What is Mesothelioma?

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Mesothelioma Overview

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, P.A. are committed to connecting clients to cutting-edge mesothelioma 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. While we are located in Charlotte, North Carolina, we offer representation to victims and their families nationwide.*

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 — whereby 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 (noncancerous).

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, P.A.. Our experienced team helps clients get an accurate diagnosis and explore aggressive mesothelioma 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.

What are the symptoms for mesothelioma?

Symptoms for mesothelioma can include:

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Sudden loss of weight
  • Irregular heartbeat

Note that lung problems such as a pneumothorax, or a collapsed lung, are also common symptoms of mesothelioma.

How long before I see symptoms of mesothelioma?

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, P.A. 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.

FAQs About Mesothelioma

What kinds of cancer come from exposure to asbestos?

Mesothelioma is a cancer caused exclusively by asbestos exposure. The cancer develops by the inhaling of asbestos fibers. It may even develop from ingestion of asbestos, as some traces may be found in water.

How rare is mesothelioma?

Every year there are an estimated 3,000 cases reported of individuals with mesothelioma.

Is mesothelioma cancer curable?

If caught early, there may be successful treatments for mesothelioma. However, many people do not notice the disease until later on in life – in which case the cancer has developed, and the survival rate is significantly lower.

How much exposure to asbestos is cause for concern?

While many people may experience asbestos exposure at some point in their lives, the truth is that no amount of exposure to asbestos is safe. Any exposure is a cause for concern. Every circumstance is different, and you simply do not know how the exposure may affect you.

What is biphasic pleural mesothelioma?

Sarcomatoid, epithelial and desmoplastic are all different cell subtypes of mesothelioma. Biphasic pleural makes up for around one quarter of malignant mesothelioma cases and it contains both sarcomatoid and epithelial cells.

How does pleural mesothelioma affect the respiratory system?

The pleura is a membrane covering the lungs. Pleural mesothelioma is a very common form of mesothelioma. In these cases, the pleura may thicken and prevent the lung from expanding, thus complicating the lung’s performance.

Do I have a certain amount of time in which to file a mesothelioma lawsuit?

Depending on your state laws, the average amount of time to file a mesothelioma lawsuit is two years from your diagnosis. Note, however, that North Carolina and South Carolina have a three-year statute of limitations. Georgia holds to a two-year statute of limitations. And Tennessee’s statute of limitations is one year from diagnosis.

Learn More Today – Free Consultations Provided

Let us help you. Our experienced lawyers know how to stand up for clients who suffer due to another’s negligence. Call our office in Salisbury at 888-698-9975 or email us using the contact form for a free consultation.

Contact our mesothelioma attorneys today for a free consultation and case evaluation. Our practice is equipped to help clients statewide in North Carolina, and we can represent clients nationwide and internationally.*

*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.