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Category: Mesothelioma

An image of a set of human lungs, representing the question, “Is mesothelioma always fatal?” and how the Nemeroff Law Firm can help.

Mesothelioma is a somewhat rare, but serious cancer that causes chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, unintended weight loss, and fever, among other symptoms. The answer to the question “Is mesothelioma always fatal?” depends on many factors, such as age, overall health, and the stage of the cancer.

As treatment options have advanced, some studies have indicated that survival rates might be improving. Mesothelioma prognosis and surgical options are better in the early stages of the disease. However, this form of cancer is quite often identified in the later stages. The majority of people diagnosed with mesothelioma live less than five years after the initial diagnosis.

Common Questions About an Uncommon Illness: Is Mesothelioma Always Fatal?

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and chest. The vast majority of cases are caused by exposure to asbestos. Many of these exposures occur on job sites decades before the disease is diagnosed.

Is mesothelioma curable? The simple answer is yes. Unfortunately, in most cases, a cure—or even a long-term recovery—is very unlikely. However, armed with knowledge and resources, you and your family can better understand mesothelioma and the many questions which surround it.

Types of Mesothelioma and Your Mesothelioma Prognosis

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is the most common form of mesothelioma. There are three primary sub-classifications of MPM:

  • Epithelioid
  • Sarcomatoid
  • Biphasic

The outlook for victims with epithelioid mesothelioma is more promising than those suffering from sarcomatoid or biphasic mesothelioma.

The stage of the disease is also an important factor in your mesothelioma prognosis. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is the only form of mesothelioma with a formal staging system. The stages run from IA – IV (one A – four). These stages reflect the progression of the disease from isolated and operable to widespread and inoperable. A patient diagnosed with stage IA has a much better prognosis than that of an individual in the later stages of the illness (though many other factors contribute to your overall mesothelioma prognosis).

Survival Rates: Is Mesothelioma Always Fatal?

Survival rates tell us the percentage of individuals with a disease who lived for a specified period of time after diagnosis (two years or five years, for example). They can help to answer the question “Is mesothelioma fatal?”

At stage IA, the two-year survival rate is 46% and the five-year survival rate is 16%. When the disease has progressed to stage IV, the two-year survival rate drops to 17% and the five-year rate to less than 1%. These survival rates underscore the importance of early diagnosis and intervention in mesothelioma cases.

Is Mesothelioma Always Fatal? What to Ask Your Doctor

Survival rates provide a guide or an estimate, but each case of mesothelioma is different. You should discuss your specific situation in-depth with an experienced physician. The majority of doctors have not handled many of these cases and will refer you to a specialist.

Once you find the right physician, it is important that you establish a good relationship and ask the right questions. The American Cancer Society has prepared a list of questions to ask and also provides other resources, information, and assistance that can be very helpful to mesothelioma patients and their families.

Your Mesothelioma Prognosis and Finding the Help You Need

In addition to the resources mentioned above, the American Cancer Society and other organizations often provide help with lodging, transportation, and other issues related to your treatment. Hospitals and providers offer additional services that can be helpful, as well.

If you or a loved one have developed mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer as a result of asbestos exposure, the Nemeroff Law Firm can help. Our attorneys will handle the details of your case so you can focus on your personal well-being and that of your family.

Is mesothelioma always fatal? When a question like this looms in your mind, you and your family should not have to worry about finances and recovering losses from those responsible for your illness. Contact the Nemeroff Law Firm today for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. Reach us by phone at 866-342-1929 or complete our online form now.

Image of a child and a male adult in serious conversation, representing how to represent the feelings one may have when wondering “is mesothelioma hereditary” and how Nemeroff Law Firm is ready to fight for those who develop mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases due to the negligence of others.

You may be asking yourself questions such as “is mesothelioma hereditary” and “is it contagious.” It’s good to ask questions, to grasp how people develop mesothelioma so you can know if you or a loved one is at risk. The chances of surviving mesothelioma depend heavily on an early diagnosis, so understanding the risks and taking preventative measures are the two best actions you can take to protect yourself and/or a loved one from the threats associated with mesothelioma.

Is Mesothelioma Hereditary?

The answers to the questions “is mesothelioma hereditary” or “is mesothelioma a genetic condition” are complicated. The BAP1 gene, when mutated, may make the body less able to protect itself from many cancers. One of those cancers is mesothelioma.

A genetic predisposition to developing cancer may be one risk factor for developing mesothelioma. This means it is possible, although extremely rare, to develop mesothelioma with no other risk factor. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO, one percent of people diagnosed with mesothelioma inherited a higher risk of developing the disease than found in the general population.  The more risk factors one has, the greater the chance that the person will develop mesothelioma.

The BAP1 Gene

The BAP1 gene controls how the body creates the protein ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase BAP1. This protein impacts how the body regulates other proteins that control cell growth. Because cancers come from the growth of abnormal cells, the body’s tendency to grow cells has a definite effect on the development of cancer.

A healthy BAP1 gene inhibits cancer growth, but there are mutations that are heritable that make the body unable to perform this function as it should. If one inherits this mutated gene, he or she has an increased risk of developing mesothelioma and other cancers.

Most people develop the disease from being exposed to asbestos. A person with both a mutated BAP1 gene and exposure to asbestos is at a higher risk than a person with only risk factor. If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and carries a mutated BAP1 gene, it is important to be even more proactive with screenings and to be watchful for symptoms.

Is Mesothelioma Contagious?

No cancer is contagious because cancers cannot be transmitted from one person to another. People may get confused about whether mesothelioma is contagious because one can develop mesothelioma from secondhand asbestos exposure. For instance, if a family member who lives with you frequently brings asbestos home on his or her clothes, you are also being exposed. This means contact with that person can cause you to develop mesothelioma, but this is due to a shared exposure to a cancer-causing substance, not because it was “caught” from the other person.

Inherited Risk for Mesothelioma and Lawsuits

Is mesothelioma hereditary? A genetic predisposition for developing cancer is one of the risk factors for mesothelioma, but a mesothelioma lawsuit rests solely on the fact that a person developed the disease due to asbestos exposure. Regardless of your risk factors, if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, call the mesothelioma lawyers at Nemeroff Law Firm via the contact form on our website or by phone at 866-342-1929 to schedule a free evaluation. If an employer exposed you to asbestos, you may be entitled to compensation.

Photo of mesothelioma lawyer briefcase of fruits and vegetables, representing people who ask “can mesothelioma be prevented” and, if not, how those diagnosed with mesothelioma can turn to a mesothelioma lawyer at Nemeroff Law Firm for help fighting for compensation nationwide.

“You have cancer.” Hearing these words will rock your soul and freeze a moment in time in fear forever. These are words that no one ever wants to hear. This is why cancer prevention is so important and there are many things that people can do to try to prevent cancer. However, can mesothelioma be prevented like other cancers?

How Can Mesothelioma Be Prevented?

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is usually found in or around the lungs. However, it can form in any mesothelium, the thin layer of tissue that surrounds most internal organs.

Risk Factors for Mesothelioma and Other Cancers

If you are wondering how you can prevent cancer, or how mesothelioma can be prevented, you must first be aware of the risk factors involved. Cancer, including mesothelioma, has several risk factors to be considered. Some risk factors like genetics and age are out of an individual’s control; however, most can be reduced through an individual’s actions and behavior modification.

Common risk factors for cancer include the following:

  • Genetics/heredity
  • Age
  • Diet/exercise
  • Lifestyle
  • Environment

Steps to Take to Prevent Cancer

Inherited genetic mutations play a major role in about 5 to 10 percent of all cancers. This means that 90 to 95 percent of cancers can potentially be prevented.

Diet and exercise play a major role in cancer prevention in general. Eating mostly fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins while avoiding foods high in sugar, processed meats and foods, and consumption of too much red meat can go a long way in cancer prevention.

The American Cancer Society recommends that adults “get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week (or a combination of these), preferably spread throughout the week.” These diet and exercise recommendations can possibly be linked to about 20 percent of all cancers diagnosed, according to the World Cancer Research Fund.

Other steps that can be taken to prevent cancer include the following: limit or eliminate alcohol consumption, wear and reapply sunscreen regularly when in the sun, quit smoking, protect yourself against HPV, and get cancer screenings regularly as recommended based on your age and risk factors.

These steps can be taken to prevent many cancers, but can prevention of mesothelioma be accomplished with the same steps that can help prevent other cancers?

Mesothelioma is not preventable with these same action steps; however, cancer treatment may be easier for a patient who has been following the guidelines of a healthy diet, exercise, and lifestyle, compared to a mesothelioma patient who has not taken the same precautions.

Can Mesothelioma Be Prevented Through Specific Action Steps?

The primary risk factor to acquiring mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. In determining mesothelioma prevention, limiting exposure to asbestos is going to be key.

People who work in industries with a high risk of exposure to asbestos might wonder: “I work with asbestos every day, so can mesothelioma be prevented for me?” Action steps can be taken to reduce the personal risk of asbestos exposure and decrease the odds of acquiring mesothelioma as a result of that exposure. These action steps need to be taken before, during, and after your planned asbestos exposure.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standard requirements to protect workers from exposure to asbestos. Some of these requirements include:

  • Monitoring levels of asbestos particles in the air;
  • Providing personal protective equipment to be worn during exposure including respiratory masks;
  • Providing specific instructions on disrobing and discarding personal protective equipment after exposure; and
  • Medical monitoring of employees who have been exposed to asbestos.

Proper Mesothelioma Prevention Steps Are Not Always Taken

Nemeroff Law Firm has years of experience representing individuals with mesothelioma, and they commonly ask this basic question: Can mesothelioma be prevented?  Unfortunately, if you are asking a mesothelioma lawyer this question, it is probably too late. There are several steps that should be taken to prevent mesothelioma. However, if these steps weren’t taken for you or your loved one, the experienced mesothelioma lawyers at Nemeroff Law Firm can help. Contact us at 866-342-1929 or via email.

Image of a hospital patient, representing a person seeking quick answers and legal advice through a mesothelioma for dummies-style article.

Have you or has someone you love recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma? Looking for pertinent, key facts on the disease? This article, Mesothelioma for Dummies, will answer your most fundamental questions on what the disease is, who is at risk, treatment options, and where to turn for legal help.

Mesothelioma for Dummies: The Basics

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that causes tumors to develop around the thin layer of tissue that covers the internal organs, in most cases, the lungs, heart, or abdominal cavity.  The most common type of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma, affects the lungs.  Peritoneal mesothelioma impacts the abdomen, and pericardial mesothelioma originates in the pericardium, which lines the heart.

One of the most important mesothelioma facts to know is this: Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of this rare form of cancer. Asbestos is a fibrous material used mainly in construction, especially during the 20th century. However, even after they were discovered to be hazardous, asbestos companies continued to make products containing this toxic material because of their strength and resistance to heat.

Who’s at the Greatest Risk for Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a disease largely caused by occupational exposure.  Some of the occupations most at risk include electricians, carpenters, machinists, plumbers, boilermakers, and military personnel.  Additionally, family members of employees who worked in power plants, refineries, steel mills, construction sites, and Navy ships could be at risk for secondhand exposure.  It is unknown how many people get mesothelioma from second hand exposure, but it is contracted from the dust brought home on clothing, hair, or skin.

A large majority of victims of mesothelioma are veterans of our country’s armed forces who served from 1930 through 1980. Asbestos was commonly used throughout shipyards and naval vessels during those years.  Asbestos was an effective and inexpensive way to safeguard sailors from fire, heat, and electrical shock.  It was also used in sleeping quarters, engine rooms, and mess halls as insulation.

Mesothelioma for Dummies: The Disease

Mesothelioma can be difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms can mirror those of many other illnesses.  An early mesothelioma diagnoses is difficult but can happen accidently through a routine x-ray or blood test. If you have been exposed to asbestos, watch for the symptoms and notify your doctor of your risk for mesothelioma.

What are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?

The early signs of mesothelioma can be mistaken for indigestion, pneumonia, bronchitis, or even the flu.  The growth of the cancerous tumors occurs gradually, and sometimes it takes decades for the symptoms to even present themselves.  As a result, mesothelioma statistics show that by the time the cancer is diagnosed, it has reached the later stages of development. By recognizing symptoms immediately, mesothelioma patients have a significant advantage in receiving an early diagnosis, which can determine the best course of action for prolonged life expectancy.

Pleural Mesothelioma (occurs in lining of the lung)

  • Fatigue
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fever/night sweats

Peritoneal (occurs in lining of abdomen)

  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloating

Pericardial (occurs in lining of the heart)

  • Chest pain
  • Fever/night sweats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Coughing

What are the Treatment Options for Mesothelioma?

Despite years of research, no cure currently exists for mesothelioma. However, there are treatments that can improve a patient’s prognosis and quality of life.  The most common treatment for mesothelioma is a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

Many people choose to also pursue alternative therapies for mesothelioma treatment including:

  • Immunotherapy-assists a patient’s own immune system in fighting the cancer
  • Gene therapy-injects genetic material into the body to target and kill the cancer cells
  • Photodynamic therapy-uses a drug together with light energy to kill the cancer cells

Mesothelioma for Dummies: Your Legal Options

Mesothelioma patients and their families deserve justice and financial compensation for their pain and suffering.  While reading our article about Mesothelioma for Dummies is a great starting point, finding a lawyer who is familiar with asbestos laws and the disease itself is critical.  The attorneys at the Nemeroff Law Firm have the dedication, compassion, and experience you are looking for.  They will fight hard to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait, contact us today at 866-342-1929 or by email.

Physician analyzing a scan of a patient, representing the importance of early mesothelioma screening.

Many companies that do not comply with standard health precautions may expose workers to cancerous materials such as asbestos. This material is the predominant cause of mesothelioma cancer, a sly disease that only shows its effects decades after exposure. If you or a loved one have been exposed to cancerous asbestos, consider organizing a mesothelioma screening to stay one step ahead of your health.

How Does a Mesothelioma Screening Work?

The first step to your diagnostic process is seeing a qualified physician who will conduct a physical examination and ask about your medical history and possible exposure to asbestos particles. If there are mesothelioma symptoms or other troubling signs, the physician may encourage further testing.

Who Should Consider a Mesothelioma Screening?

Mesothelioma cancer is very rare, generally found in those exposed to asbestos for a long time, such as firefighters, carpenters, asbestos miners, and construction workers. These occupations are at a higher risk for asbestos exposure, as they may come in direct contact with the carcinogenic material in the workplace. Workers in these occupations, as well as their families, are encouraged to participate in periodic mesothelioma screenings. Because the disease may develop years after the individual was exposed to asbestos, it is critical to undergo mesothelioma testing even when no symptoms are obvious.

Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Many mesothelioma cases arise after symptoms occur, and often this is too late. Asbestos-exposed individuals should undergo regular screenings to find potential complications before symptoms occur. Physicians combine different approaches for mesothelioma screenings, including using these imaging techniques:

  • Radiography: imaging techniques that uses X-rays to project a picture of a certain structure;
  • Computed Tomography (CT Scan): allows a more detailed view and can be used to show fluid around the lungs and scarring inside the lungs;
  • Magnetic Resonance Imagining (MRI): used to show the area cancer has invaded and as a tool for staging the cancer;
  • Ultrasonography: used to show effusions or pleural thickening and may be used as a video-guide if biopsies are necessary; and
  • PET Scan: useful to distinguish malignant from benign tumors and to find areas for biopsy.

In addition, mesothelioma victims often show abnormal concentrations of osteopontin and soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRP). By combining mesothelioma blood tests for these molecules and some of the above imaging techniques, physicians are often able to diagnose malignant mesothelioma before severe symptoms appear. If these screening methods are not sufficient, the physician may use invasive methods, such as a thoracoscopy or biopsy.

The Threat of Mesothelioma’s Long Latency Period

One of the major issues with mesothelioma cancer is that it creeps up years after asbestos exposure. Scientists are still researching the disease, but it has been found that gender and exposure time have an effect on the latency period. The time lag presents a threat to those developing the disease: even when clear symptoms show, the victim may not think asbestos long ago was the cause. Because one never knows when the disease will fully develop, the best practice against it is frequent screening to catch any potential complications before they mature.

If the results to your mesothelioma screening are positive for malignant mesothelioma, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Nemeroff Law Firm can fight for your rights. Contact our office at 866-342-1929 or fill in your information on our website for a free case evaluation.

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