Diagnosis and Treatment of Asbestos Disease and Mesothelioma
The average life expectancy from diagnosis of mesothelioma is just 18 months. With advances in medical treatment, those diagnosed with mesothelioma at an early stage are living longer, with less pain. For later diagnosis, new medications and therapies can ease the symptoms and sometimes extend life by months.
Knowledgeable, Aggressive Mesothelioma Attorneys for U.S. Navy Veterans
Wallace & Graham, P.A. in North Carolina offers swift action and guidance for U.S. Navy veterans or anyone with symptoms of mesothelioma. We understand how urgent it is to get an accurate mesothelioma diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible. We connect clients and families to top specialists who offer the best hope of slowing the cancer and minimizing the pain.
Are you sick yourself or seeking help for a spouse or parent? Read more about Mesothelioma or asbestos disease and its symptoms, or contact us for answers to your questions and an explanation of your legal rights.
Mesothelioma Diagnosis and Treatment
Your family physician is a good place to start, but in order to qualify for VA benefits or file a lawsuit, you need a referral for a verified diagnosis of mesothelioma, asbestosis or asbestos-related lung cancer. Our experienced lawyers are familiar with the general symptoms and telltale signs. We can steer clients to a pulmonologist (lung specialist) or oncologist (cancer doctor) who specializes in mesothelioma. We can also help you research the possible treatments:
- Surgery — In early stages, surgical intervention can “cure” mesothelioma by removing the cancer tumors and surrounding tissues. One option for a diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma is radical pleurectomy: All or most of the lining around the lungs (pleura) is removed. To date, this treatment has had the highest and longest survival rates. This is not an option for peritoneal mesothelioma or asbestos cancers of the heart lining, scrotum or digestive organs.
- Another surgical option is extrapleural pneumonectomy: Portions of the diseased lung, pleura and diaphragm are removed. A lung transplant may be an option for asbestos-related lung cancer or asbestosis, but will not slow the spread of mesothelioma.
- Chemotherapy — In the past, the goal of chemotherapy was to alleviate symptoms in the terminal stages of mesothelioma. Newer classes of chemo drugs ease the pain but also extend life by slowing the cancer’s spread. There are also fewer side effects because these drugs do a better job of targeting cancerous cells and sparing healthy ones.
- Radiation Therapy — Ionized radiation obliterates tumors and developing cancer cells. As with chemo, it is not a cure but advances are enabling clients to live longer by keeping the cancer in check. Radiation sickness is unavoidable, but less severe than in the past.
- Talc Pleurodesis — A compromised pleura commonly leaks fluid into the chest cavity (pleural effusion), creating breathing problems and pain. The procedure drains the fluid, then fills the void with an inert material and seals the pleura to prevent subsequent build-up. Pleurodesis does not slow or prevent mesothelioma, but greatly reduces the pain.
- Some people are not candidates for curative surgery because of age, other health conditions or simply because it’s too late. Commonly, the most effective approach is a multi-modal treatment of several or all of the above.
Connecting Clients to Hope
Prompt, accurate diagnosis is critical. The person may die within months or live another five years, but mesothelioma is eventually fatal. Early diagnosis of mesothelioma expands the treatment options and hope for extending life. Call Wallace & Graham, P.A. toll free, nationwide, at 888-698-9975.