Experienced, Caring Mesothelioma Attorneys
Representation Nationwide* Based in Charlotte, North Carolina
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused only by exposure to asbestos. The malignant form is aggressive and ultimately fatal, but prompt and proper treatment can extend life and ease the pain.
The lawyers at Wallace and Graham are committed to connecting clients to cutting-edge treatments to slow the cancer's spread and improve the quality of life for the time they have left. Meanwhile we pursue maximum damages from the corporations responsible for the devastating impact on victims and their families.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is sometimes mistakenly called lung cancer. It is actually a cancer of the linings around the lungs and adjacent organs.
About 75 percent of malignant mesotheliomas are pleural mesothelioma. Tumors form in the pleura, the thin protective sac encasing the lungs. Accumulation of fluid in the chest cavity (pleural effusion) is often how the disease is diagnosed. Another 10 to 20 percent of cases are peritoneal mesothelioma - the cancer starts in the peritoneum, the lining around the abdominal organs. More rarely, mesothelioma originates in the pericardium (lining around the heart) or a pouch of the peritoneum encasing the testicles. A small percentage of mesothelioma tumors are benign (non-cancerous).
Mesothelioma commonly goes undiagnosed until late stages when it has migrated to other organs and tissues. If you or your family member has symptoms of mesothelioma, contact Wallace and Graham. Our experienced team helps clients get an accurate diagnosis and explore aggressive treatments to help keep the cancer at bay.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
Asbestos exposure is the only proven cause of mesothelioma. Asbestos is a mineral once widely used in thousands of products and machines for its fire retardant, heat insulation and chemical resistance properties.
Asbestos fibers are microscopic, sharp and very light, remaining airborne for as long as 72 hours. When inhaled, the scarring can cause debilitating asbestosis and other lung illness. Mesothelioma develops as the fibers migrate from the lungs into adjacent tissues.
A Slow, Silent Killer
The typical latency period (time between exposure and diagnosis) is 25 to 40 years, although it can be shorter than 10 years or longer than 50 years. Most asbestos products are now banned, but there are more than 2,000 new diagnoses each year because millions of Americans in a wide range of occupations were heavily exposed in the 1940s, '50s, '60s, '70s and even into the '80s. Others developed mesothelioma from second-hand exposure.
The typical person has no symptoms until the cancer has taken hold and spread. Average life expectancy from diagnosis is just 18 months. Those diagnosed in very late stages may die within a few months; others have survived several years if the cancer was detected and treated in an early stage.
Wallace & Graham stays abreast of promising new treatments, including radical surgery to remove the diseased pleura. We associate with leading physicians at major research medical centers to help our clients expand their options for prolonging life and alleviating the agonizing symptoms of mesothelioma.
*If you reside in a state in which one of our attorneys is not actively licensed, we may associate with a local attorney to assist you.