Mesothelioma is a form of cancer known to develop in the mesothelium, a lining that protects many internal organs. However, there are several different types of this deadly cancer depending on which area of the body it affects. Most commonly, asbestos-related diseases affect the chest and lungs, but may also be found in the abdomen and around the heart. Nevertheless, most individuals can trace their mesothelioma diagnosis to asbestos exposure in their occupation or from affected products.
No matter what type of mesothelioma diagnosis you received, you may be eligible for compensation through an asbestos lawsuit. At Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P., our mesothelioma lawyers have decades of experience with asbestos litigation. In fact, partner Peter C. DePaolis won a landmark mesothelioma case which established the right of victims to make multiple claims for different asbestos-related conditions.
Asbestos exposure is the leading cause of all types of mesothelioma, and it always affects the tissue lining the organs. In addition, the symptoms of mesothelioma you experience, as well as your treatment options, depend on your diagnosis. The three major types of mesothelioma are:
Pleural Mesothelioma. About 75 percent of mesothelioma victims develop the cancer in the pleura, which is the lining of the lungs. Pleural mesothelioma often spreads to other organs, and has the capability to reach the brain.
Individuals suffering from this type of mesothelioma may experience fever, fatigue, persistent pain in a certain area of the chest, shortness of breath and a dry cough. Pleural mesothelioma may benefit from treatment through surgery if diagnosed early, but it is often fatal. Most treatments for this cancer intend to improve the patient’s quality of life.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma. The second most common form of mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdomen, otherwise known as the peritoneum. Peritoneal mesothelioma metastasizes more quickly than other types of mesothelioma, and may spread to nearby organs such as the liver and spleen.
Those suffering from this type of mesothelioma experience intense abdominal pain and swelling, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea. It is often difficult to treat peritoneal mesothelioma because it spreads quickly. Unfortunately, individuals with this type of mesothelioma may not live longer than ten months after the symptoms first appear.
Pericardial Mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma is extremely rare and attacks the sac around the heart. This limits the ability of the heart to transport oxygen to the rest of the body. Individuals with this form of cancer may suffer chest pain, shortness of breath and an irregular heartbeat. The proximity to the heart makes pericardial mesothelioma difficult to treat. As with the other forms of mesothelioma, most treatment options are meant to ease symptoms.
If you have reason to suspect you or someone you love was exposed to asbestos and are experiencing any symptoms of mesothelioma, contact your doctor immediately. If a doctor detects any type of mesothelioma early enough in its development, the chances of beneficial treatment are higher. Then, our mesothelioma and asbestos exposure attorneys can help you get the compensation you need to pay for these treatments from the person or company responsible for your asbestos exposure.
If you are suffering after any type of mesothelioma diagnosis or the wrongful death of a loved one, our law firm can help with your asbestos lawsuit. Even if you are not sure when you were exposed to asbestos, or if you believe your mesothelioma resulted from secondhand exposure, our Washington DC mesothelioma lawyers will investigate your case and get you answers. Schedule your free consultation today by contacting us online or calling our offices in Washington, D.C., Virginia or Maryland.