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Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that has been directly linked to exposure to asbestos. When the tiny fibers of asbestos are breathed in, they quickly move to the ends of the small air passages of the lungs and travel to lining of the lungs, where they do damage to the lining, known as mesothelial cells; the result is Pleural Mesothelioma. As fibers make their way to the lining of the abdominal cavity, they cause Peritoneal Mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma may not occur until 20 to 60 years after exposure to asbestos, and early symptoms are easily confused with other lung illnesses, such as pneumonia. Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos, whether on the job or at home via a family contact, and presents any symptoms that could be possibly Mesothelioma, should see their doctor immediately. If you even suspect that you might have been exposed to asbestos, tell your doctor so that your health can be monitored properly. Some patients show no symptoms at all of having Mesothelioma, making regular check ups even more important. Far too often, Mesothelioma is diagnosed too late, and treatment is delayed.
If you think you have any of the following symptoms, contact a doctor immediately:
- shortness of breath
- pain in the chest
- persistent coughing
- blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up from the lungs
- difficulty in swallowing or prolonged hoarseness
- pain or swelling in the abdomen
Peritoneal Mesothelioma symptoms include:
- weight loss
- abdominal pain
- bowel obstruction
A thorough physical examination, including a chest x-ray, may be recommended. The doctor may order a chest x-ray or CT scan as the first step in diagnosis. Chest x-rays cannot detect asbestos fibers in the lungs, but are used to identify any lung changes resulting from asbestos exposure. Interpretation of the chest x-ray may require the help of a specialist who is experienced in reading x-rays specifically for asbestos-related diseases. In many cases, a doctor may order CT scans and/or MRI’s to aid in the Mesothelioma diagnosis.
If Mesothelioma is suspected, a biopsy must be taken to confirm the Mesothelioma diagnosis and if the diagnosis is Mesothelioma, a cancer specialist with expertise in treating Mesothelioma will be necessary for proper care and treatment. Choosing a Mesothelioma treatment depends upon how advanced the disease is and the patient’s preferences. Click here for treatment information.
Surgery may be part of the treatment plan, including pleurectomy (where the tumor is removed from the surface of the lung and extrapleural pneumonectomy (removal of diseased portions of the lung). For pain management, palliative surgery, meaning surgery that helps the patient to be more comfortable but is not a cure, may be done to drain excess fluid from the chest or abdominal cavity.
Other treatments may be combined with surgery, including chemotherapy, ra diation and immunotherapy. Photodynamic therapy (PDT), which uses light to kill cancer cells, is an experimental treatment. Ask about clinical trials of medications that may be available. Click here for more information on clinical trials.
The Nemeroff Law Firm handles legal claims on behalf of individuals and families coping with Mesothelioma. We offer compassionate representation, combined with aggressive advocacy on behalf of our clients. We invite you to contact us for a free, confidential consultation about your legal rights. The Nemeroff Law Firm represents patients throughout the United States, and we can help you, too, wherever you live. Click here for a list of cancer treatment centers.
For more information about the firm or for a free consultation with Rick Nemeroff or any of the lawyers at the Nemeroff Law Firm, please call us at 866.435.1831, or email us at email@example.com