I Have Mesothelioma Cancer. What Are My Options?
Learn About Mesothelioma Cancer
There were 18,068 mesothelioma cancer deaths in the U.S. between 1999 and 2005, and the number continues to grow. Mesothelioma is a lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, a natural mineral used in products, such as building materials and vehicle brakes, to resist heat. The use of asbestos as a fire retardant gained popularity in the 1950’s and was used until the year 2000.
Occupations that are at high-risk for asbestos exposure include: railroad workers, ship builders, factory workers, construction workers and miners.
Symptoms of mesothelioma develop about 15-50 years after exposure to asbestos. If you or a loved one has a history of asbestos exposure and believe you may be experiencing signs of mesothelioma, it is best to seek immediate medical advice.
Mesothelioma cancer symptoms differ for the two most common types of mesothelioma: peritoneal and pleural. The symptoms for peritoneal mesothelioma, which originates in the abdomen, include: abdominal pain due to fluid buildup in the abdomen cavity, weight loss, bowel obstruction, abnormalities in blood clotting and fever. Pleural mesothelioma, which originates in the chest cavity, exhibits symptoms such as: chest pain and difficulty breathing, weight loss, fever, cough and night sweats.
It’s important to keep in mind that these symptoms could mask the real disease if they are misdiagnosed. Be sure to inform your doctor if you believe you were exposed to asbestos so that the possibility of mesothelioma is not ruled out.
Every year, 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer; approximately 30 percent of cases diagnosed result in death. For people who have been exposed to asbestos, the question becomes “what do I do now?”
What Happens After Mesothelioma Cancer Diagnosis?
Fortunately, there have been advances in the treatment of mesothelioma that can extend life for 10+ years after diagnosis. Although there is no absolute cure for mesothelioma, the following treatments have proven effective for Mesothelioma patients:
- Alimta (pemetrexed). Alimta is a cancer medication that was approved for the treatment of Mesothelioma. Alimta is used to treat non-small cell lung cancer and is also used with cisplatin (Platinol) to treat mesothelioma. Some Alimta side effects include: fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, rapid heart rate, and easy bruising.
- Surgery to remove tumors
- Chemotherapy, which eliminates cancer cells
- Radiation to help shrink tumors
- Multimodal treatment, which is a mix of surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation.
Some experimental treatments include immunotherapy, which involves manipulating your immune system to fight the cancer growth, and gene therapy, which repairs defective genes.
If you or a loved one has mesothelioma cancer, you could be entitled to financial compensation to cover income loss, expensive treatments that may not be covered by health insurance, plus pain and suffering for you and for your family. Settlements in mesothelioma lawsuits have been as much as $54 million.
A mesothelioma lawyer from 1-800-THE-LAW2 can help file a claim against the company responsible for your asbestos-related illness. The disease is preventable and is usually caused by someone else’s negligence – legal options are available to help you obtain what you deserve.