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Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma Definition: Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, and heart. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos.

Pleural mesothelioma affects the tissue around the lungs and is the most common form of this kind of cancer. Most people diagnosed with it inhaled asbestos fibers in the workplace. Other types of mesothelioma occur in the abdominal area and very rarely in the tissue around the heart.

Oncologists and specialists offer a number of therapies that can help prolong survival and minimize symptoms and discomfort. In most cases all types of mesothelioma are too aggressive and too far advanced at the time of diagnosis to be cured.

Specialists provide the most up-to-date care. Experienced asbestos lawyers work with patients to seek justice and compensation for the exposure that caused this terrible illness.

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Asbestos exposure can be blamed for causing nearly all of the approximately 3,000 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed every year. Most of that exposure occurred in the workplace.

Employees exposed and put at risk of asbestos-related diseases never knew about the dangers until it was too late. While not all workers exposed to asbestos later got sick, many ended up with life-threatening conditions.

Many companies used asbestos heavily until the government began regulating it in the 1970s. Workers who were more likely to be exposed include industrial workers, sailors and shipyard workers, construction laborers and skilled tradesmen, and miners, among many others.

Exposure to asbestos is now declining and occurs much less often than it did in the past. But not all the damage has yet been seen. People are still getting diagnosed with mesothelioma now because of the cancer's long latency period. Decades can pass between exposure and symptoms that lead to a diagnosis.

Researchers have made great improvements in diagnosing and treating mesothelioma. They are helping people live longer, but mesothelioma is still an aggressive and deadly type of cancer. There is no cure for mesothelioma and remission is extremely rare.

What are the

Types of Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a cancer that starts in the cells of the mesothelium. The mesothelium is a thin, double layer of tissue lining the chest cavity, abdominal cavity, and the heart.

The most common type of mesothelioma begins in the pleural tissue around the lungs. Mesothelioma is associated with asbestos exposure, and most exposure occurs by inhalation. This is why the pleural form is most common.

Peritoneal mesothelioma, which develops in the abdomen, is less common. The least common type occurs in the tissue around the heart, called pericardial mesothelioma.

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Pleural Mesothelioma

The most common type of asbestos-related cancer is pleural mesothelioma, cancer of the tissue around the lungs. Nearly three-quarters of diagnosed cases are pleural. This is because most long-term exposure to asbestos results from inhalation of the fibers.

Inhaled asbestos fibers, which are like tiny needles, lodge in pleural tissue. Here they cause damage, and in some people this results in mesothelioma. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, chest pains, coughing, and shortness of breath and are similar to more common diseases, like pneumonia and bronchitis. Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis is common.

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Pericardial Mesothelioma

This extremely rare form of mesothelioma accounts for just one percent of all diagnosed cases. Only about 200 instances have ever been described in scientific journals. The primary tumor grows in the part of the mesothelium that is around the heart. This is called the pericardium.

Because of how close the tumors are to the heart, pericardial mesothelioma is the most difficult type of this cancer to treat. Symptoms may include chest pains, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, fatigue, and coughing. As with pleural mesothelioma, this type can initially be mistaken for other conditions.

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Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for less than 20 percent of all diagnosed cases. It occurs in the peritoneum, the tissue in the abdomen. Inhaled asbestos fibers may trigger tumor growth here by migrating through the lymphatic system. Peritoneal mesothelioma may also occur because of accidental ingestion of asbestos fibers.

The early symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal distension, abdominal pain, swelling or tenderness around the abdomen and constipation or diarrhea. These signs can easily be mistaken for more common illnesses, like colitis or irritable bowel syndrome.

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Pleural Mesothelioma

The most common type of asbestos-related cancer is pleural mesothelioma, cancer of the tissue around the lungs. Nearly three-quarters of diagnosed cases are pleural. This is because most long-term exposure to asbestos results from inhalation of the fibers.

Inhaled asbestos fibers, which are like tiny needles, lodge in pleural tissue. Here they cause damage, and in some people this results in mesothelioma. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, chest pains, coughing, and shortness of breath and are similar to more common diseases, like pneumonia and bronchitis. Misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis is common.

heart-icon

Pericardial Mesothelioma

This extremely rare form of mesothelioma accounts for just one percent of all diagnosed cases. Only about 200 instances have ever been described in scientific journals. The primary tumor grows in the part of the mesothelium that is around the heart. This is called the pericardium.

Because of how close the tumors are to the heart, pericardial mesothelioma is the most difficult type of this cancer to treat. Symptoms may include chest pains, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, fatigue, and coughing. As with pleural mesothelioma, this type can initially be mistaken for other conditions.

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Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for less than 20 percent of all diagnosed cases. It occurs in the peritoneum, the tissue in the abdomen. Inhaled asbestos fibers may trigger tumor growth here by migrating through the lymphatic system. Peritoneal mesothelioma may also occur because of accidental ingestion of asbestos fibers.

The early symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal distension, abdominal pain, swelling or tenderness around the abdomen and constipation or diarrhea. These signs can easily be mistaken for more common illnesses, like colitis or irritable bowel syndrome.

What are the

Symptoms of
Mesothelioma?

Symptoms

Pleural Mesothelioma

  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Persistent, dry cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pains
  • Pain When Breathing
  • Lumps Under Skin of Chest
  • Fatigue
  • Weight Loss
  • Fever

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

  • Pain & Swelling in Abdomen
  • Feeling of Fullness
  • Weight Loss
  • Anemia
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bowel Obstruction
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue

Pericardial Mesothelioma

  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Heart Murmurs
  • Weight Loss
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chest Pains
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing
  • Night Sweats
  • Fever
  • Heart Failure
  • Swelling of Lower Limbs

Most patients with mesothelioma experience no symptoms for many years. Or if they do, they have only mild symptoms. The early signs are also similar to other diseases that are more common. These include pneumonia for pleural mesothelioma symptoms or irritable bowel syndrome for peritoneal mesothelioma, as well as others.

Only when mesothelioma tumors grow larger and spread to other tissues and organs does it begin to cause more severe symptoms. This is also when the symptoms become more noticeable.

Unfortunately it is all too often in the later stages that people with mesothelioma realize they are seriously ill. At that point it may be too late for treatments to be very effective.

The later stages of mesothelioma cause symptoms more typical of other types of cancer, like weight loss and fatigue, fever, and persistent pain, swelling, or feelings of fullness in peritoneal mesothelioma.

Symptoms

Pleural Mesothelioma

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Trouble Swallowing
  • Persistent, Dry Cough
  • Coughing up Blood
  • Chest Pains
  • Pain When Breathing
  • Lumps Under Skin of Chest
  • Fatigue
  • Weight Loss
  • Fever

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

  • Pain & Swelling in Abdomen
  • Feeling of Fullness
  • Weight Loss
  • Anemia
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bowel Obstruction
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue

Pericardial Mesothelioma

  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Heart Murmurs
  • Weight Loss
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chest Pains
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing
  • Night Sweats
  • Fever
  • Heart Failure
  • Swelling of Lower Limbs

How is

Mesothelioma Diagnosed?

Physical Examination

The first step in diagnosing mesothelioma is a complete physical examination. This is usually administered by a patient's regular physician and is necessary to rule out more common conditions that could explain the symptoms.

A doctor examines the patient and tests for certain conditions, while also taking a medical history. In addition to characteristic symptoms, it is important to know of any exposure to asbestos. This is an important clue to look for signs of cancer.

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Imaging Scans

After a physical exam, patients undergo one or more imaging scans. An X-ray can rule out pneumonia and other non-cancerous lung diseases.

MRIs and CT scans can provide a more detailed look at soft tissues. These scans can help doctors find areas of abnormal tissue that may be cancerous.

A scan may also rule out another illness. If an image shows abnormal tissue that could be malignant, the patient will be referred to an oncologist. An oncologist is a cancer specialist who will likely recommend a biopsy for a firm diagnosis.

Biopsy

To perform a biopsy, a doctor takes a sample of cells from the patient. A pathologist examines them under a microscope to look for signs of malignancy.

Fluid drained from around the lungs in the case of pleural symptoms or from the abdomen when there are symptoms associated with peritoneal mesothelioma may be used to investigate cells.

If fluid biopsies are inconclusive, imaging scans can be used to guide a needle biopsy. This involves removing a small piece of tissue with a long needle.

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The Stages of Mesothelioma

A complete cancer diagnosis includes the assignment of a stage. Mesothelioma and other cancers are staged from one through four. One is the earliest stage with the least progression of disease. Four is the most advanced stage with significant progression. Staging allows doctors to describe how far the disease has spread and to create the best treatment plan.

STAGE 1

Stage one mesothelioma patients have the best chances of long-term survival. This type of cancer is rarely diagnosed so early, though. Some people may not have symptoms at this stage. They are usually mild and may include coughing, fever, chest pains, breathing difficulties, and a general feeling of fatigue. Stage one patients have several treatment options, including aggressive surgery, and they have the best overall prognosis.

STAGE 2

Stage two patients still have some chance of extended survival, but the prognosis is poorer than in stage one. The symptoms are similar, but the cancerous tumor has started to invade the chest cavity, diaphragm, and sometimes the lung tissue. This limits treatment options. Surgery may or may not be possible.

STAGE 3

By stage three, the cancer has spread more extensively throughout the chest cavity or abdomen, depending on the type. Treatment may shift to a focus on palliative care. Extending survival time is difficult but possible depending on the individual. During stage three most patients will experience severe chest pains, weight loss, night sweats, coughing, fatigue, and other uncomfortable symptoms.

STAGE 4

Stage four, the most advanced stage of mesothelioma, is diagnosed when the cancer has metastasized. This means tumors have spread to parts of the body significantly far from the original location. Treatment options at this stage are severely limited and are designed to keep the patient comfortable and to extend life expectancy, if possible.

Stage one mesothelioma patients have the best chances of long-term survival. This type of cancer is rarely diagnosed so early, though. Some people may not have symptoms at this stage. They are usually mild and may include coughing, fever, chest pains, breathing difficulties, and a general feeling of fatigue. Stage one patients have several treatment options, including aggressive surgery, and they have the best overall prognosis.

Stage two patients still have some chance of extended survival, but the prognosis is poorer than in stage one. The symptoms are similar, but the cancerous tumor has started to invade the chest cavity, diaphragm, and sometimes the lung tissue. This limits treatment options. Surgery may or may not be possible.

By stage three, the cancer has spread more extensively throughout the chest cavity or abdomen, depending on the type. Treatment may shift to a focus on palliative care. Extending survival time is difficult but possible depending on the individual. During stage three most patients will experience severe chest pains, weight loss, night sweats, coughing, fatigue, and other uncomfortable symptoms.

Stage four, the most advanced stage of mesothelioma, is diagnosed when the cancer has metastasized. This means tumors have spread to parts of the body significantly far from the original location. Treatment options at this stage are severely limited and are designed to keep the patient comfortable and to extend life expectancy, if possible.

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Free consultation with Dave, our Patient Advocate, on how to quickly recover compensation from the $30 Billion Asbestos Trusts, Veteran Benefits, and by Filing Legal Claims.

Free consultation with Dave, our Patient Advocate, on how to quickly recover compensation from the $30 Billion Asbestos Trusts, Veteran Benefits, and by Filing Legal Claims.

or
For Quicker Compensation for medical and other expenses - call Dave today! Get started now on recovering from the $30 Billion in Asbestos Trusts Funds, VA Benefits and/or Filing a Legal Claim.

For Quicker Compensation for medical and other expenses - call Dave today!
Get started now on recovering from the $30 Billion in Asbestos Trusts Funds, VA Benefits and/or Filing a Legal Claim.

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What are the options for

Mesothelioma Treatment?

Treatment plans for mesothelioma vary depending on many factors. These include the needs, limitations, and preferences of each patient. It also depends on the type and stage of the cancer. The more aggressive the treatment, the more likely a patient is to have an extended life expectancy. Only in rare cases can treatment cure mesothelioma.

Choices for mesothelioma are often limited. This is an aggressive, fast-moving cancer that is too often diagnosed in later stage. This means some treatment types are not options.

Typical treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. A combination of two or more of these is typical. Some patients with more advanced cancer require more palliative care. Curing cancer is not a focus of treatment at this stage.

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Surgical Treatment

A goal of surgical treatment for mesothelioma is to remove as much of the cancerous tissue as possible. Treatment plans often combine surgery with chemotherapy and radiation to eliminate those cancer cells that the surgeon could not reach after surgery. They can also be used before surgery to shrink tumors and make them easier to excise.

Not all patients are eligible for surgery, but for those who are it may extend life expectancy. In rare cases it may be curative. For other patients, surgery can be used to relieve symptoms and as a part of palliative care.

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Chemotherapy

This is the most common treatment used for patients with mesothelioma. Chemotherapy uses drugs that target and destroy fast-growing cells and are usually administered intravenously. The drugs circulate through the body and target and kill cancer cells in tumors.

A newer treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma uses a heated solution of chemotherapy drugs circulated only in the abdominal cavity. Chemotherapy is often used after surgical treatment to destroy remaining cancer cells.

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Radiation Therapy

Radiation treatment is the use of high-energy beams of particles to target and destroy tumors and cancer cells. The traditional way of administering radiation is externally, by aiming the beam at the location of the tumor. This requires penetrating and damaging healthy tissue.

To minimize damage to healthy tissues and side effects, and to target tumors more directly, some patients may be able to undergo internal radiation therapy. Radiation is usually used in conjunction with chemotherapy and surgical treatments.

Surgical Treatment

A goal of surgical treatment for mesothelioma is to remove as much of the cancerous tissue as possible. Treatment plans often combine surgery with chemotherapy and radiation to eliminate those cancer cells that the surgeon could not reach after surgery. They can also be used before surgery to shrink tumors and make them easier to excise.

Not all patients are eligible for surgery, but for those who are it may extend life expectancy. In rare cases it may be curative. For other patients, surgery can be used to relieve symptoms and as a part of palliative care.

Chemotherapy

This is the most common treatment used for patients with mesothelioma. Chemotherapy uses drugs that target and destroy fast-growing cells and are usually administered intravenously. The drugs circulate through the body and target and kill cancer cells in tumors.

A newer treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma uses a heated solution of chemotherapy drugs circulated only in the abdominal cavity. Chemotherapy is often used after surgical treatment to destroy remaining cancer cells.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation treatment is the use of high-energy beams of particles to target and destroy tumors and cancer cells. The traditional way of administering radiation is externally, by aiming the beam at the location of the tumor. This requires penetrating and damaging healthy tissue.

To minimize damage to healthy tissues and side effects, and to target tumors more directly, some patients may be able to undergo internal radiation therapy. Radiation is usually used in conjunction with chemotherapy and surgical treatments.

Some patients also benefit from using complementary treatments addition to traditional therapies. Acupuncture, massage therapy, diet and nutrition, yoga and meditation, gentle exercise, and aromatherapy, help many patients get relief from pain, more energy, and stress and anxiety relief.

What is the

Prognosis for Mesothelioma Patients?

A patient's prognosis depends on average life expectancy for each stage of the cancer. It also depends on individual factors like age and overall health. Patients diagnosed with earlier stage mesothelioma and those that are younger and in better health generally have a better prognosis.

Typical life expectancies by stage come from statistics based on past patients. The average survival time for mesothelioma at any stage is 18 months after diagnosis. Expected survival time is longer than this for early stage patients and shorter for late stage patients.

Prognosis also depends on the type of mesothelioma. Peritoneal patients have better survival rates than those with pleural mesothelioma. Pericardial cancers generally have the worst outcomes. This is because the cancer grows around the heart where it is difficult to treat.

When surgery is still a treatment option, patients who choose it can expect a more positive prognosis. Aggressive surgeries like pleurectomy/decortication or extrapleural pneumonectomy can extend life significantly, although they come with risks.

How do I find

the Best Doctor?

If you have troubling symptoms, see your general practitioner first. Your trusted doctor can rule out more common illnesses. Don't be afraid to get a second opinion if you feel your doctor is not taking your concerns seriously, though, especially if you know you have been exposed to asbestos.

If you do get diagnosed with mesothelioma, find a specialist as soon as possible. This is a rare type of cancer and even an oncologist specializing in cancer may never have worked with a mesothelioma patient. A mesothelioma specialist can provide the best care and treatment options as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

How do I find the best

Treatment Facility?

Many specialists in mesothelioma work as part of multi-disciplinary teams at cancer treatment centers. These facilities include units or departments with teams that focus entirely on the diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma, as well as research.

Accessing a specialty treatment center may require travel out of state, but it is the best way to ensure you get the highest quality care. You'll also get access to the most cutting-edge treatments. If possible, choose a facility that specializes in mesothelioma as soon as you get a diagnosis.

A good place to start your search is at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI has listed several facilities throughout the country as Designated Cancer Centers. Several of these employ mesothelioma specialists.

Are there

Clinical Trials for Mesothelioma?

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clinical_trials_mobile

Designated Cancer Centers and other mesothelioma specialty treatment facilities can usually provide patients with access to clinical trials. Trials are studies with patients and unapproved medications or other therapies. They are designed to test the effectiveness and safety of new treatments. For an aggressive cancer like mesothelioma, with no cure, clinical trials can be a ray of hope for patients. Your specialist can help you determine if you are eligible for any trials.

What are my options

Paying For Mesothelioma Treatment?

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Treatment costs for mesothelioma can be frighteningly high. Take advantage of any resources available if you have been diagnosed with this disease. You may have both financial and legal actions you can take to get compensation.

You may even find that the treatment that is best for you, or that you prefer, is not fully covered by your health insurance plan. And, if you have no health insurance, the financial impact of treatment can be massive and overwhelming.

Alternatives to relying on insurance coverage include funding from nonprofit advocacy groups and charities. Patients can also consider lawsuits against companies that made asbestos products. There are also trust funds set up by employers who exposed workers to asbestos.

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What is the

Mesothelioma Trust Fund?

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Mesothelioma or asbestos trust funds are financial resources for people who got sick after being exposed to asbestos on the job. These funds were established by companies that were responsible for asbestos injuries to their employees. They were forced to file for bankruptcy after facing lawsuits and created these funds to compensate victims as part of the process.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and are not sure where you may have been exposed, it was likely on the job. You may qualify for compensation from an established trust fund.

Getting Benefits for

Veterans with Mesothelioma

Asbestos in the Navy

U.S. veterans have some of the highest rates of mesothelioma, but U.S. Navy veterans receive more asbestos-related diagnoses than any other group. Asbestos was used extensively on all types of ships in the navy for decades, beginning in the 1930s. Working around and living with asbestos materials, especially in the confined and poorly-ventilated spaces of ships put these veterans at the greatest risk of asbestos exposure and later illnesses.

Learn More    

Asbestos in the Marine Corps

Many Marine Corps veterans were exposed to asbestos through time spent on Navy ships. The U.S. Naval fleet has long supported and transported the men and women of the Marine Corps. These ships were made with asbestos in nearly every component, increasing exposure risks for this branch of the military. After serving their country, many Marine veterans were diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses.

Learn More    

Asbestos in the Army

Veterans who served in the U.S. Army were put their lives on the line in many ways, but the risk of exposure to asbestos was preventable. These men and women spent time in military installations, bases, and vehicles that were constructed with asbestos. Some veterans even worked directly with asbestos and many were later diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Learn More    

Asbestos in the Air Force

Asbestos use in ships, airplanes, bases, vehicles, and all types of military buildings put all veterans at risk, including those that served in the Air Force. Engines and brake systems in planes contained asbestos to insulate and protect against friction and overheating. This use, as well as the use of asbestos in many other places, caused too many of these veterans to develop mesothelioma, asbestos, or lung cancer decades after serving their countries.

Learn More    

Asbestos in the Coast Guard

The use of asbestos in ships was common practice for many decades and Coast Guard ships were no exception. Asbestos in Coast Guard vessels, in the shipyards where they worked and repaired ships, and in buildings led to numerous cases of dangerous exposure. Many of these men and women who served in the Coast Guard were later diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos illnesses.

Learn More    

Mesothelioma patients who experienced asbestos exposure while serving in the United States military are often eligible for compensation to cover treatment and other expenses.

Veterans are at special risk for mesothelioma because of the heavy use of asbestos in barracks, equipment, vehicles, and ships. Asbestos use in the military peaked between 1935 and 1975. Asbestos was particularly heavily used the U.S. Navy. Many veterans die every year from the lasting effects of exposure to asbestos.

Veterans honorably discharged have access to VA benefits if asbestos exposure led to a related diagnosis. Veterans may be able to access disability compensation, dependency and indemnity compensation, as well as health care and specialist cancer care.

Applying for VA benefits can be complicated and confusing. Rely on an experienced attorney for guidance. You may also be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the asbestos-containing materials you used during your time in the military.

Asbestos in the Navy

U.S. veterans have some of the highest rates of mesothelioma, but U.S. Navy veterans receive more asbestos-related diagnoses than any other group. Asbestos was used extensively on all types of ships in the navy for decades, beginning in the 1930s. Working around and living with asbestos materials, especially in the confined and poorly-ventilated spaces of ships put these veterans at the greatest risk of asbestos exposure and later illnesses.

Learn More    

Asbestos in the Marine Corps

Many Marine Corps veterans were exposed to asbestos through time spent on Navy ships. The U.S. Naval fleet has long supported and transported the men and women of the Marine Corps. These ships were made with asbestos in nearly every component, increasing exposure risks for this branch of the military. After serving their country, many Marine veterans were diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses.

Learn More    

Asbestos in the Army

Veterans who served in the U.S. Army were put their lives on the line in many ways, but the risk of exposure to asbestos was preventable. These men and women spent time in military installations, bases, and vehicles that were constructed with asbestos. Some veterans even worked directly with asbestos and many were later diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Learn More    

Asbestos in the Air Force

Asbestos use in ships, airplanes, bases, vehicles, and all types of military buildings put all veterans at risk, including those that served in the Air Force. Engines and brake systems in planes contained asbestos to insulate and protect against friction and overheating. This use, as well as the use of asbestos in many other places, caused too many of these veterans to develop mesothelioma, asbestos, or lung cancer decades after serving their countries.

Learn More    

Asbestos in the Coast Guard

The use of asbestos in ships was common practice for many decades and Coast Guard ships were no exception. Asbestos in Coast Guard vessels, in the shipyards where they worked and repaired ships, and in buildings led to numerous cases of dangerous exposure. Many of these men and women who served in the Coast Guard were later diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos illnesses.

Learn More    

How Do I Find the

Best Mesothelioma Lawyer?

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, immediate treatment is your top priority. But you may also need financial assistance.

Options for getting financial help include filing a lawsuit and filing a claim with an asbestos trust. Compensation can help cover medical expenses, lost wages, travel costs for treatment, and other expenses.

You have a right to seek compensation if exposed to asbestos. A lawyer experienced with asbestos cases can help you determine your rights and what legal steps you can take to seek compensation.

Finding the right lawyer is important. You need someone with both experience and compassion. Look for an attorney or law firm with experience handling asbestos cases and winning compensation for victims.

Ask questions and for evidence of past wins before hiring a lawyer. And above all, be sure you feel comfortable working with the lawyer you choose and that he or she will devote time and effort to your case.

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If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, immediate treatment is your top priority. But you may also need financial assistance.

Options for getting financial help include filing a lawsuit and filing a claim with an asbestos trust. Compensation can help cover medical expenses, lost wages, travel costs for treatment, and other expenses.

You have a right to seek compensation if exposed to asbestos. A lawyer experienced with asbestos cases can help you determine your rights and what legal steps you can take to seek compensation.

Finding the right lawyer is important. You need someone with both experience and compassion. Look for an attorney or law firm with experience handling asbestos cases and winning compensation for victims.

Ask questions and for evidence of past wins before hiring a lawyer. And above all, be sure you feel comfortable working with the lawyer you choose and that he or she will devote time and effort to your case.

Can’t Afford a Lawyer?

Most people undergoing expensive mesothelioma treatments aren’t in the position to hire a mesothelioma attorney. What many patients don't realize is that reputable, experienced lawyers in these kinds of cases never charge anything up front.

Instead, they work with you on a contingency basis. A contingency payment plan means that you pay nothing at all until your lawyer wins your case. Once you win your case, your lawyer takes a certain percentage of your compensation.

Be sure to do your research on fees before retaining legal help. Lawyer fees vary, so to avoid any surprises after you’ve won your case, make sure you understand exactly what an attorney charges before deciding on which one is right for you.

Will I Go to Trial?

Most mesothelioma lawsuits end in settlements rather than going to court and a trial. Your attorney will investigate your case, provide proof of your injuries to the defense, and help negotiate a settlement amount on your behalf. Only if an agreement cannot be reached by both sides will your case go to trial.

It is rare when neither side can agree on a fair settlement amount. When this happens you may have to go to court. However, if you are too ill your lawyer can make accommodations.

For example, some plaintiffs have given their testimony via video from the comfort of their home. Most of the hard work in a trial is done by your legal team. They will make your case on your behalf in front of a judge and jury.

Can’t Afford a Lawyer?

Most people undergoing expensive mesothelioma treatments aren’t in the position to hire a mesothelioma attorney. What many patients don't realize is that reputable, experienced lawyers in these kinds of cases never charge anything up front.

Instead, they work with you on a contingency basis. A contingency payment plan means that you pay nothing at all until your lawyer wins your case. Once you win your case, your lawyer takes a certain percentage of your compensation.

Be sure to do your research on fees before retaining legal help. Lawyer fees vary, so to avoid any surprises after you’ve won your case, make sure you understand exactly what an attorney charges before deciding on which one is right for you.

Will I Go to Trial?

Most mesothelioma lawsuits end in settlements rather than going to court and a trial. Your attorney will investigate your case, provide proof of your injuries to the defense, and help negotiate a settlement amount on your behalf. Only if an agreement cannot be reached by both sides will your case go to trial.

It is rare when neither side can agree on a fair settlement amount. When this happens you may have to go to court. However, if you are too ill your lawyer can make accommodations.

For example, some plaintiffs have given their testimony via video from the comfort of their home. Most of the hard work in a trial is done by your legal team. They will make your case on your behalf in front of a judge and jury.

Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Luis Argote-Greene, MD

Luis Marcelo Argote-Greene, MD
Luis Argote-Greene is an internationally recognized thoracic surgeon. He has trained and worked with some of the most prominently known thoracic surgeons in the United States and Mexico, including pioneering mesothelioma surgeon Dr. David Sugarbaker. He is professionally affiliated with University Hospitals (UH). His areas of interest and expertise are mesothelioma, mediastinal Tumors, thoracic malignancies, lung Cancer, lung transplantation, esophageal Cancer, experimental surgery, and lung volume reduction. Dr. Argote-Greene has also done pioneering work with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS), as well as robotic assisted minimally invasive surgery. He has taught the procedures to other surgeons both nationally and internationally.
Sources
  1. Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Mesothelioma - Symptoms and Causes.
    Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mesothelioma/symptoms-causes/syc-20375022
  2. National Institutes of Health. National Cancer Institute. (2018, July 30). Malignant Mesothelioma Symptoms, Tests, Prognosis, and Stages (PDQ) - Patient Version.
    Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.gov/types/mesothelioma/patient/about-mesothelioma-pdq
  3. American Cancer Society. (2015, September 15). Asbestos and Cancer Risk.
    Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/asbestos.html

Where can I

Get Additional Help?

For over 20 years, we’ve provided the best FREE resources to mesothelioma patients and loved ones. Our resources include information on the leading treatment options and best doctors in your area; lessons learned from survivors; claims and benefits specifically for Veterans; and how to access your share of billions of dollars in trust fund money.

FREE Mesothelioma Packet includes:

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  • New Treatment Options
  • Veteran‘s Benefits & Claims
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1-800-692-8608

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For over 20 years, we’ve provided the best FREE resources to mesothelioma patients and loved ones. Our resources include information on the leading treatment options and best doctors in your area; lessons learned from survivors; claims and benefits specifically for Veterans; and how to access your share of billions of dollars in trust fund money.

FREE Mesothelioma Packet includes:

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  • New Treatment Options
  • Veteran‘s Benefits & Claims
  • $30 Billion Asbestos Trust Fund Information

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$30 Billion Asbestos Trusts
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