Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma, making up approximately 75 percent of all diagnoses. The disease is usually contracted after a person is repeatedly exposed to asbestos, an extremely harmful and naturally occurring mineral.
In many cases, patients suffering from pleural mesothelioma develop the disease after working on construction sites, in the military, or from secondary exposure.
Treating pleural mesothelioma is very expensive, not to mention the pain and suffering the patient endures while receiving those treatments. If you have been diagnosed with the disease, or have lost someone to it, call a Boston mesothelioma attorney at The Law Offices of Michael P. Joyce, P.C., who can help you seek the compensation you deserve.
What Is Pleural Mesothelioma?
Pleural mesothelioma is a type of cancer related to asbestos exposure. It is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers, which then become lodged in the lining of the lungs, also called the pleura.
This particular type of cancer is extremely aggressive, and typically deadly for people who suffer from it. The average pleural mesothelioma life expectancy is between 12 and 21 months. The prognosis will depend on the stage of the cancer and the treatments a patient receives.
Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms
It is sometimes difficult to diagnose pleural mesothelioma due to the fact that the symptoms associated with the disease are also present in other illnesses and conditions. The main pleural mesothelioma symptoms include:
- Pain in the chest
- Coughing, usually accompanied by pain
- Shortness of breath
- Lumps on the chest under the skin
- Sudden and unexplained weight loss
Any time a person notices these symptoms, or has any other concerns, they should speak to a doctor as soon as possible. Early treatment is critical with any type of cancer, including pleural mesothelioma.
Pleural Mesothelioma Stages
There are four stages of pleural mesothelioma, but all are very serious.
- Stage one is the least severe because the cancer is restricted to the lining of the lung and only affects one side of the body. Patients with stage one have the most treatment options, and the cancerous growth can typically be removed through surgery. The life expectancy for patients in this stage is generally between 30 to 40 months.
- Stage two is still considered an early stage of pleural mesothelioma. During stage two, only one side of the chest is affected, but the cancer may have spread to the diaphragm or the surface of the actual lung. Those in stage two of pleural mesothelioma still have many curative treatment options.
- Stage three is a much more serious phase of pleural mesothelioma. However, there are still treatment options that can improve a patient’s quality of life. During this stage, the cancer still has not spread beyond one side of the body, or to lymph nodes a significant distance from the original tumor. Treatment options are sometimes limited after a stage three diagnosis, but some patients are still eligible for curative treatment.
- Stage four pleural mesothelioma is the most serious phase of the disease. A diagnosis of this phase means that the cancer has spread through the chest wall, pericardium, and diaphragm. During this stage, the cancer also commonly spreads to lymph nodes located a significant distance from the location of the primary tumor. Curative treatment is not typically possible at this stage. Doctors and healthcare professionals usually focus on improving a patient’s quality of life when they are in this stage. This is called palliative treatment.
Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment Options
Although any mesothelioma diagnosis is devastating to the patient and their family, there are many treatment options for pleural mesothelioma. The most common curative treatments that are meant to treat the actual condition include:
- Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP) surgery – During this surgery, the entire diseased lung and lining is removed. Many patients in stage one and two receive this surgery shortly after diagnosis.
- Pluerectomy with Decortication (P/D) surgery – This surgery is less invasive than an EPP, but has similar survival rates. During this surgery, a surgeon removes the diseased pleura and any tumors they see. However, the lung is spared and does not require removal.
- Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is used as a treatment for many different types of cancers, including pleural mesothelioma. While a patient undergoes chemotherapy, drugs are used to target and kill cancer cells. The standard drug used in pleural mesothelioma chemotherapy is Alimta / cisplatin. Chemotherapy is often used in conjunction with other treatments, such as surgery and radiation.
- Radiation – This is the least invasive form of treatment for pleural mesothelioma. Radiation targets tumors and destroys the cells within them, leaving the surrounding healthy lung tissue unharmed.
When these treatment options are not possible, or a patient simply doesn’t wish to undergo treatment, doctors often use palliative treatments. These can help keep the patient comfortable and improve their quality of life.
Legal Help for Pleural Mesothelioma
If you or a loved one suffers from pleural mesothelioma, there are many different types of compensation available. This compensation can help with diagnostic and treatment costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and any other losses you’ve suffered as a result of the illness.
A Boston mesothelioma attorney at The Law Offices of Michael P. Joyce, P.C., can help determine what type of recovery options are available, and which of those could help you secure the most amount of compensation possible.
If you have developed pleural mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation for lost income, medical expenses, and any pain and suffering you’ve experienced. You can claim any expense or loss you’ve incurred, including even transportation to and from doctor appointments.
If you have lost a close family member to pleural mesothelioma, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. These claims provide compensation for the losses you’ve incurred as a result of the death. Compensation in wrongful death claims often includes funeral and burial expenses, loss of net income, and loss of consortium.
Talk to a Pleural Mesothelioma Lawyer Now
If you or a loved one has developed pleural mesothelioma, call our Boston mesothelioma attorneys today. At The Law Offices of Michael P. Joyce, P.C., we have the necessary experience to pursue these cases to seek a successful outcome.
Call us today so we can start working on your case and pursue you the compensation you deserve. The consultation is free and confidential.