Mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposures affects 3,000 victims a year

Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer affecting the mesothelial tissues of the heart, lungs or abdomen.

The only known cause of malignant mesothelioma is exposure to the mineral group asbestos. There is a long latency between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma development, usually 20 years or longer. Symptoms including chest pain or fluid in the chest can be similar to other diseases, masking its development.

What follows the diagnosis of mesothelioma can be confusing and frightening. Whether a loved one or the diagnosed patient, there are many decisions to make after a diagnosis. Read below to learn about the stages of mesothelioma, prognosis, treatment, and about the mesothelioma lawyers at Levin Simes LLP. If you have any questions, contact us at info@levinsimes.com or 1-888-426-4156.

Mesothelioma Stages and Prognosis:

Mesothelioma tumor growth and how mesothelioma stages are diagnosed by cancer specialists.

Mesothelioma is staged based upon the TNM Classification of Malignant Tumours system, designed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC):

T describes the size of the primary tumor and if the tumor has invaded nearby tissue. N describes the degree of spread into the lymphatic system. M describes whether metastatis cancer is present beyond the original site.

Stage 1 Mesothelioma means a small localized tumor (T1) without spread to lymph nodes (N0) or other organs (M0).

Stage 2 Mesothelioma means the tumor is local but has progressed further into tissue/organs (T2).

Stage 3 describes the spread either deeply into local tissue (T3), or adjacent lymph nodes (N1).

Stage 4, the most serious, is reserved for cases where there is massive local invasion (T4), or distant cancer movement (N2, N3 or M1).

To read about TNM and Stages 1 to Stages 4 of mesothelioma, and to read about the prognosis for each diagnostic stage, click the links for an in depth explanation.

Mesothelioma Treatment Options and Treatment Centers

Mesothelioma Treatment can both prolong the life of a patient after diagnosis, or can be used to improve the quality of life after diagnosis . Learn about treatment including exams, tests, biopsies, and surgeries to treat mesothelioma cancer.

Mesothelioma Treatment can both prolong the life of a patient after diagnosis, or can be used to improve the quality of life after diagnosis . Learn about treatment including exams, tests, biopsies, and surgeries to treat mesothelioma cancer.

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Treatment centers for mesothelioma are available around the country. Doctors specialize in cancer treatment and even mesothelioma cancer treatment. Click here to find a listing of available treatment centers near you.

Types of Mesothelioma:

The main 3 types of mesothelioma are:

Pleural Mesothelioma: The most common form of mesothelioma, affecting the lining of the lungs in the chest cavity. Pleural  mesothelioma accounts for roughly 4 out of 5 mesothelioma cases in the United States. Read more about Plueral mesothelioma and treatment here.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma: The 2nd most common form of mesothelioma, affecting the lining of the abdomen. Pleural mestothelioma accounts for roughly 1 out of 6 cases of mesothelioma in the United States. Read more about Peritoneal Mesothelioma and treatment here.

Pericardial Mesothelioma: A rare form of mesothelioma, affecting the mesothelial cells lining the heart itself. It accounts for roughly 1 out of 20 cases of mesothelioma in the United States. Read more about Pericardial Mesothelioma and treatment here.


Mesothelioma Cell Types:

As part of the diagnostic process, malignant mesothelioma is further classified based on cellular structure. The three most common categories are:

  • Epithelioid mesothelioma: Epithelioid cellular structure is the most common for malignant mesothelioma. Epithelioid cells are relatively uniform in shape.
  • Sarcomatoid mesothelioma: The sarcomatoid cellular structure accounts for less than 15 percent of mesothelioma cancer cells, making it the least common type. Sarcomatoid cells are oval shaped and more irregular.
  • Biphasic mesothelioma: The biphasic category refers to a combination of epithelioid and sarcomatoid cancer cells.

By understanding the histology (structure) of malignant mesothelioma, specialists are better able to diagnose the severity of the disease and map out a treatment plan.


Lung Cancer from Asbestos Exposure:

Mesothelioma is not the only cancer caused by exposure to Asbestos.  While 80% of lung cancer cases diagnosed in the United States are attributed to smoking cigarettes, 4% of cases are attributed to asbestos exposure. In fact, it can even be true that a case of lung cancer in a current or former smoker of cigarettes was caused by asbestos exposure and not tobacco.

Asbestos enters the lungs via inhalation and becomes permanent. In pleural mesothelioma it migrates into the pleura cells and over many decades causes cancer in the mesothelial cells. In lung cancer, it’s presence directly in the lung itself as an irritant that cannot be destroyed or expelled can cause lung cancer.

The Helsinki Criteria can be used to determine if lung cancer was caused by asbestos, looking at these factors:

  • Latency (at least 10 years)
  • Asbestos disease (do they have asbestosis?)
  • Asbestos tissue (is there asbestos in their lung tissue?)
  • Asbestos exposure (how much total exposure?)

To learn about the Helsinki Criteria, and how asbestos can cause lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers, click here to learn about lung cancer caused by asbestos.


Mesothelioma Diagnosis:

Mesothelioma is diagnosed by your doctor using one of many available tools. While symptoms and prior exposure combined can lead one to believe mesothelioma cancer is a possible culprit, the symptoms can match many other diseases. Once your doctor has confirmed symptoms, a mesothelioma diagnosis will need to be confirmed. Possible testing may include:

  • X-rays
  • MRIs
  • CT scans
  • Pet scans
  • Fluid biopsy
  • Tissue biopsy

To learn about mesothelioma diagnosis, click here.


Mesothelioma Bankruptcy Trusts:

Many asbestos bankruptcy trusts exist to compensate victims of mesothelioma disease.  You may be eligible to file claims without filing a lawsuit with these trusts.  To establish a claim, investigators and lawyers at Levin Simes will need to evaluate your case and build evidence of your diagnosis, medical history, work history, and exposure history.

To read more about asbestos bankruptcy trusts, click here.


Mesothelioma Lawyers:

Levin Simes is staffed with expert attorneys with decades of total experience litigating and trying mesothelioma cases.  Our staff of lawyers, investigators, and legal assistants are here to assist you and your family with both the legal aspects of your diagnosis, and the personal and medical.

Our attorneys have recovered $500 million and counting for victims of dangerous products such as asbestos containing products, and our trial attorneys won the largest verdict for a single mesothelioma injury in California history. Contact an attorney at Levin Simes today, at 1-415-426-4156 or info@levinsimes.com.  Thank you.

 

 

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