Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Three Main Organs Affected by Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that develops in the lining of large internal organs. It is caused by asbestos exposure. Because asbestos fibers are minuscule, they become lodged in the lining of the internal organs and, over time, lead to the growth of cancerous tumors. The time period between exposure to asbestos and the onset of mesothelioma cancer can be several decades, which is why many patients fail to recognize the initial symptoms of the disease. Sadly, this leads to a delayed diagnosis of mesothelioma, which in turn decreases the patient's life expectancy.
Patients who develop mesothelioma often have been exposed to asbestos at their workplace, such as navy shipyards and construction sites. The repeated exposure to asbestos means that they inhaled millions of tiny asbestos fibers that remained in their bodies. The three organs most often affected by mesothelioma are the lungs, heart and stomach.
Lungs: Pleural Mesothelioma
The most common form of mesothelioma, known as pleural mesothelioma, affects the lungs. The disease results when inhaled asbestos fibers become lodged in the lining that surrounds the lungs and cause the growth of cancerous cells around them. This process causes the lining of the lungs to fill with fluid, which obstructs breathing and causes chest pain. At this point, most pleural mesothelioma patients notice that something is wrong and seek the help of a doctor.
Stomach: Peritoneal Mesothelioma
The asbestos fibers can also become lodged in the lining around the stomach. This type of mesothelioma, which is called peritoneal mesothelioma, occurs when a person eats food covered with microscopic asbestos fibers. The fibrous material remains in the stomach lining for a long time (20-50 years) before it prompts the growth of the cancer cells. Peritoneal mesothelioma is much rarer than pleural mesothelioma, accounting for about 10-20 percent of all mesothelioma cases.
Heart: Pericardial Mesothelioma
The tiny asbestos fibers can also become lodged in the lining of the heart, where they can cause cancer. This form of mesothelioma is called pericardial mesothelioma. It is a very rare type of mesothelioma, accounting for about 10 percent of all mesothelioma cases.
Mesothelioma: Medical and Legal Considerations
The treatment for all forms of mesothelioma is similar and typically involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. While an aggressively administered mesothelioma treatment can slow the spread of the disease, it can rarely cure it. This is because most mesothelioma cancers are discovered at an advanced stage, when treatment is less effective.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or your loved one has died from this disease, a knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyer may help you hold those responsible for your suffering liable for your medical bills, physical and psychological pain, and reduced quality of life.

Contact a lawyer today if you are a victim of asbestos exposure who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mesothelioma: Legal Ramifications

A Brief Overview
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that attacks the linings of the lungs and the intestinal tract, and also the sac covering the heart. It is also called epithelial mesothelioma, as it affects the membrane in the pleura, the pericardium and the peritoneum. It is not lung-cancer per se. The mesothelioma-lung cancer confusion has been there earlier. Mesothelioma is merely a form of cancer that affects the lining covering the lungs. It comes in three forms:
o Pleural mesothelioma
o Peritoneal mesothelioma
o Pericardial mesothelioma
Causes of Mesothelioma
The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. This can be direct exposure at the work place, or secondary exposure (when the victim is exposed to asbestos through coming in contact with someone who has already been exposed to asbestos). Despite all the pain and the loss that the workers faced, there was some hope in the form of legal recourse. Workers started suing the plants they worked in, and soon the legal battle against mesothelioma reached epic proportions. Even today, there are around 3,000 cases of mesothelioma being diagnosed in the United States every year. While the treatment is painful and not always successful, these mesothelioma victims at least have the hope of monetary compensation to help them fight mesothelioma.
The first manifestations of mesothelioma were seen as early as the 1950s and the 1960s. At that time, the workers in plants and other work areas that used asbestos in some form or the other were unaware of the lethal side of asbestos. The management at these work areas - docks, industrial plants, equipment manufacturers, and many more, the list is endless - soon came to know of the adverse effects of asbestos. However, for some reason they kept quiet about it. Their focus was on reduced costs and profits, it seems, and they remained mum about the harmful effects that asbestos could have on their workers. Asbestos, after all, had huge advantages over other material, which was why it was used so much irrespective of the genre of industry. This over the years proved to be a very, very costly error on their part.
Mesothelioma Litigation - Did it Help?
The implications of asbestos use are staggering, primarily because of the range of products it is used in. From office buildings to toasters to car brakes to shipyards, asbestos was used almost across the breadth of the industrial sector. A publication in 1935 by the American Journal of Cancer - Pulmonary Asbestosis: Carcinoma of the Lung in Asbesto-Silicosis - first raised the suspicions of people from the research and medical fields of the connection between the presence of asbestos and the unusually high death rates and lung-related diseases in the industrial sector. This connection was confirmed in 1955, and soon the continued use of asbestos despite knowing about its deadlier side became a legal nightmare for the industrial sector. Mesothelioma litigation in the United States has enabled mesothelioma victims win hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuits from their callous employers. It has been one of the successes in the battle against mesothelioma indirectly, and against the irresponsible attitudes of the management of workplaes that used asbestos, directly.
The Legal Aspect of Mesothelioma
Over the years, the legal benefits that mesothelioma victims have received have been enormous. The symptoms of mesothelioma manifest much after the initial inhalation of the asbestos fibers. Mesothelioma treatment is also painful and expensive. The compensations awarded to them have helped them at least cover their medical expenses. Nowadays there are mesothelioma law firms - law firms that specialize in mesothelioma. They have trained mesothelioma lawyers and mesothelioma attorneys. These lawyers specialize in mesothelioma compensation cases.
It can happen that a victim may shy away from legal recourse because they fel that they do not have adequate financial support to pay the lawyer. However, this is a scenario they need not worry about. All they have to do is contact a mesothelioma support group, or a mesothelioma help group. These are present all over the United States. The patient can also go online and put a search for mesothelioma legal assistance cells by typing mesothelioma and then typing the name of the state or area they are from in the search field of the search engine they are using. This is not a fixed rule - they can type it in any order. For example - mesothelioma California, mesothelioma Texas, mesothelioma lawyer texas, New York mesothelioma, California mesothelioma lawyer, etc.
How are Mesothelioma Lawyers so Successful?
One of the basic things in awarding compensation is for the judge or the jury to decide whether the harm done was intentional, or whether it was the result of a choice the victim made, in simple terms. In many cases, the circumstance of a victim is a result of a choice he or she made. For example, in a smoking-related cancer case, the choice to smoke was made by the victim. However, in the case of mesothelioma, the situation is different. The circumstance of mesothelioma in the victim could have been averted if only his employers had been more careful, had made him aware about the risks the job entailed, and then let him choose, besides providing him whatever protection required to prevent him from being exposed to asbestos. This is one area that mesothelioma lawyers and mesothelioma attorneys have been able to successfully work on.
After the initial slew of mesothelioma cases and lawsuits, now laws are firmly in place to safeguard the health interests of the worker. Besides, in the event of someone actually suffering from mesothelioma, there are some guidelines towards seeking legal redress for them as well. Mesothelioma law is strict and helps provide fair verdicts in mesothelioma-related compensation cases.
Guidelines for Mesothelioma Victims Seeking Legal Action
The primary rule of thumb while filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is that it has to be filed immediately on diagnosis of the disease. In fact, in many of the states across the United States, mesothelioma laws stipulating the timeframe within which a lawsuit can be filed are in place. On diagnosis, you can contact a mesothelioma lawyer through your local mesothelioma activists or mesothelioma group for more mesothelioma information relating to lawsuits. The work of a mesothelioma lawyer or mesothelioma attorney is not limited to just fighting your case. A mesothelioma attorney usually has an extensive network of contacts - other victims, mesothelioma case histories, good treatment facilities, nature of treatment options available, in fact, for most mesothelioma-related information. His specialization is a distinct advantage over a lawyer who doesn't have too much of an idea about mesothelioma.
The government is also taking steps to ensure that workers are safe from exposure to asbestos. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has passed laws and regulations stipulating safety measures and also has set in motion plans to ban and phase out the use of asbestos as much as possible. You can find more information about this at the EPA website -
You can also browse the Internet for mesothelioma-related information, mesothelioma pictures, more information on asbestos, etc.

The writer does freelance writing work. Primary areas are keyword-rich articles (especially in healthcare, insurance, credit), creative writing, blogposts, etc.
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mesothelioma Symptoms Are Varied and Numerous

Mesothelioma symptoms appear decades after exposure to asbestos has taken place. Mesothelioma cannot be conclusively diagnosed from observation of its symptoms alone because the cancer has symptoms that are common to other illnesses. Additionally, different types of mesothelioma have different symptoms.
Pleural mesothelioma develops in the pleura, or the lining of the lungs. It is the most common form of mesothelioma. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are chest pain, difficulty with breathing, difficulty with swallowing, coughing of blood and night sweats.
Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the peritoneum, or the lining of the abdomen. Its symptoms include weight loss, diarrhea, swelling of the abdomen, abdominal pain and formation of lumps of tissue in the abdomen.
Pericardial mesothelioma is found in the tissue surrounding the heart. It is among the rarest types of mesothelioma, found in about 5% of mesothelioma cases. The symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma are chest pain, irregular heart beat, fever and difficulty with breathing.
Testicular mesothelioma, or mesothelioma of Tunica Vaginalis develops in the tissue surrounding the testicles. The symptom of this type of mesothelioma is the presence of a mass on the testicle. Because this type of mesothelioma is the rarest type of the cancer, information concerning its symptoms is limited.
Anyone experiencing the symptoms described above should take heart that mesothelioma is a rare cancer afflicting about 3,000 people in the US each year. Thus, it is likely that the symptoms are indicative of a condition or illness less serious than mesothelioma. However, no conclusion should be reached without the guidance of a healthcare professional.
It is especially important for people who worked with asbestos containing products or lived with anyone who did, to seek medical attention if they are experiencing the symptoms of mesothelioma. Unfortunately, asbestos was used in a wide range of products such as brakes, roofing shingles, electrical wiring and insulation material. Consequently, workers such as mechanics, construction workers, boiler workers, electricians and others who worked with asbestos products are at risk of developing mesothelioma. Further, people who lived with asbestos industry workers are also at risk of developing the cancer from secondary asbestos exposure e.g., washing the asbestos contaminated clothes of someone who worked with asbestos.
People suffering from mesothelioma should consider contacting an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. Companies in the asbestos industry knew of the lethal dangers of asbestos but did not disclose them to maintain profitability. For the same reason, companies did not provide protective equipment that could have prevented exposure to asbestos. Therefore, the law allows mesothelioma patients to file legal claims against companies responsible for their exposure to asbestos.

Weitz & Luxenberg is a U.S. law firm that accepts asbestos cancer cases from all areas of the U.S. and certain regions of Canada. Weitz & Luxenberg is a nationally recognized mesothelioma law firm. Please visit our website for more information at

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mesothelioma Symptoms

Mesothelioma typically has a long latency period, meaning that many years will pass between exposure to asbestos and the development of the disease. In fact, patients with mesothelioma typically do not manifest symptoms until several decades after the initial asbestos exposure. Because mesothelioma symptoms mimic those of less serious diseases, many patients who develop asbestos cancer are unaware of their potentially life-threatening condition.
Individuals with a history of asbestos exposure should schedule an appointment with their doctors to screen for asbestos-related diseases. Because mesothelioma does not present early symptoms, individuals who were in contact with asbestos should inform their doctor of their exposure. Patients who have a history of asbestos exposure but are not exhibiting symptoms should receive chest x-rays or lung function tests to screen for any indications of asbestos-related diseases.
The most common form of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma forms in the lining of the lungs. Common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include the following: persistent dry or raspy cough; trouble swallowing; cough that produces blood; painful breathing; shortness of breath; chest or rib pain; night sweats/fever; and unexplained weight loss. Fatigue and lumps under the skin of the chest have also been reported in patients with pleural mesothelioma. Many symptoms of pleural mesothelioma occur as a result of pleural thickening, which is caused by fluid buildup between membrane layers. Pleural thickening and fluid buildup can put pressure on the lungs, causing problems with respiratory function.
Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the abdomen and makes up approximately 30% of all mesothelioma cases. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma can include swelling or pain in the abdomen, nausea and vomiting and a change in bowel habits. Peritoneal mesothelioma can also cause night sweats, fever, unexplained weight loss, anemia, fatigue and lumps under the skin of the abdomen. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma develop due to the thickening of the peritoneal membrane and fluid buildup between the membrane layers. This can put pressure on the abdomen and its organs, causing the patient to experience symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma.
The least common form of mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma develops in the sac surrounding the heart. Symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma include heart palpitations, chest pain, fatigue, trouble breathing, fever and night sweats. These symptoms are caused by fluid buildup and the thickening of the pericardial membrane. Because pericardial mesothelioma is rare, its list of symptoms is not as comprehensive as other forms of mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma is often difficult to diagnose and typically has a poor prognosis.
Individuals experiencing symptoms of mesothelioma should seek medical attention immediately. Although mesothelioma shares symptoms with a number of less serious diseases, it's important to receive a firm diagnosis as soon as possible. Although the overall prognosis for mesothelioma is poor, patients diagnosed in the earlier stages typically have a better outlook.

A mesothelioma law firm, The Shepard Law Firm represents mesothelioma victims and their families throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island. If you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma, contact the mesothelioma attorneys at The Shepard Law Firm for a free legal consultation.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Types Of Mesothelioma Asbestos Diseases

There are different types of mesothelioma asbestos diseases because the asbestos can damage various parts of the body. These are named for their location in the body as well as for their progression.
Some of these mesothelioma asbestos diseases are:

Pleural mesothelioma - This is the most talked about form of mesothelioma cancer as it invades the inner lining of the lungs and causes respiratory symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of this disease.

Peritoneal mesothelioma - In the body, there is a sac that keeps the body parts separate from the skin in order to protect them and to cushion them called the peritoneum. When the asbestos has damaged this lining of the body, it's referred to as peritoneal mesothelioma. Symptoms often include abdominal pain, weight loss, problems with bowels, ascites (fluid in the abdomen), and sometimes a mass is palpable. This cancerous disease can be hard to detect as the symptoms are vague.

Pericardial mesothelioma - This is a cancer that affects the sac that is surrounding the heart, or the pericardium. When this lining is affected, patients can have problems with their blood pressure in addition to respiratory problems.
Some patients will also have troubles with esophageal mesothelioma cancer which affects the throat of the patient. These kinds of mesothelioma asbestos diseases can cause troubles with swallowing and eating.
There are rare forms of benign mesothelioma too that do not technically have the cancerous symptoms and cell growth, but is still dangerous for breathing and the disease can affect your quality of life.
The main concern with each of these mesothelioma diseases is the spread of the asbestos related disease to other parts of the body. If the cancer has spread, it can become more difficult to treat or require more aggressive chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
While there isn't one part of the body that is more reactive to the cancer, any cancerous spreads in the and around the heart and lungs are going to be the most serious of the three asbestos diseases.
These many types of mesothelioma asbestos diseases remind us that the exposure to asbestos is far more dangerous than we could have thought. And that if you feel you were exposed at any point in your life, you may want to check with your doctor about getting tested.

Dave Casey writes for, the web's premier guide on mesothelioma cancer. Visit the site for informative articles on subjects such as mesothelioma diagnosis and asbestos legislation.
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Friday, December 2, 2011

Simple Yet Effective Mesothelioma Treatment Potentially Discovered

Mesothelioma treatment continues to improve on an almost daily basis. There are thousands of researchers across the globe on the cutting edge of cancer research and a good portion of this is applicable to conditions like malignant pleural mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Currently, there is no universally successful treatment option for mesothelioma, but researchers have had some recent success.
In a new study published in the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research, researchers have discovered a potentially beneficial response to deadly mesothelioma cancer cells. The study is concerned with sodium selenite, the most common water-soluble form of selenium.
Selenium was discovered in 1817 by Jons Jakob Berzelius, as a byproduct of sulfuric acid production. First noticed due to the toxic nature of the element to humans working in industry, it was later found to beneficial as an essential nutritional factor in humans. In 1996, continuing research showed a positive correlation between selenium supplementation and cancer prevention in humans. Selenium in small amounts, such as through a multivitamin supplement, are generally regarded as safe and even beneficial to human nutrition. In large quantities, however, it is toxic to mamamalian bodies, though it is rare that any healthy adult receives more than their daily allotment of selenium.
Selelenium has been shown in several studies to prevent chemically induced carcinogens in rodent studies, though there have been confliciting studies in humans debating the efficacy of selenium supplements. Under the most recent study, sodium selenite has been shown as an antioxidant that can kill mesothelioma cells in cell cultures. Additionally, sodium selenite seems to avoid noticeably damaging healthy cells in the body; this is an enormous step forward in the treatment, as most traditional cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy, often damage health tissue and cells in the patient's body.
The ramifications of this study are profound; if there is a simple and effective way to address the chronic and deadly condition of mesothelioma cancer and asbestos exposure, it could save the lives of millions of people all over the world. According to reports, the chemical selenite triggered cell death in 15% of sarcomatoid (cancer) cells, compared to just 8% of epithelioid mesothelioma cells. Total cell death after 24 hours of treatment was about 25% in the epithelioid cells and 30% in the sarcomatoid cells. Granted, these results took place in a laboratory setting and actual treatment may be years away. Regardless, this breakthrough provides at least a small amount of hope to those experiencing mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a serious and debilitating cancer, oftentimes coming with a grim prognosis. Patients diagnosed with asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure often find it in their best interest to contact an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. Generally speaking, asbestos exposure results from working in an industry which has either utilized asbestos in manufacturing or production, or has been involved in handling materials containing asbestos, either directly or indirectly. Oftentimes, an experienced mesothelioma attorney can assist the patient with receiving some sort of monetary compensation against the source of their exposure. provides a wealth of resources for individuals seeking legal help. Information regarding mesothelioma is available at's mesothelioma information portal which provides an expansive selection of articles as well as a contact form for an experienced mesothelioma lawyer.