Factors That Impact Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlement Amounts – Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer caused by inhaling or swallowing asbestos fibers from the air. This aggressive cancer is characterized by tumors that grow in the mesothelium, the protective layer that covers most internal organs.
Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer that mainly starts in the pleural mesothelium (chest cavity), peritoneum (abdominal cavity), pericardium (heart cavity). There are four main types of mesothelioma: pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, and testicular.
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Mesothelioma cancer has only one known cause – asbestosis. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that has been used throughout the country for decades. When inhaled or swallowed, these fibers often become embedded in the lining of internal organs, leading to the development of tumors.
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The survival rate for mesothelioma patients with treatment is 18 to 31 months. Cancer treatment can improve a patient’s quality of life and survival. Common types of treatment for mesothelioma include traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation, as well as newer methods such as immunotherapy.
Life expectancy after diagnosis (usually referred to as the five-year survival rate) is generally poor; Approximately 46 percent of patients are still alive one year after diagnosis. That is why timely diagnosis is so important.
The first symptoms of mesothelioma are often less severe and take 10 to 50 years to appear after the initial exposure to asbestos. Additionally, many patients diagnosed with mesothelioma experience symptoms for several months before seeing a doctor for a checkup.
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The early symptoms of mesothelioma can be difficult because the symptoms are mild. Studies show that early symptoms include chest or abdominal pain and fluid accumulation in the form of bloating or swelling. Other warning signs of mesothelioma include anxiety, dry cough, fever, pain, and fatigue.
Chest pain or lower back pain, shortness of breath, persistent cough, difficulty swallowing, swelling of the face and/or hands
When these symptoms appear, patients and doctors often misdiagnose them as other, less serious illnesses, such as the flu or pneumonia. Furthermore, malignant tumors often cause only mild symptoms, and it is not until the patient becomes seriously ill that the symptoms become more severe. This means that most patients diagnosed with mesothelioma experience symptoms for several months before seeing a doctor for an examination.
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If you or someone you think has a history of asbestos exposure, it may be helpful if you disclose this information to your doctor. This can lead to earlier and better diagnosis and treatment plans. Early detection of mesothelioma often improves the diagnosis of cancer.
Mesothelioma patients often experience anxiety in response to their symptoms or diagnosis. Additionally, when the body is sick, the immune system releases stress hormones and other chemicals that may negatively affect the patient’s mental health. Anxiety, the feeling of anxiety or worry, is a natural feeling that the body produces in response to danger or threat. There are two types of anxiety: acute and chronic. While living with mesothelioma, patients may continue to experience anxiety triggers:
Pleural mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs. Many patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma experience chest-related symptoms. A common symptom is a dry cough. Patients often begin experiencing a dry cough in stage 1 or stage 2. As the cancer progresses, the dry cough becomes more severe and painful. In the later stages of cancer, tumor growth can increase pressure on the lungs, often causing a dry cough.
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Other possible symptoms of mesothelioma are fever and night sweats. When the body temperature rises, causing a fever, the body sweats more to cool itself down. The body tries to regulate its temperature to fight the disease. These diseases include tumor growth, inflammation, and many other conditions.
Tumors often cause pain in patients as they continue to grow and put pressure on nerves and organs. As the cancer progresses, fluid buildup can cause pain with activities such as breathing, coughing, and eating. More than 60 percent of pleural mesothelioma patients experience chest pain and 30 to 50 percent of peritoneal mesothelioma patients experience abdominal pain. In addition, cancer treatment can cause discomfort and pain in patients.
When a patient has cancer and is being treated, they may experience weakness and fatigue. Patients who experience weakness and fatigue may exhibit decreased strength and difficulty moving. Those who experience fatigue often feel “tired” and have trouble staying awake. More than 80 percent of mesothelioma patients experience weakness and fatigue.
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Asbestos causes latent mesothelioma. Do you think you’ve been exposed? Request a case assessment to find out the cause and who is responsible.
Cancer cells form when the DNA of healthy cells is damaged. Although the exact mechanism that causes mesothelioma is unclear to cancer researchers, asbestos exposure is known to be the main cause of pleural mesothelioma. About 80 percent of people diagnosed with mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos at some point in their lives.
When asbestos enters the body (often in the form of dust from soft fibers), its tiny particles travel to the end of the respiratory tract. There, the particles settle in the pleura surrounding the lungs, causing inflammation and scarring. If swallowed, the venom can travel through the digestive system into the peritoneum, which connects to the abdominal cavity.
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Radiation therapy has been studied as another possible cause of some types of mesothelioma. Even the type of radiation used in cancer treatment can cause changes in the DNA of cells. Eventually, these changes can spread and lead to cancer.
When a person is exposed to asbestos, small amounts of the fiber can enter the body in various ways. People can inhale or swallow asbestos fibers, allowing them to enter the body and bloodstream. Asbestos fibers are then deposited in the lining of the stomach, heart, lungs, and/or testicles. Over time, these fibers cause inflammation of the tissue layers, causing scar tissue to grow on the surface of these layers. Within the scar tissue, a cancerous tumor forms, leading to mesothelioma.
About three out of four mesothelioma diagnoses are related to asbestos exposure, most of which are related to occupational hazards from previous jobs. People who are at risk of being diagnosed with mesothelioma include jobs such as:
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The attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York also endangered the lives of many people. Thousands of residents, Manhattan workers, and first responders inhaled large amounts of asbestos dust released from the destroyed buildings.
Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that begins in mesothelial cells in various parts of the body. Mesothelial cells can be found in the lining of the chest cavity, heart and stomach. These cells are also located in the testicular mesothelium.
Lung cancer refers to tumors that grow in the lining of the lungs, or pleura. This type of mesothelioma is the most common, accounting for up to 80 percent or about 2,500 to 3,000 cases each year.
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Lung cancer patients usually experience symptoms related to the chest and lungs. Symptoms usually begin with chest pain or a persistent cough. Patients may experience chest tightness, shortness of breath, fatigue, or unexplained weight loss.
Tumors that grow in the peritoneum or lining of the stomach are called peritoneal mesothelioma. It is the second most common type of mesothelioma, accounting for 15 to 20 percent of diagnoses each year.
Symptoms of peritoneal cancer often include abdominal swelling and abdominal pain due to tumor growth. Stomach cramps and weight loss for no apparent reason are symptoms of advanced cancer.
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Mesothelioma can also occur in the sac of tissue that covers the heart known as the pericardium. Pericardial mesothelioma is very rare, with only one percent of cases starting in the pericardium.
The rarest type of mesothelioma is testicular mesothelioma, with only a few hundred cases diagnosed in the United States alone.
Because of its absence, the symptoms of testicular mesothelioma are difficult to detect. The most common symptom in patients diagnosed with testicular cancer is a painless lump in the scrotum.
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When making a diagnosis, the doctor looks at samples of cell types from the affected area. The three main types of mesothelioma cells are:
The most common and easiest type of cell to identify. This type is usually easy to remove through surgery, providing a better prognosis for the patient.
Sarcomatoid cells account for 15 to 20 percent of cases. This type is often very aggressive and spreads quickly, so the prognosis is poor.
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A mixture of epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells occurs in 20 to 30 percent of cases. This type of treatment is more difficult than epithelioid.
Doctors use a combination of physical exams and tests to find and diagnose tumors. Because mesothelioma is a rare cancer, your doctor may ask about your work and medical history during the symptom examination. If your doctor believes you are at risk, they may perform a series of diagnostic tests.
Malignant mesothelioma screening tests are not recommended for those who have no symptoms or are at high risk for the disease. If you have been exposed to asbestos at work, doctors recommend routine imaging tests (such as X-rays), although they may not be completely effective in the early stages of cancer. CT scans, PET scans, MRIs, and echocardiograms may be used to determine if there is a suspected lump or swelling.
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