Mesothelioma is cancer of the membrane (mesothelium) that covers the body’s internal organs and lines the chest, the abdomen, and the area around the heart. While mesothelioma can form in any of these places, the most common form is malignant pleural mesothelioma, which develops in the lining of the chest and lungs and accounts for up to 75 percent of all mesothelioma cases.
What Causes Pleural Mesothelioma?
When airborne asbestos fibers are inhaled or swallowed, they can become lodged in the body’s tissues, irritating the surrounding area. The tissues of the lungs and chest wall lining are especially vulnerable to damage from these asbestos fibers, which remain embedded for years.
A person who has been exposed to asbestos in this manner is at risk for pleural mesothelioma, although it could take up to 50 years before symptoms develop and pleural mesothelioma is diagnosed.
Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma
The most common symptom of pleural mesothelioma is pain or discomfort in the lower back or side of the chest. Other symptoms may include:
- Hoarseness or cough
- Coughing up blood
- Difficulty swallowing
- Weight loss
- Swelling of the face and arms
- Fever or sweats
- Exhaustion or weakness
As with any cancer, early treatment of pleural mesothelioma improves the prognosis. However, the early symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are often mistaken for other ailments, so patients may ignore them for months before consulting a doctor.
Pleural Mesothelioma Diagnosis and Treatment
Doctors use several methods to diagnose pleural mesothelioma, including physical examination, diagnostic imaging, and laboratory analysis of tissue and fluid samples. If you have pleural mesothelioma, your doctor will offer you treatment options based on the stage of your disease, your personal wishes, and your general health, age, weight, and gender.
Because is not considered curable, treatments focus on relieving symptoms and, in some cases, prolonging life. Current treatment options for pleural mesothelioma may include one or more of the following:
Although a legal settlement won’t cure your mesothelioma, it could help pay for your treatment and provide financial security for your loved ones. To learn more, call Sokolove Law at 1-888-360-4215 today.