.
Most Mesothelioma cases settle out of court. Our goal is to work quickly and diligently towards a settlement with as little involvement from you as possible. Our goal is to make the process stress-free and straightforward. 90% of our cases settle out of court.
At Cueria Law Firm, L.L.C., our New Orleans Mesothelioma attorney has the resources and expertise to make this process as stress-free and straightforward as possible for you and your family.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact us today to speak to a lawyer and take the first step toward easing the emotional and financial pain of this horrible disease.
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Do you or a family member have a Mesothelioma claim? Contact us or call us at 504-525-5211.
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Attorney Brent Cueria founded the Cueria Law Firm, L.L.C. located in New Orleans, in order to focus on the representation of injured individuals, where his true passion is. Mr. Cueria uses his past experience to diligently advocate for the injured and disabled clients he now represents against the insurance companies.
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