Mesothelioma is a malignant cancer that affects the membrane, the mesothelium, which lines the lungs and abdomen. Although more rare than lung cancer, mesothelioma is almost exclusively caused by asbestos exposure. The thin lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart becomes cancerous over extended exposure but the disease may not show until years later.
There are three kinds of malignant mesothelioma:
Pleural, Peritoneal, and Pericardial.
Pleural mesothelioma: The pleura is a thin membrane that lines the lungs and chest wall. Asbestos exposure can cause pleura disease, which is the thickening or calcification of the pleura. Pleura disease can take years to manifest but is not itself fatal; rather, it is often a sign of the future onset of peural mesothelioma.
- Prognosis: Pleural mesothelioma, on average, is fatal within one year of diagnosis, but this is typically due to the lack of early diagnosis. With early detection brings better prognosis. Treatments such as surgical resection can increase life expectancy significantly if the disease is detected early. Surgical resection can involve a pleurectomy, removal of all or portion of the affected lung or an extrapleural pneumonectomy, which involves the removal of all or part of the affected lung as well as the removal of the pleura, the diaphragm, and the mesothelial lining surrounding the heart cavity. There is no cure for pleural mesothelioma; however, there are several treatment methods to assist in managing the disease. Radiation, chemotherapy; and surgery are used to combat the disease, depending on the stage of the cancer.
Peritoneal mesothelioma: Peritoneal mesothelioma is a malignant cancer that attacks the peritoneum; the membrane surrounding the abdominal cavity. This type of mesothelioma is exceedingly rare (less than 500 cases per year in the United States).
- Diagnosis: Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms can include stomach, chest, or abdominal pain, as well as hernias, which can be evidence of tumor growth. The only way to conclusively diagnose peritoneal mesothelioma is by extracting and testing fluid from the peritoneum.
- Treatment: Chemotherapy and radiation is most common. As with pleural mesothelioma, however, early detection can allow for the use of surgical resection.
Pericardial mesothelioma: Pericardial mesothelioma attacks the lining of the heart, but is the rarest form of malignant mesothelioma.
- Diagnosis: Shortness of breath and chest pains can be signs of pericardial mesothelioma, but a biopsy is necessary to confirm the disease.
- Treatment: Chemotherapy and radiation are the most common treatments, and surgery is no often an option due to the sensitive location of the disease.
If you or someone you know has suffered from mesothelioma duet to negligence you need to contact Chicago mesothelioma attorney Michael Agruss at 312-224-4695 for a free consultation. We are a Chicago injury law firm representing individuals and families who have suffered an injury or loss due to an accident. Mike Agruss Law, will handle your personal injury case quickly, will advise you every step of the way, and will not hesitate to go to trial for you.
Lastly, Mike Agruss Law, does not get paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. Therefore, you have nothing to risk when you hire us–just the opportunity to seek justice.