What You Should Know About Pleural Mesothelioma
When asbestos is inhaled or ingested, the fibers travel into the small airways and irritate the lung lining and pleura. Since the body cannot eject the asbestos fibers, irritation results in inflammation and damage that eventually leads to abnormal cancer cells. The abnormal cell growth becomes a tumor while fluid accumulates in the pleura space.
Mesothelioma is cancer that begins in cells in the linings of certain parts of the body called the mesothelium. The mesothelium is the lining that helps protect bodily organs by making a unique lubricating fluid that permits organs to slide against each other. Mesothelioma cancer can effect the lungs, abdomen, heart, and testicles. Pleural mesothelioma, which effects the lungs is the most common type of mesothelioma.
Pleural mesothelioma is the most frequently diagnosed type of mesothelioma.
Key Statistics About Pleural Mesothelioma
- Pleural mesothelioma makes up two-thirds of all mesothelioma cases.
- Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure take decades to develop. The time from first exposure to the diagnosis of mesothelioma is usually between 15 and 50 years.
- The average age that pleural mesothelioma is diagnosed is 72.
- Asbestos is the only known cause of pleural mesothelioma.
Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms
Mesothelioma is often difficult to diagnose because symptoms often mimic less serious conditions. However, if you have a known history of asbestos exposure, remain vigilant and proactive if you experience some of the following symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Coughing up blood
- Difficulty swallowing
- Fluid in the lungs
- Lumps on the chest
- Pain in the lower back of rib cage
- A Persistent dry or hoarse cough
- Swelling in the face and arms
- Unexplained weight loss
Treatment Options for Patients with Pleural Mesothelioma
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is diagnosed in four stages. Treatment options are determined based on these stages The stage classification depends on:
- The size of the tumor
- Whether cancer has spread into other organ linings
- Whether cancer spread into the lymph nodes
- The extent to which cancer has spread into linings, organs, and bones
The stage can help doctors determine how much of the tumor or cancer can be removed through surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. Pleural mesothelioma is incurable. However, it can be managed with cancer treatment, which can improve life expectancy and help alleviate symptoms Most patients with pleural mesothelioma have a life expectancy of fewer than 18 months. The five-year survival rate is 12 percent.
Treatment for mesothelioma can be costly. There are government programs, veterans’ benefits, and health insurance to assist with financial expenses. However, patients and families should not have to bear the responsibility of paying for a disease that asbestos manufacturers and companies that used asbestos-containing products could have prevented with adequate warnings and precautions.
You and your family are entitled to file an asbestos claim against the companies responsible for making asbestos-containing products or exposing you to asbestos through your employment. Speak with a GPW Law attorney today to receive the compensation you deserve.