From the category archives:

Mesothelioma Q&A

March 25, 2009

  • How Effective are Mesothelioma Cancer Lawsuits?

    If you’re dealing with the medical and emotional effects of mesothelioma, or if you’ve had a family member who died from the disease, it’s likely that you’re eligible to file a lawsuit. Always remember that you’re the innocent victim in these cases, and what has happened is not your fault. Therefore, it’s only right that you should file a legal claim for compensation. If you’re the victim, you will be able to file a personal injury claim. If you’re filing in behalf of a family member, you’ll file a wrongful death suit. The way these claims are filed will differ from state to state, so it’s wise to hire an attorney who specializes in mesothelioma cases to see to your best interests.

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January 30, 2009

  • Are New Treatments For Mesothelioma Being Studied?

    Yes. Because mesothelioma is very hard to control, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is sponsoring clinical trials (research studies with people) that are designed to find new treatments and better ways to use current treatments. Before any new treatment can be recommended for general use, doctors conduct clinical trials to find out whether the treatment is safe for patients and effective against the disease. Participation in clinical trials is an important treatment option for many patients with mesothelioma. mesothelioma treatment information is at

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  • How is mesothelioma treated?

    Treatment for mesothelioma depends on the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, and the patient’s age and general health. Standard treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Sometimes, these treatments are combined.
    *       Surgery is a common treatment for mesothelioma. The doctor may remove part of the lining of the chest or abdomen and some of the tissue around it. For cancer of the pleura (pleural mesothelioma), a lung may be removed in an operation called a pneumonectomy. Sometimes part of the diaphragm, the muscle below the lungs that helps with breathing, is also removed.
    * Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, involves the use of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy affects the cancer cells only in the treated area. The radiation may come from a machine (external radiation) or from putting materials that produce radiation through thin plastic tubes into the area where the cancer cells are found (internal radiation therapy).
    * Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. Most drugs used to treat mesothelioma are given by injection into a vein (intravenous, or IV). Doctors are also studying the effectiveness of putting chemotherapy directly into the chest or abdomen (intracavitary chemotherapy).

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  • What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?

    Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 30 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. Shortness of breath and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleura are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and abdominal pain and swelling due to a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. Other symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.These symptoms may be caused by mesothelioma or by other, less serious conditions. It is important to see a doctor about any of these symptoms. Only a doctor can make a diagnosis.

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  • Who is at increased risk for developing mesothelioma?

    Asbestos has been mined and used commercially since the late 1800s. Its use greatly increased during World War II. Since the early 1940s, millions of American workers have been exposed to asbestos dust. Initially, the risks associated with asbestos exposure were not known. However, an increased risk of developing mesothelioma was later found among shipyard workers, people who work in asbestos mines and mills, producers of asbestos products, workers in the heating and construction industries, and other tradespeople. Today, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets limits for acceptable levels of asbestos exposure in the workplace. People who work with asbestos wear personal protective equipment to lower their risk of exposure.The risk of asbestos-related disease increases with heavier exposure to asbestos and longer exposure time. However, some individuals with only brief exposures have developed mesothelioma. On the other hand, not all workers who are heavily exposed develop asbestos-related diseases.There is some evidence that family members and others living with asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma, and possibly other asbestos-related diseases. This risk may be the result of exposure to asbestos dust brought home on the clothing and hair of asbestos workers. To reduce the chance of exposing family members to asbestos fibers, asbestos workers are usually required to shower and change their clothing before leaving the workplace.

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  • How common is mesothelioma?

    Although reported incidence rates have
    increased in the past 20 years, mesothelioma is still a relatively rare
    cancer. About 2,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the
    United States each year. Mesothelioma occurs more often in men than in
    women and risk increases with age, but this disease can appear in
    either men or women at any age.

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  • What Is Mesothelioma?

    Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which malignant (cancerous)
    cells are found in the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most
    of the body’s internal organs. Most people who develop mesothelioma
    have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles.

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