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Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer affecting the mesothelium, a membrane covering vital organs including the lungs and chest cavity. Malignant cells from the mesothelium can invade and damage nearby tissues as well as spread to other parts of the body. Oftentimes the disease is advanced by the time of diagnosis, with a 5-year survival rate around
5% to 10%.
The main risk factor for mesothelioma is working with asbestos, a group of minerals that form thin-yet-strong fibers used in construction and manufacturing processes. Asbestos was predominately used after World War II for insulation, tiling, roofing and break pads due to its strength and resistance to heat. Unfortunately, exposure to asbestos can lead to a variety of illnesses including mesothelioma, lung cancer, laryngeal cancer and even ovarian cancer.
When asbestos fibers are released into the air they can be inhaled or swallowed, leading to serious health problems. As many as 75% of mesothelioma cases can be linked to asbestos exposure at work. There is also some evidence that family members and others living with asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma, and possibly other asbestos-related diseases. This risk may be the result of exposure to asbestos dust brought home on the clothing and hair of asbestos workers. Cases of mesothelioma have also been seen in people living close to asbestos mines.
There are four types of mesothelioma defined by tumor location. Symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment may vary depending on the type.
Treatment of mesothelioma is based on a variety of factors including: stage of cancer, patient's age, current health, and amount of fluid in and around the lungs. There are three main areas of treatment for mesothelioma.
If you've been exposed to asbestos, whether on the job or at home, there are ways to help with treatment costs, whether that includes government help or lawsuits. Like other cancers, mesothelioma can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy. But treatment isn't cheap. Mesothelioma treatment can cost up to $150,000 over time.
A mesothelioma lawsuit can help you afford the medical care by securing you financial compensation. Thousands of people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. Many of the people suffering from this form of cancer have a legal recourse, whether against a manufacturer, an employer, another party responsible for the condition, or even a fund established for asbestos claims.
People with mesothelioma and family members of those who have passed away because of the illness often have viable claims even when the exposure to asbestos was a long time ago. Mesothelioma tends to develop many years after exposure to asbestos, and laws often give people a year or longer from the point of discovering the cancer to sue.
Contacting a lawyer as soon as reasonably possible after a mesothelioma diagnosis can be critical to protecting the right to file a claim. A lawyer with experience in cases like yours will be able to explain the legal process, potential case timeline, and possible outcomes.
Most mesothelioma cases don’t go all the way through trial—usually, they settle. While no one can guarantee in advance what a plaintiff will receive, compensation is often hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.