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Mesothelioma | Treatments, Symptoms, Causes, Prognosis

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that develops on the protective lining around the lungs, abdomen, and heart. It is caused by exposure to asbestos and can take 20-50 years to develop.

QUICK FACT

Men comprise 81% of pleural cases and 56% of peritoneal cases.

Malignant mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure. Sharp asbestos fibers cause mesothelial cells to mutate and become cancerous when inhaled or ingested. It takes around 20-50 years after exposure to asbestos for mesothelioma to develop.

The most common products that contain asbestos include:

Occupational Exposure:

Since asbestos was widely used in industrial and commercial products, a large number of individuals have been exposed to this toxic substance in the workplace.

Veterans Exposure:

Asbestos was extensively used in every branch of the military due to its insulating and fire retardant properties. Veterans who worked as boilerman, pipefitters, mechanics and welders had the highest risk of exposure.

Secondary Exposure:

Family members can inhale asbestos fibers and dust carried into the home on work clothes. This is referred to as "secondary" or "take home" exposure.

Early symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to more common diseases such as pneumonia, the flu, or irritable bowel syndrome. Due to the long latency period associated with this cancer, symptoms dont usually appear until tumors have progressed. Symptoms vary based on the type of mesothelioma diagnosed.

Pleural

Dry cough, weight loss, difficulty swallowing, general fatigue

Peritoneal

77%

have abdominal fluid buildup

Abdominal pain, bowel irregularity, general fatigue, seizures (10% of patients)

Pericardial

Irregular heartbeat

Shortness of breath

Chest pain

General fatigue

Weight loss

Many patients are diagnosed with mesothelioma after exhibiting a persistent cough, pneumonia-like symptoms, or fluid buildup. Because this type of cancer has a long latency period, its symptoms often appear without warning.

When a patient exhibits persistent symptoms, a doctor will suggest a series of tests. These tests will determine the type and stage of the cancer.

Diagnostic testing includes:

QUICK FACT

Average Age at Diagnosis

Pleural: 69

Peritoneal: 55

Mesothelioma cancer can be made up of 3 different cell variations, each with their own effects on a patients prognosis:

Staging determines cancers severity and also indicates which treatment options are available. Cancer stages assign a number between 1 and 4 to the disease, with stage 1 being the least severe and stage 4 being the most progressed.

Based on the stage of the patients disease, specialists either prescribe treatments to remove the cancer, offer chemotherapy to extend life expectancy, or simply focus on limiting patient discomfort.

About 40% of mesothelioma patients have a one-year prognosis. A patients prognosis is often based on stage, cell type, and their overall health. Women and younger patients have a better life expectancy than older men.

There are several steps patients can take to improve their prognosis.

1

Seeing a specialist is the most important way to improve your prognosis. Surgeons and oncologists who specialize in treating mesothelioma are vital components of your treatment plan and prognosis.

2

Patients should explore all available treatment options. This includes treatments such as immunotherapy, clinical trials, and multimodal treatment regimens that involve a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

3

A nutrient-rich diet and active lifestyle play a significant role in how patients feel before, during, and after treatment.

Researchers estimate the one-year survival rate for mesothelioma to be about 40%. However, survival is impacted by many factors including treatments, cell type, overall health, and metastasis.

Everybody is different and their bodies react different to the treatment available. Try not to focus too much on the statistics but focus on you and how you deal with the treatments.

Selecting a mesothelioma specialist is one of the most important decisions a patient can make. General oncologists do not have much experience in treating mesothelioma because only 3,000 cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.

A specialist can:

Treatment prescribed by a specialist can significantly extend a patients life. Not every specialist treats every type of mesothelioma. Depending on the stage, type, location, severity and more, certain specialists are a better fit than others.

What Others Are Saying About Us

My wife and I so appreciate how Jenna was able to make us not feel lost and alone. She thoroughly understood our situation, verified that we were taking the right steps, explained other steps to take, provided recommendations for specialists, and explained many services that the Mesothelioma Guide can provide. She helped put our minds at ease

Mike W.

Mesothelioma treatment isnt one size fits all. Specialists choose from a variety of cancer treatment options depending on the location of the disease, the cell type, and the personal medical history of the patient. For the best treatment, find a cancer center with experience in mesothelioma treatment and research.

Surgery is the only treatment option known to significantly extend life and virtually every mesothelioma patient who has lived more than five years has had surgery.

The first-line chemotherapy drugs approved by the FDA to treat mesothelioma are Alimta and Cisplatin, often used together and in conjunction with surgery as a multimodal approach to improve a patients prognosis.

Radiation treatment is often used to slow the growth and progression of mesothelioma in conjunction with other methods like surgery and chemotherapy. It is also used to reduce pain with tumor growth.

Specialists will use a combination of different treatment methods to improve a patients prognosis. Radiation and chemotherapy are often used before, during, or after surgery to help reduce the chance of a recurrence and improve a patients overall survival.

Clinical trials are an additional option to consider for patients who have exhausted other treatments. Immunotherapy drugs are currently being offered in clinical trials.

Some survivors credit alternative health options as instrumental in their recovery and reduction of side effects. Examples include yoga, meditation, and acupuncture.

Jenna Campagna is a registered nurse and a mesothelioma patient advocate. She helps patients discuss their treatment options, offers ways to receive novel treatments that may still be in clinical trials, and finds doctors who are open to multimodal surgical options.

Most veterans with mesothelioma are eligible for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Two financial benefits available to veterans are Disability Compensation for veterans primarily exposed in the military, while Pension is for non-service related mesothelioma cases. Family members and dependents can also receive financial assistance.

In addition, the VA has contracted with two world-renowned thoracic surgeons who provide specialized mesothelioma treatment to any veteran enrolled in the VA Health Care system.

What Others Are Saying About Us

In my mail today I received a letter from the VA with their decision about my DIC claim. I looked at the balance in my bank account and found that I have already received the payment for the first four months of back pay, plus the regular August 1 payment for July. I am blown away by this and cannot thank you enough, Carl, for all your help in filing this claim. Thank you.

Show Sources & Author

Jenna Campagna is a registered nurse and patient advocate who is passionate about helping mesothelioma patients navigate their health care. She has over seven years of experience working with patients diagnosed with rare diseases including mesothelioma. Jenna is also a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators and her goal is to connect patients to top mesothelioma specialists, treatment facilities, and clinical trials. Through her writing, she aims to simplify the complicated journey through mesothelioma by offering helpful tips and advice.

Last Edited: March 26, 2019.

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Mesothelioma | Treatments, Symptoms, Causes, Prognosis

Mesothelioma – What is Malignant Mesothelioma Cancer

The American Cancer Society records about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma each year in the U.S.

Its a disease that mostly affects people who worked with asbestos and products containing asbestos.

While there are treatments that control tumor growth, researchers have not found a definitive cure for the cancer.

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.

The cancer develops when a person ingests asbestos, and it causes changes to a persons DNA.

Our genes, which are made of DNA, control how cells grow, multiply and die. Changes in our genes may cause cells to divide out of control and may lead to cancer.

Tumors also can be benign (noncancerous). But when tumors are cancerous, doctors call the disease malignant mesothelioma. It is often shortened to mesothelioma.

Common mesothelioma symptoms include:

These mesothelioma symptoms usually do not show until tumors have grown and spread. Mesothelioma latency is 20-50 years. Thats how long it takes from initial exposure to accurate diagnosis. For that reason, many people with mesothelioma are in their 60s or 70s.

You should talk to a mesothelioma specialist soon if you have a history of asbestos exposure and experience these symptoms. An early diagnosis may improve your prognosis and life expectancy.

Select the diagnosis you or your loved one is facing and receive a free guide with the right information for you:

Oncologists name each type of mesothelioma by the location in the body where it develops.

The pleural and peritoneal types of mesothelioma are the most common. Pericardial accounts for 1 percent of cases. Another rare type is testicular mesothelioma. It represents less than 1 percent of all mesotheliomas.

Prognosis, symptoms and treatment options vary by type.

Asbestos use in the military was widespread from 1940 to 1980. Veterans from all branches of the U.S. armed forces were at risk of exposure. Navy veterans are most at risk. This branch used the largest quantity of asbestos products.

More than 75 occupations have exposed workers to asbestos. Auto mechanics, textile workers, steel mill workers, construction workers and firefighters are among the most at risk.

Asbestos workers unknowingly carried asbestos fibers on their body and clothing. This resulted in secondary asbestos exposure among residents such as women and children.

Younger patients and women have a better mesothelioma prognosis than older men. People diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma also have a higher chance of survival.

Patients eligible to undergo multimodal therapy, which is a combination of two or more standard-of-care treatments, have a better life expectancy and improved prognosis.

A patients mesothelioma cell type also plays a significant role in prognosis and life expectancy.

The three types of cells include:

The cancer is localized. Surgery is most effective at this stage. Survival rate is higher. Median life expectancy at stage 1 is 22.2 months.

Tumors have started to spread from the original location into adjacent structures. Surgery is still an option. Median life expectancy at stage 2 is 20 months.

Cancer has progressed to a more advanced stage with spread into the regional lymph nodes. Surgery may still be an option. Median life expectancy at stage 3 is 17.9 months.

Cancer has spread extensively in the area where it developed. Chemotherapy and immunotherapy control symptoms and prolong survival. Median life expectancy at stage 4 is 14.9 months or less.

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer. It represents only 0.3 percent of all cancer diagnoses. Most doctors and oncologists have never encountered it.

A 2009 study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine states that cancer care requires the technical knowledge and skills of specialty physicians such as medical oncologists, surgeons and radiation oncologists.

These are factors that impact a mesothelioma patients survival. Thats why finding a mesothelioma specialist is so important.

Finding a mesothelioma specialty center with experienced mesothelioma doctors is crucial to survival.

Brigham and Women's Hospital

Dr. Abraham Lebenthal is a respected thoracic surgeon who treats pleural mesothelioma patients at Brigham & Womens Hospital and Boston VA Hospital. Lebenthal worked alongside Dr. David Sugarbaker at Brigham and teaches at Harvard Medical School.

UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Robert B. Cameron developed a lung-sparing surgery for pleural mesothelioma that not only extends survival, but offers greater quality of life by preserving the lung. Camerons surgery has a lower risk of complications and studies report longer survival times.

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center

Dr. Jacques Fontaine is the Director of the Mesothelioma Research and Treatment Center at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. He specializes in minimally invasive thoracic surgery including robotic surgery. Fontaine became a pleural mesothelioma specialist at Brigham & Womens Hospitals International Mesothelioma Program.

Washington Cancer Center

Dr. Paul Sugarbaker is the countrys leading expert on peritoneal mesothelioma. He developed the widely renowned cytoreductive surgery and heated chemotherapy technique that changed the landscape of peritoneal cancer treatment. Many people with peritoneal mesothelioma are alive today because of Sugarbakers innovations.

Ridley-Tree Cancer Center

Dr. W. Charles Conway is an expert in peritoneal mesothelioma and the Director of Surgical Oncology at Ridley-Tree Cancer Center in Santa Barbara, California. He specializes in minimally invasive robotic surgery and heated chemotherapy for peritoneal mesothelioma.

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

Dr. J.F. Pingpank Jr. is a peritoneal mesothelioma expert who advocates for regional therapy. The approach applies treatment locally around the cancer to limit damage to the rest of the body. Pingpank specializes in cytoreductive surgery and heated chemotherapy.

We can help you or a loved one find a mesothelioma doctor who specializes in chemotherapy.

Mesothelioma treatment helps patients live longer lives. But not every patient is eligible for each type of mesothelioma treatment.

The most common treatments for mesothelioma include:

More than 70 percent of mesothelioma patients undergo chemotherapy

Clinical trials offer mesothelioma patients access to experimental therapies. They also provide scientific and medical information for researches to develop new treatments. Patients in clinical trials also receive excellent medical care.

Herbal medicines, mind-body therapies, holistic healing and other complementary therapies may benefit patients.

Thank you for the doctor referral info. We met with the doctor and came away with what seemed like a weight lifted.

Read More Testimonials

We can help you or a loved one get a diagnosis or a second opinion from a mesothelioma specialist.

Many companies that produced, distributed or used asbestos products knew it was deadly. But they neglected to warn their employees. Filing a lawsuit can help mesothelioma patients cover lost wages, medical expenses and other costs.

$180,000 is the median value for mesothelioma claims, according to a 2010 report from the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit institution that conducts research and analysis on asbestos bankruptcy trusts.

A person with mesothelioma can file a personal injury lawsuit. Mesothelioma lawyers file these against companies responsible for their clients asbestos exposure. Families can file wrongful death claims when a loved one dies of mesothelioma.

Qualified mesothelioma attorneys can help you decide when to file a lawsuit. They can also guide you through the process. Time is of the essence because statute of limitations may expire. A mesothelioma lawyer will review your case so you receive the highest compensation.

Learn How to Hire a Qualified Mesothelioma Lawyer

Support is available for mesothelioma patients, survivors and loved ones in many forms.

The Mesothelioma Centers monthly online support group meets every second Wednesday. Licensed mental health counselor Dana Nolan runs the support group. Patients and survivors can share their experiences with others on a similar cancer journey.

Last Modified November 26, 2018

Registered Nurse and Patient Advocate

Karen Selby joined Asbestos.com in 2009. She is a registered nurse with a background in oncology and thoracic surgery and was the regional director of a tissue bank before becoming a Patient Advocate at The Mesothelioma Center. Karen has assisted surgeons with thoracic surgeries such as lung resections, lung transplants, pneumonectomies, pleurectomies and wedge resections. She is also a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators.

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Mesothelioma - What is Malignant Mesothelioma Cancer

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance | Information for Patients and …

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells lining the body's internal organs, known as the mesothelium.

There are three recognized types of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease, accounting for roughly 70% of cases, and occurs in the lining of the lung known as the pleura. Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneum and pericardial mesothelioma originates in the pericardium, which lines the heart.

An individual may be at risk to develop mesothelioma if he or she was exposed to asbestos in the workplace or at home. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and the inhalation of asbestos particles. In most cases, mesothelioma symptoms will not appear in an individual exposed to asbestos until many years after the exposure has occurred.

Those with a past asbestos exposure history experiencing symptoms should consult a physician with experience in accurately diagnosing mesothelioma. The earlier mesothelioma is diagnosed, the more likely it is to be caught at an early stage. At earlier stages of mesothelioma progression, more treatment options are available and oftentimes a better prognosis is given.

Additional mesothelioma information and statistics can be found in this section. Read stories of hope from mesothelioma surviviors as well.

In 2006, at the age of 36, Heather Von St. James gave birth to her daughter, Lily Rose. Just three months later, she was diagnosed with mesotheliomastartling news for someone so young. Heather had been exposed to asbestos second-hand as a child when her father would return home from work with his clothing covered in asbestos dust. Heather often wore his coat, and in the process she unwittingly breathed in the fibers. With strong faith, support from a host of family and friends, and a vibrant sense of humor, Heather emerged from a multi-month course of treatment healthy and cancer-free.

Mavis describes herself as an ordinary woman who married a shipwright. For 48 years, she washed her husbands clothes when he came home from work, never knowing that the dust on his jacket was full of deadly asbestos. In June 2009, Mavis was diagnosed with mesothelioma and given only three months to live. Chemotherapy worked to extend her life for another year beyond that, but eventually the tumors started growing again. However, she was given a new lease on life through an immunotherapy trial, which has kept her cancer free much longer than expected.

Paul Cowley

Paul Cowley and his wife Claire could hardly believe it when they got the news that he had pleural mesothelioma. He was only 34, much younger than most people diagnosed with this rare and deadly form of cancer. Being so young, Paul was able to attempt an aggressive multimodal treatment regimen that included multiple avenues of attack against the cancer. Paul has beaten the odds by surviving beyond five years a feat that only 9% of mesothelioma patients accomplish.

Paul Kraus

Paul Kraus has lived with peritoneal mesothelioma for nearly two decades. Born into a Nazi labor camp in Austria, he escaped as an infant with his mother and brother and soon emigrated with his family to Australia. Asbestos is prevalent in Australia, and as a result, the country suffers from some of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world. Mr. Kraus was exposed as a youth on a summer job he took in 1962. The cancer was latent until 1997 at which time he was diagnosed and given just weeks to live.

Stephen Jay Gould

One of the most popular scientific authors of recent times, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, authored more than 20 books on a variety of scientific subjects, and published hundreds of essays in Natural History magazine. Gould lived for twenty years after being diagnosed with mesothelioma in 1982. After his diagnosis, he wrote an essay, The Median Isnt the Message, about his reaction to the news and to the realization that half of all mesothelioma patients died within eight months of diagnosis. His essay has been cited as a source of comfort and hope by many cancer victims.

Once an individual has been diagnosed by a qualified mesothelioma doctor, the next step is to discuss mesothelioma treatment options and to develop a treatment plan. Recent scientific research has produced significant breakthroughs with regard to treatment protocols for mesothelioma patients and more options are now available for managing mesothelioma and supporting improved quality of life.

Newly diagnosed mesothelioma patients often have many questions for their doctors about the treatment options that would be most effective for them. Conventional treatment options for mesothelioma include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Recently, chemotherapy drugs including Alimta and Cisplatin have showed promising results in some patients.

Mesothelioma clinical trials as well as experimental treatments are other options that certain mesothelioma patients may be eligible to participate in. Our site features a comprehensive mesothelioma cancer treatment section that includes important information for patients and families. We've included resources on top mesothelioma experts such as Dr. Raphael Bueno, as well as a comprehensive list of cancer centers where mesothelioma treatment takes place.

Beyond the conventional treatments for mesothelioma, certain alternative therapies may provide assistance to mesothelioma patients. Financial assistance is available to help offset mesothelioma treatment costs. We continually update this section of our site as new mesothelioma treatment information becomes available.

Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma cancer. Inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers may cause an inflammation of internal tissue and disrupt organ function which leads to the development of mesothelioma. Asbestos products were used extensively in the 20th century throughout the United States, in a wide variety of applications.

Asbestos companies continued to produce these products even after they were known to be hazardous to workers. These products were responsible for asbestos exposure sustained by the individuals who manufactured them as well as those who used them. Renovation and construction both at home and in schools also poses high risk areas for exposure. People also may have been exposed to asbestos-contaminated talc in baby powder

Many workers were put at risk at commercial and industrial locations including refineries, power plants, steel mills, auto production facilities and large construction sites. Some of the occupations of workers at risk include electricians, plumbers, boilermakers, carpenters, mechanics, machinists and more. Additionally, if you lived with someone who was regularly exposed to asbestos and washed their clothes, you could be at risk for second hand asbestos exposure.

Although rare, mesothelioma affects veterans from all branches of service: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. As mesothelioma has a long latency period and can remain dormant for several decades, veterans who served our country from 1930 through 1980 are just now being diagnosed with the disease.

Navy veterans who worked in navy shipyards and or served on our nation's aircraft carriers, battleships, destroyers, submarines and warship from WWII through the Vietnam War were exposed to high concentrations of deadly asbestos and are at a high risk for developing asbestos-related cancer. Boiler rooms, engine rooms, sleeping quarters, and other areas of naval vessels were the most common areas where asbestos was present.

Some prominent shipyards where asbestos was prevalent include Brooklyn Navy Yard, Norfolk Navy Shipyard, Long Beach Naval Shipyard and Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. Financial assistance and help with VA Benefits is available to veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Asbestos manufacturers and distributors made a concerted effort to hide the dangers of asbestos from the public, while at the same time profiting heavily from the sale and manufacture of harmful asbestos products. Those suffering from Mesothelioma can seek compensation from the manufacturers of asbestos and asbestos-containing products by hiring a competent mesothelioma lawyer.

When deciding whether or not you should pursue your legal rights, you should think about the following three things. First, asbestos manufacturers had knowledge of the dangers of asbestos and knowingly put hardworking men and women at risk. Second, treatment for mesothelioma can be very expensive. Third, by exercising your legal rights, you can protect your loved ones in the future.

Ask a question and Jennifer will respond to you promptly.

Once you make the decision to pursue your rights, a competent asbestos attorney will maximize recovery from both viable and bankrupt asbestos defendants. Over 65 asbestos trusts have been established holding billions of dollars combined across them. These asbestos trust funds have been set aside to help compensate those workers who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer or other asbestos-related diseases.

The legal process to compensate mesothelioma victims is not overly burdensome and should be strongly considered to help offset treatment costs and to provide financial security for loved ones.

Mesothelioma is often treated with a multimodal therapy of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Though these treatments are considered the standards of care, as curative and palliative opt...

Continue Reading

In October, Canadas government followed through on a promise it made in 2016 to eventually ban asbestos use. On December 30, the Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulation...

Continue Reading

Perth, Australia - November 15, 2018

The phase 2 DREAM immunotherapy study is showing promise for mesothelioma patients. Learn more about the study and how it impacted survival rates.

Newark, NJ - October 03, 2018

The Department of Justice is objecting to Duro Dynes appointment for its asbestos trust fund, citing several conflicts of interest.

Those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other types of terminal cancer can find tremendous comfort in the support they get from family, friends and caregivers.

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is also part of the larger community dedicated to promoting mesothelioma research and preventing new cases through a worldwide asbestos ban.

FREE Mesothelioma Awareness Wristbands and Treatment Guide.

We work with and donate to the following organizations whose missions complement our own: Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, National Foundation for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Cancer Research Institute. The mesothelioma community gets together often at various events around the country.

This is the BTOGs 17th annual conference and brings together speakers and attendees from around the world. Previous topics covered during the three-day event include respiratory medicine, immunotherapy, mesothelioma, translational oncology, and radiotherapy. For further information, please visit the BTOG's website via the link below.

Each year, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) participates in National Cancer Prevention Month to educate and inform others about how to reduce their risk of developing the disease. The campaign focuses on helping people make better lifestyle choices to lower their risk, including choosing healthier eating habits and exercising more. To learn more, please visit AICR's website via the link below.

Read more:

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance | Information for Patients and ...

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance | Information for Patients and Families

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells lining the body's internal organs, known as the mesothelium.

There are three recognized types of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease, accounting for roughly 70% of cases, and occurs in the lining of the lung known as the pleura. Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneum and pericardial mesothelioma originates in the pericardium, which lines the heart.

An individual may be at risk to develop mesothelioma if he or she was exposed to asbestos in the workplace or at home. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and the inhalation of asbestos particles. In most cases, mesothelioma symptoms will not appear in an individual exposed to asbestos until many years after the exposure has occurred.

Those with a past asbestos exposure history experiencing symptoms should consult a physician with experience in accurately diagnosing mesothelioma. The earlier mesothelioma is diagnosed, the more likely it is to be caught at an early stage. At earlier stages of mesothelioma progression, more treatment options are available and oftentimes a better prognosis is given.

Additional mesothelioma information and statistics can be found in this section. Read stories of hope from mesothelioma surviviors as well.

In 2006, at the age of 36, Heather Von St. James gave birth to her daughter, Lily Rose. Just three months later, she was diagnosed with mesotheliomastartling news for someone so young. Heather had been exposed to asbestos second-hand as a child when her father would return home from work with his clothing covered in asbestos dust. Heather often wore his coat, and in the process she unwittingly breathed in the fibers. With strong faith, support from a host of family and friends, and a vibrant sense of humor, Heather emerged from a multi-month course of treatment healthy and cancer-free.

Mavis describes herself as an ordinary woman who married a shipwright. For 48 years, she washed her husbands clothes when he came home from work, never knowing that the dust on his jacket was full of deadly asbestos. In June 2009, Mavis was diagnosed with mesothelioma and given only three months to live. Chemotherapy worked to extend her life for another year beyond that, but eventually the tumors started growing again. However, she was given a new lease on life through an immunotherapy trial, which has kept her cancer free much longer than expected.

Paul Cowley

Paul Cowley and his wife Claire could hardly believe it when they got the news that he had pleural mesothelioma. He was only 34, much younger than most people diagnosed with this rare and deadly form of cancer. Being so young, Paul was able to attempt an aggressive multimodal treatment regimen that included multiple avenues of attack against the cancer. Paul has beaten the odds by surviving beyond five years a feat that only 9% of mesothelioma patients accomplish.

Paul Kraus

Paul Kraus has lived with peritoneal mesothelioma for nearly two decades. Born into a Nazi labor camp in Austria, he escaped as an infant with his mother and brother and soon emigrated with his family to Australia. Asbestos is prevalent in Australia, and as a result, the country suffers from some of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world. Mr. Kraus was exposed as a youth on a summer job he took in 1962. The cancer was latent until 1997 at which time he was diagnosed and given just weeks to live.

Stephen Jay Gould

One of the most popular scientific authors of recent times, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, authored more than 20 books on a variety of scientific subjects, and published hundreds of essays in Natural History magazine. Gould lived for twenty years after being diagnosed with mesothelioma in 1982. After his diagnosis, he wrote an essay, The Median Isnt the Message, about his reaction to the news and to the realization that half of all mesothelioma patients died within eight months of diagnosis. His essay has been cited as a source of comfort and hope by many cancer victims.

Once an individual has been diagnosed by a qualified mesothelioma doctor, the next step is to discuss mesothelioma treatment options and to develop a treatment plan. Recent scientific research has produced significant breakthroughs with regard to treatment protocols for mesothelioma patients and more options are now available for managing mesothelioma and supporting improved quality of life.

Newly diagnosed mesothelioma patients often have many questions for their doctors about the treatment options that would be most effective for them. Conventional treatment options for mesothelioma include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Recently, chemotherapy drugs including Alimta and Cisplatin have showed promising results in some patients.

Mesothelioma clinical trials as well as experimental treatments are other options that certain mesothelioma patients may be eligible to participate in. Our site features a comprehensive mesothelioma cancer treatment section that includes important information for patients and families. We've included resources on top mesothelioma experts such as Dr. Raphael Bueno, as well as a comprehensive list of cancer centers where mesothelioma treatment takes place.

Beyond the conventional treatments for mesothelioma, certain alternative therapies may provide assistance to mesothelioma patients. Financial assistance is available to help offset mesothelioma treatment costs. We continually update this section of our site as new mesothelioma treatment information becomes available.

Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma cancer. Inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers may cause an inflammation of internal tissue and disrupt organ function which leads to the development of mesothelioma. Asbestos products were used extensively in the 20th century throughout the United States, in a wide variety of applications.

Asbestos companies continued to produce these products even after they were known to be hazardous to workers. These products were responsible for asbestos exposure sustained by the individuals who manufactured them as well as those who used them. Renovation and construction both at home and in schools also poses high risk areas for exposure. People also may have been exposed to asbestos-contaminated talc in baby powder

Many workers were put at risk at commercial and industrial locations including refineries, power plants, steel mills, auto production facilities and large construction sites. Some of the occupations of workers at risk include electricians, plumbers, boilermakers, carpenters, mechanics, machinists and more. Additionally, if you lived with someone who was regularly exposed to asbestos and washed their clothes, you could be at risk for second hand asbestos exposure.

Although rare, mesothelioma affects veterans from all branches of service: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. As mesothelioma has a long latency period and can remain dormant for several decades, veterans who served our country from 1930 through 1980 are just now being diagnosed with the disease.

Navy veterans who worked in navy shipyards and or served on our nation's aircraft carriers, battleships, destroyers, submarines and warship from WWII through the Vietnam War were exposed to high concentrations of deadly asbestos and are at a high risk for developing asbestos-related cancer. Boiler rooms, engine rooms, sleeping quarters, and other areas of naval vessels were the most common areas where asbestos was present.

Some prominent shipyards where asbestos was prevalent include Brooklyn Navy Yard, Norfolk Navy Shipyard, Long Beach Naval Shipyard and Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. Financial assistance and help with VA Benefits is available to veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Asbestos manufacturers and distributors made a concerted effort to hide the dangers of asbestos from the public, while at the same time profiting heavily from the sale and manufacture of harmful asbestos products. Those suffering from Mesothelioma can seek compensation from the manufacturers of asbestos and asbestos-containing products by hiring a competent mesothelioma lawyer.

When deciding whether or not you should pursue your legal rights, you should think about the following three things. First, asbestos manufacturers had knowledge of the dangers of asbestos and knowingly put hardworking men and women at risk. Second, treatment for mesothelioma can be very expensive. Third, by exercising your legal rights, you can protect your loved ones in the future.

Ask a question and Jennifer will respond to you promptly.

Once you make the decision to pursue your rights, a competent asbestos attorney will maximize recovery from both viable and bankrupt asbestos defendants. Over 65 asbestos trusts have been established holding billions of dollars combined across them. These asbestos trust funds have been set aside to help compensate those workers who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer or other asbestos-related diseases.

The legal process to compensate mesothelioma victims is not overly burdensome and should be strongly considered to help offset treatment costs and to provide financial security for loved ones.

In October, Canadas government followed through on a promise it made in 2016 to eventually ban asbestos use. On December 30, the Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulation...

Continue Reading

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation recently held its International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma in New York City, the second of two events scheduled for 2018. Doctors, nurses, pati...

Continue Reading

Perth, Australia - November 15, 2018

The phase 2 DREAM immunotherapy study is showing promise for mesothelioma patients. Learn more about the study and how it impacted survival rates.

Newark, NJ - October 03, 2018

The Department of Justice is objecting to Duro Dynes appointment for its asbestos trust fund, citing several conflicts of interest.

Those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other types of terminal cancer can find tremendous comfort in the support they get from family, friends and caregivers.

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is also part of the larger community dedicated to promoting mesothelioma research and preventing new cases through a worldwide asbestos ban.

FREE Mesothelioma Awareness Wristbands and Treatment Guide.

We work with and donate to the following organizations whose missions complement our own: Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, National Foundation for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Cancer Research Institute. The mesothelioma community gets together often at various events around the country.

Each year, the National Conference on Worker Safety and Health (COSH) brings together an inclusive and diverse group of people to address several common goals, including worker empowerment, reducing on-the-job injuries and deaths, and making workplaces safer. For more information, please visit the National COSHs conference site via the link below.

This is the BTOGs 17th annual conference and brings together speakers and attendees from around the world. Previous topics covered during the three-day event include respiratory medicine, immunotherapy, mesothelioma, translational oncology, and radiotherapy. For further information, please visit the BTOG's website via the link below.

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Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance | Information for Patients and Families

Mesothelioma Cancer | We Get You the Fast Help You Need

Approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in the United States every year. In most cases, these victims exposure took place on the job and the cause of the illness can be traced to an unsafe workplace.

For example, in the past, an overwhelming amount of job sites across the nation used asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in buildings, equipment, products, machinery, insulation, electrical wiring, and more.

Workers were exposed to ACMs each time they went to work, inhaling tiny, odorless asbestos fibers. Once the fibers become lodged in the body, its literally impossible to expel all of. Over time, the workers began developing asbestos-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer.

With changing regulations and mitigation, exposure to asbestos is on the decline, but people continue to be diagnosed. This is because the disease has what is known as a long latency period. This means that the amount of time that can pass between the time of exposure to asbestos and the time that symptoms begin to appear can be as long as fifty years.

It is an unfortunate reality, but medical science has made great strides in understanding how this deadly disease progresses and various ways to prolong and improve the lives of those who have been diagnosed with the condition. Currently, however, there is still no cure for asbestos illnesses.

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Mesothelioma Cancer | We Get You the Fast Help You Need

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance | Information for Patients …

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells lining the body's internal organs, known as the mesothelium.

There are three recognized types of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease, accounting for roughly 70% of cases, and occurs in the lining of the lung known as the pleura. Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneum and pericardial mesothelioma originates in the pericardium, which lines the heart.

An individual may be at risk to develop mesothelioma if he or she was exposed to asbestos in the workplace or at home. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and the inhalation of asbestos particles. In most cases, mesothelioma symptoms will not appear in an individual exposed to asbestos until many years after the exposure has occurred.

Those with a past asbestos exposure history experiencing symptoms should consult a physician with experience in accurately diagnosing mesothelioma. The earlier mesothelioma is diagnosed, the more likely it is to be caught at an early stage. At earlier stages of mesothelioma progression, more treatment options are available and oftentimes a better prognosis is given.

Additional mesothelioma information and statistics can be found in this section. Read stories of hope from mesothelioma surviviors as well.

In 2006, at the age of 36, Heather Von St. James gave birth to her daughter, Lily Rose. Just three months later, she was diagnosed with mesotheliomastartling news for someone so young. Heather had been exposed to asbestos second-hand as a child when her father would return home from work with his clothing covered in asbestos dust. Heather often wore his coat, and in the process she unwittingly breathed in the fibers. With strong faith, support from a host of family and friends, and a vibrant sense of humor, Heather emerged from a multi-month course of treatment healthy and cancer-free.

Mavis describes herself as an ordinary woman who married a shipwright. For 48 years, she washed her husbands clothes when he came home from work, never knowing that the dust on his jacket was full of deadly asbestos. In June 2009, Mavis was diagnosed with mesothelioma and given only three months to live. Chemotherapy worked to extend her life for another year beyond that, but eventually the tumors started growing again. However, she was given a new lease on life through an immunotherapy trial, which has kept her cancer free much longer than expected.

Paul Cowley

Paul Cowley and his wife Claire could hardly believe it when they got the news that he had pleural mesothelioma. He was only 34, much younger than most people diagnosed with this rare and deadly form of cancer. Being so young, Paul was able to attempt an aggressive multimodal treatment regimen that included multiple avenues of attack against the cancer. Paul has beaten the odds by surviving beyond five years a feat that only 9% of mesothelioma patients accomplish.

Paul Kraus

Paul Kraus has lived with peritoneal mesothelioma for nearly two decades. Born into a Nazi labor camp in Austria, he escaped as an infant with his mother and brother and soon emigrated with his family to Australia. Asbestos is prevalent in Australia, and as a result, the country suffers from some of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the world. Mr. Kraus was exposed as a youth on a summer job he took in 1962. The cancer was latent until 1997 at which time he was diagnosed and given just weeks to live.

Stephen Jay Gould

One of the most popular scientific authors of recent times, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, authored more than 20 books on a variety of scientific subjects, and published hundreds of essays in Natural History magazine. Gould lived for twenty years after being diagnosed with mesothelioma in 1982. After his diagnosis, he wrote an essay, The Median Isnt the Message, about his reaction to the news and to the realization that half of all mesothelioma patients died within eight months of diagnosis. His essay has been cited as a source of comfort and hope by many cancer victims.

Once an individual has been diagnosed by a qualified mesothelioma doctor, the next step is to discuss mesothelioma treatment options and to develop a treatment plan. Recent scientific research has produced significant breakthroughs with regard to treatment protocols for mesothelioma patients and more options are now available for managing mesothelioma and supporting improved quality of life.

Newly diagnosed mesothelioma patients often have many questions for their doctors about the treatment options that would be most effective for them. Conventional treatment options for mesothelioma include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Recently, chemotherapy drugs including Alimta and Cisplatin have showed promising results in some patients.

Mesothelioma clinical trials as well as experimental treatments are other options that certain mesothelioma patients may be eligible to participate in. Our site features a comprehensive mesothelioma cancer treatment section that includes important information for patients and families. We've included resources on top mesothelioma experts such as Dr. Raphael Bueno, as well as a comprehensive list of cancer centers where mesothelioma treatment takes place.

Beyond the conventional treatments for mesothelioma, certain alternative therapies may provide assistance to mesothelioma patients. Financial assistance is available to help offset mesothelioma treatment costs. We continually update this section of our site as new mesothelioma treatment information becomes available.

Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma cancer. Inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers may cause an inflammation of internal tissue and disrupt organ function which leads to the development of mesothelioma. Asbestos products were used extensively in the 20th century throughout the United States, in a wide variety of applications.

Asbestos companies continued to produce these products even after they were known to be hazardous to workers. These products were responsible for asbestos exposure sustained by the individuals who manufactured them as well as those who used them. Renovation and construction both at home and in schools also poses high risk areas for exposure. People also may have been exposed to asbestos-contaminated talc in baby powder

Many workers were put at risk at commercial and industrial locations including refineries, power plants, steel mills, auto production facilities and large construction sites. Some of the occupations of workers at risk include electricians, plumbers, boilermakers, carpenters, mechanics, machinists and more. Additionally, if you lived with someone who was regularly exposed to asbestos and washed their clothes, you could be at risk for second hand asbestos exposure.

Although rare, mesothelioma affects veterans from all branches of service: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. As mesothelioma has a long latency period and can remain dormant for several decades, veterans who served our country from 1930 through 1980 are just now being diagnosed with the disease.

Navy veterans who worked in navy shipyards and or served on our nation's aircraft carriers, battleships, destroyers, submarines and warship from WWII through the Vietnam War were exposed to high concentrations of deadly asbestos and are at a high risk for developing asbestos-related cancer. Boiler rooms, engine rooms, sleeping quarters, and other areas of naval vessels were the most common areas where asbestos was present.

Some prominent shipyards where asbestos was prevalent include Brooklyn Navy Yard, Norfolk Navy Shipyard, Long Beach Naval Shipyard and Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. Financial assistance and help with VA Benefits is available to veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Asbestos manufacturers and distributors made a concerted effort to hide the dangers of asbestos from the public, while at the same time profiting heavily from the sale and manufacture of harmful asbestos products. Those suffering from Mesothelioma can seek compensation from the manufacturers of asbestos and asbestos-containing products by hiring a competent mesothelioma lawyer.

When deciding whether or not you should pursue your legal rights, you should think about the following three things. First, asbestos manufacturers had knowledge of the dangers of asbestos and knowingly put hardworking men and women at risk. Second, treatment for mesothelioma can be very expensive. Third, by exercising your legal rights, you can protect your loved ones in the future.

Ask a question and Jennifer will respond to you promptly.

Once you make the decision to pursue your rights, a competent asbestos attorney will maximize recovery from both viable and bankrupt asbestos defendants. Over 65 asbestos trusts have been established holding billions of dollars combined across them. These asbestos trust funds have been set aside to help compensate those workers who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer or other asbestos-related diseases.

The legal process to compensate mesothelioma victims is not overly burdensome and should be strongly considered to help offset treatment costs and to provide financial security for loved ones.

In October, Canadas government followed through on a promise it made in 2016 to eventually ban asbestos use. On December 30, the Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulation...

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The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation recently held its International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma in New York City, the second of two events scheduled for 2018. Doctors, nurses, pati...

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Newark, NJ - October 03, 2018

The Department of Justice is objecting to Duro Dynes appointment for its asbestos trust fund, citing several conflicts of interest.

Washington, DC - August 17, 2018

Despite an ongoing asbestos evaluation, the EPA recently suggested it might approve new uses of asbestos in manufacturing. Learn more at Mesothelioma.com.

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

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Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance | Information for Patients ...

Pleural Mesothelioma | Symptoms, Stages, Prognosis & More

Patients experiencing any of these symptoms should talk to their doctor about any possible exposures to asbestos in the past. Even if it happened years ago, no amount of exposure is considered safe, and it can help your doctor test for mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.

With these nonspecific symptoms and the long latency period associated with all forms of mesothelioma, some patients have to wait weeks or even months before receiving a proper pleural mesothelioma diagnosis. Though a diagnosis will generally begin with a variety of imaging tests like CT scans and x-rays to determine the presence of cancer, a biopsy is currently the only method to confirm pleural mesothelioma.

The biopsy will consist of taking samples of pleural tissue for testing. The doctor may also perform a thoracentesis, or a pleural tap, which is a slightly invasive procedure that removes fluid from the pleura for analysis. A pathologist will determine if the cells are malignant, and if pleural mesothelioma is confirmed they will also be able to decipher the cell type.

Unlike the other forms of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma has several staging systems that oncologists rely on to determine the progression of the disease. The most widely used and accepted, however, is the TNM Staging System, which stands for Tumor, Nodule, and Metastasis. Doctors will use the system to score an area for each category, which will collectively make up the stage.

Refers to disease which is confined to the primary site, or site of origin. The lymph nodes are free of disease and there are no metastases present. Most often, treatment for stage I mesothelioma consists of surgical resection, or removal, of the disease.

Refers to disease which is confined to one site. While the lymph nodes are still free of disease and there are no metastases present, the tumor extends into the deeper pleural surfaces on the same side as the tumor as well as at least one of the following: the diaphragm or the lung.

Refers to disease which either has spread to lymph nodes on the same side as the tumor; or, a tumor which is extensive and involves the deeper pleural surfaces as well as at least one of the following: chest wall, thoracic fascia, sac around the heart, or mediastinal fat. The tumor is still considered resectable by surgery. There is no metastasis present.

Refers to disease in which one of the following occurs: the tumor is too extensive for surgery, there is distant lymph node involvement on the opposite side from the tumor, or there is distant metastasis present.

Doctors may also use the Brigham staging system, which focuses on a tumors ability to be surgically removed, or the Butchart system, which focuses on the extent of the primary tumor and in general is viewed as more limiting. Regardless of the staging system used, the stage of pleural mesothelioma has a large impact in determining what treatments a patient is eligible for and their prognosis. A stage 1 patient, for instance, will have more treatment options like curative surgery, compared to a stage 4 patient whose malignant mesothelioma has likely spread to other parts of the body or the tumors are too extensive for removal.

Learn More About Mesothelioma Stages

Like the other types of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma patients also face a poor prognosis. Though it is the most common and most researched, doctors still face difficulties in diagnosing and treating the disease. Advancements in treatment and ongoing clinical trials have provided hope in finding new, effective treatments like immunotherapy, which has already shown promise in extending survival for some patients. On average, pleural mesothelioma patients have a life expectancy of about one year, though a number of factors can influence an individuals prognosis like stage, cell type, and the patients age.

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Pleural Mesothelioma | Symptoms, Stages, Prognosis & More

Mesothelioma Symptoms, Causes & Prognosis

What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelial cells are a layer of specialized cells that line the body cavities, including the pleura (lining of the lung), peritoneum (lining of the abdominal cavity), and pericardium (lining of the heart). The tissue formed by these cells is called mesothelium.

The mesothelium contains both an outer and an inner layer. The inner layer surrounds the organs themselves, while the outer layer lines the body cavities in which the organs covered by mesothelial cells reside. The mesothelial cells themselves produce and secrete a small amount of lubricating fluid between the two layers that permits the organs to move smoothly against adjacent organs and structures.

Like other cells of the body, mesothelial cells can also grow abnormally, leading to the development of tumors. The tumors of the mesothelial cells can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). A malignant tumor of the mesothelium is called a malignant mesothelioma. Because most mesothelial tumors are cancerous, malignant mesothelioma is often simply referred to as mesothelioma. This article focuses on mesothelioma of the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma), which is the most common form of all mesotheliomas.

Mesothelioma is an uncommon disease. The disease is more common in men of Caucasian and Hispanic ethnicity, and less common among Asian and African American men. The disease shows a male predominance, which is like due to occupational exposure.

The main risk factor for developing pleural mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally as strong, flexible fibers that can be separated into thin threads and woven. Asbestos has been widely used in many industrial products, including cement, brake linings, roof shingles, flooring products, textiles, and insulation. If tiny asbestos particles float in the air, especially during the manufacturing process, they may be inhaled or swallowed.

Prior to the 1970s, enormous amounts of asbestos were used in commercial construction and shipbuilding. After the health risks of asbestos became known, production of asbestos slowed drastically in the 1970s. Governmental restrictions were placed on its use, and alternative materials became available. Despite these changes, asbestos continues to be used.

Occupations that deal with asbestos and typically associated with the onset of mesothelioma later in life include asbestos production, insulation work, heating trades, shipyard work, and construction.

The period between asbestos exposure and the development of mesothelioma is generally 35-40 years. Usually, people who develop mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos for a prolonged period of time; however, some people with only brief exposures have also developed mesothelioma. On the other hand, not all workers who are heavily exposed develop mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma can also occur in family members and other people living with asbestos workers. It may be a result of exposure to asbestos dust brought home on the clothing and hair of asbestos workers.

In some people with mesothelioma, no specific asbestos exposure can be found. Frequently, such people have worked in a job where the exposure was not recognized or typically associated with asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma without asbestos exposure does occur.

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Mesothelioma Symptoms, Causes & Prognosis

Mesothelioma Cancer | Prognosis, Treatment and Survival

Mesothelioma Cancer | Prognosis, Treatment and Survival

Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. Caused by asbestos, mesothelioma has no known cure and has a very poor prognosis.

According to a 2017 report by the Centers for Disease Control, 2,400 2,800 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the United States each year. People who have worked with or been exposed to asbestos have the highest risk of developing mesothelioma. After being exposed to asbestos, mesothelioma symptoms can take 20 50 years to appear.

The life expectancy for mesothelioma patients is poor, as there is no cure for the disease.

The stage of the disease, cell type, and location of the tumor(s) are the most important factors for a patients survival. Factors such as the patients overall health, age, and whether the cancer has spread also impact prognosis.

After receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis, there are a number of vital decisions that must be made. The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is dedicated to providing patients with the best resources available on current treatment, stories of survival and hope, and financial assistance.

Heather Von St. James is a 12-year pleural mesothelioma survivor who has become a spokeswoman for mesothelioma awareness and a proponent of banning asbestos.

She also works with newly diagnosed mesothelioma patients as a mentor and advocate, helping them understand their treatment and legal options.

Heather offers valuable insights into her successful treatment approach with Dr. David Sugarbaker. She has a unique perspective on life after surviving a mesothelioma diagnosis and enjoys sharing her story. Click here to connect with Heather.

Mesothelioma is most commonly classified by the location in the body where it develops. Specifically, the cancer forms in the lining of certain organs or spaces within the body, known as the mesothelium. Mesothelioma typically develops in one of three specific areas.

The most common type, pleural mesothelioma is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers.

Inhaled or swallowed asbestos fibers can become trapped in the lining of the abdomen (the peritoneum).

In rare cases, asbestos fibers can get lodged in the pericardium, the lining around the heart cavity.

Mesothelioma symptoms can take 20 50 years to appear after the first exposure to asbestos. The signs of mesothelioma often look like those of other diseases, which can lead to misdiagnosis.

When someone exhibits mesothelioma symptoms, doctors perform a variety of tests to rule out other diseases. It normally takes weeks or months for doctors to arrive at an accurate mesothelioma diagnosis.

Doctors will use a number of different tests and techniques including blood tests, imaging and biopsies to diagnose the cancer and assign it a stage. The stage and other diagnostic details are used to determine your prognosis and to predict what your life expectancy may be.

Upon diagnosis, the doctor will categorize the disease into one of four stages. While there are several staging systems, the TNM System which stands for tumor, lymph nodes, and metastasis is the most commonly used.

The mesothelioma tumor is located in only one area and has not spread to other parts of the body.

A large tumor may have progressed to nearby areas and/or the lymph nodes, but has not gone on any further.

Tumors have typically spread beyond the local area to several nearby locations and the lymph nodes.

The tumors have spread into multiple areas and throughout the lymphatic system, invading other organs throughout the body.

Typically, Stage 1 and Stage 2 mesothelioma can be treated effectively with surgery and other forms of therapy. However, Stage 3 and Stage 4 mesothelioma are often treated palliatively.

Treatment for mesothelioma is similar to other types of cancer. The most common treatments are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Newer treatments are being studied as part of clinical trials and may be available for some patients who do not respond to conventional therapies.

In some cases, treatment can improve a patient's prognosis, extending his/her life significantly. Treatment can also be used palliatively to reduce pain and discomfort caused by the symptoms of mesothelioma.

Finding a mesothelioma doctor and creating a custom treatment plan based on your diagnosis is the most important decision you can make to improve prognosis. Browse our catalog of top mesothelioma doctors around the country.

Mesothelioma clinics and cancer centers offer patients a way to get the most comprehensive care, using the latest technology and techniques available. Locate the best mesothelioma clinics near you.

The costs of treating mesothelioma are significant. If you were exposed to asbestos on the job, in your home, or elsewhere, you have the right to recover these expenses from those responsible for the exposure.

Financial assistance is available to help offset the high cost of mesothelioma treatment. The primary ways mesothelioma patients and their families can receive compensation are:

Those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other types of terminal cancer can find tremendous comfort in the support they get from family, friends and caregivers.

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is also part of the larger community dedicated to promoting mesothelioma research and preventing new cases through a worldwide asbestos ban.

FREE Mesothelioma Awareness Wristbands and Treatment Guide.

We work with and donate to the following organizations whose missions complement our own: Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, National Foundation for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Cancer Research Institute. The mesothelioma community gets together often at various events around the country.

Remember the Fallen, Honor the Brave, Fight for the Cure! The 7th annual 5K Walk for Mesothelioma will be held at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, and funds raised will go toward mesothelioma research at the PMCs Punch Worthington Lab at UCLA and the Pacific Mesothelioma Center. The event begins with a walk, followed by a catered lunch, vendors, an opportunity drawing, and more.

American Public Health Association's APHA's Annual Meeting and Expo is the largest annual gathering of public health professionals. More than 12,000 people attend, and thousands of new abstracts are presented each year, making APHA 2018 the most influential meeting in public health. For more information, please visit the APHA's conference site via the link below.

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

JM Mazurek; G Syamlal; JM Wood; SA Hendricks, A Weston. U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Malignant Mesothelioma Mortality United States, 19992015. March 3, 2017:66(8);214218. DOI: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6608a3

National Cancer Institute Malignant Mesothelioma (Source)

Wagner, J.C., Sleggs, C.A., and Marchand, Paul. Diffuse Pleural Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure in the North Western Cape Province. Department of Thoracic Surgery: University of The Witswatersrand. Johannesburg, South Africa. 1960.

Grondin, Sean C., Sugarbaker, David J. Pleuropneumonectomy in the Treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Chest December 1999 116:suppl 3 450S-454S;

Rusch, Valerie W. Indications for pneumoctomy. Extrapleural pneumonectomy

Roggli VL, Sharma A, Butnor KJ, Sporn T, Vollmer RT (2002). "Malignant mesothelioma and occupational exposure to asbestos: a clinicopathological correlation of 1445 cases". Ultrastruct Pathol 26(2): 5565.

Brigham and Womens Hospital International Mesothelioma Program (Source)

Please fill in the form below to request our FREE Mesothelioma Treatment Guide. It will be sent to you within 24 hours.

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Mesothelioma Cancer | Prognosis, Treatment and Survival

Malignant Mesothelioma Cancer | Prognosis, Treatment & Legal Help

What is asbestosis disease?

Asbestosis disease is a chronic lung condition that is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers.

The asbestos fibers lodge in tiny sacs in the lungs, known as alveoli. Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath, tightness and pain in the chest, chronic cough, loss of appetite, weight loss, and clubbing of fingers and toes.

Treatment can include use of an oxygen tube or mask, pulmonary rehabilitation exercises, or a lung transplant in extreme cases.

Are asbestosis and mesothelioma the same?

No. Although both of these diseases, along with lung cancer, are associated with exposure to asbestos, they are not the same.

Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease, not a cancer. It is caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers, which can get stuck in the small sacs in the lungs. Having asbestosis can increase a patients chances for developing asbestos-related lung cancer.

Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer. It affects the mesothelium tissue, which lines the lungs and chest wall, as well as the abdominal cavity, heart, and testicles. Malignant mesothelioma is caused by the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers, which lodge in the mesothelium tissue.

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Malignant Mesothelioma Cancer | Prognosis, Treatment & Legal Help

Risks and causes | Mesothelioma | Cancer Research UK

Find out what causes mesothelioma and who is more likely to getit.

In the UK more than 2,600 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. About 5 times moremen thanwomenget it. This is probably because mesothelioma is oftencaused by exposure to asbestos at work.

Mesothelioma is quite a rare cancer, but it is becoming more common.Mesothelioma in the chest (pleural mesothelioma) is much more common than mesothelioma in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma).

Anything that can increase your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor.

Different cancers have different risk factors.Having one or more of these risk factors doesn't mean you will definitely get that cancer.

The risk factors for mesothelioma are explained below.

We know thatasbestoscauses most cases of pleural mesothelioma. The risk is greater if you were exposed to large amounts of it from an early age for a very long period of time. Many people with peritoneal mesothelioma have also been exposed to asbestos.

We have known of a link between asbestos and lung disease since the beginning of the 18th century. But the link with mesothelioma has only been known since the 1960's. Unfortunately, the number of cases of mesothelioma in the UK each year is expected to rise sharply for the next few years. This is because of the heavy use of asbestos in industry from the end of the second world war up until the mid 1970s.

It is estimated that in the UK more than 9 out of 10 men with mesothelioma and more than 8 out of 10 women have been in contact with asbestos. But some people say they have no history of any exposure to asbestos.

Many people who get mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure might be able to claim compensation. Talk to a solicitor about this as early as possible. Your specialist doctor or nurse might be able to tell you more about this. There are alsomesothelioma organisationswho can can help and advise you.

Asbestos is an insulating material thats heat and fire resistant. It was widely used in:

There are three main types of asbestos blue, brown and white. Blue and brown asbestos are strongly linked with mesothelioma and have been banned in the UK since the late 1980s. White asbestos is now also thought to be harmful. The use of any asbestos was banned in 1999 in the UK.

Asbestos is made up of tiny fibres. You can breathe these fibres in when you come into contact with asbestos.

The fibres work their way into thepleura lining the lung. They irritate the pleura and may cause gene changes (mutations) that lead to the growth of cancer. Some of the fibres can be coughed up and swallowed. This is probably the cause ofperitoneal mesothelioma.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, your family may also have been exposed. Asbestos fibres can be carried home on your clothes. The families of people exposed to asbestos also have a higher risk of developing mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is most common in men who have:

Risks are particularly high for metal plate workers (mainly in shipbuilding) and carpenters.

The risk is higher in people exposed to asbestos before the age of 30. An estimated 1 out of 17 (nearly 6%) of British men born in the 1940s who worked in carpentry for more than 10 years before the age of 30 get mesothelioma.

People who worked as plumbers or mechanics also have an increased risk.

Asbestos was widely used in the years after the war (after 1945). Mesothelioma may not develop until 15 to 60 years after you have been exposed to asbestos, which is why we have seen an increase in cases in recent years. The number of people dying from mesothelioma each year is expected to peak around 2020 and then start to go down.

Research has looked into a virus called SV40 (the SV stands for simian virus).

In people who have been exposed to asbestos, contact with the SV40 virus could make it more likely that they will develop mesothelioma. So SV40 is thought of as a possible co factor. But this is not completely clear.

Some people in the UK and elsewhere were exposed to polio vaccines contaminated with SV40 virus between 1955 and 1963.

Pleural and peritonealmesotheliomahas been shown to develop after exposure to radiation from the chemical thorium dioxide (Thorotrast). This chemical was used until the 1950s in some x-ray tests.

Some research studies show an increased risk of mesothelioma in people treated with radiotherapy for a previous cancer. But other studies show no increased risk. If radiotherapy does increase the risk of mesothelioma, this is likely to happen only in a very small number of people.

A mineral found in Turkey called erionite (a type of Zeolite fibre) has been shown to cause mesothelioma.

Working as a painter has been linked with an increased risk of mesothelioma, possibly due to chemicals in the paint.

Stories about potential causes of cancer are often in the media. Itisnt always clear which ideas are supported by good evidence.

You might hear aboutpossible causes we havent included here. This is because there is no evidence about them or because the evidence isnt clear.

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Risks and causes | Mesothelioma | Cancer Research UK

Mesothelioma – TCGA

What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that affects the thin layer of tissue that lines the chest, abdominal cavities, and most of the organs within them.1 This lining is called the mesothelium.

In the United States, there are roughly 3,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Exposure to asbestos is the main risk factor for developing this disease, and men tend to be more commonly affected a fact that most likely correlates with men holding jobs where they are more likely to come in contact with it.1

The term asbestos refers to a group of fibrous minerals known for their heat and corrosion resistance that in the past, were often used in a variety of products such as insulation, tiles, patching compounds, and more.1 When disturbed, asbestos can shed many tiny airborne particles which can be unknowingly inhaled or swallowed. An individual might not develop symptoms of mesothelioma until 20 or more years after initial contact, and most people develop the disease after the age of 65.1

The mesothelioma project is an international collaborative effort between TCGA as well as the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom and the University of Western Australia. View additional information on mesothelioma.

Mesotheliomais part of an effort to characterize rare tumor types. Read more about the Rare Tumor Projects.

What types of discoveries about mesothelioma do The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) researchers hope to make?

Where can I find more information about the TCGA Research Networks studies or studies using TCGA data?

View a list of TCGA scientific publications.

Where can I find clinical trials to treat mesothelioma that are supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI)?

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Mesothelioma - TCGA

Malignant Mesothelioma Cancer | Prognosis, Treatment …

What is asbestosis disease?

Asbestosis disease is a chronic lung condition that is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers.

The asbestos fibers lodge in tiny sacs in the lungs, known as alveoli. Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath, tightness and pain in the chest, chronic cough, loss of appetite, weight loss, and clubbing of fingers and toes.

Treatment can include use of an oxygen tube or mask, pulmonary rehabilitation exercises, or a lung transplant in extreme cases.

Are asbestosis and mesothelioma the same?

No. Although both of these diseases, along with lung cancer, are associated with exposure to asbestos, they are not the same.

Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease, not a cancer. It is caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers, which can get stuck in the small sacs in the lungs. Having asbestosis can increase a patients chances for developing asbestos-related lung cancer.

Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer. It affects the mesothelium tissue, which lines the lungs and chest wall, as well as the abdominal cavity, heart, and testicles. Malignant mesothelioma is caused by the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers, which lodge in the mesothelium tissue.

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Malignant Mesothelioma Cancer | Prognosis, Treatment ...

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Lawyers | Pintas & Mullins Law Firm

Asbestos Exposure Lawyers Representing Clients Nationwide

A mesothelioma diagnosis is an overwhelming and devastating experience. Malignant mesothelioma is a rare and incurable type of cancer caused only by exposure to asbestos. Approximately 1.3 million employees in construction and general industry have faced significant asbestos exposure at some point on the job. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed, consult a mesothelioma attorney right away. Our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has three decades of experience in fighting asbestos companies and will help you and your family every step of the way.

Learn more about mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses:

The term "asbestos" refers to a number of naturally occurring mineral fibers. These fibers are strong, durable, poor conductors of electricity, and heat resistant. Because of these properties, asbestos was widely used in manufacturing and construction through the mid-1970s. Although the use of asbestos was first regulated in the 1970s by the U.S. government, its use continued in asbestos cement products, automotive brakes, and gaskets into the 1990s.

Asbestos has been used in consumer products, such as:

Most asbestos exposure victims are industrial and construction workers, but asbestos fibers can travel home on workers' clothing and affect family members as well. Children and spouses of industrial workers can develop mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis from exposure in the household. This is known as secondhand, take-home, or household exposure.

Exposure to asbestos can lead to the following health conditions:

The three most common types of mesothelioma are:

As mentioned, those in the construction and industrial industries are considered most at risk-although everyone has been exposed to some amount of asbestos in his or her lifetime. Most people diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness were exposed on a regular basis, usually on the job. Asbestos was widely used in a variety of industries, from oil refineries to railways. It was used in thousands of products, and is still used in some construction materials. Asbestos materials remain in many buildings, ships, and automobiles today.

Health risks from asbestos increase with longer and heavier exposure. The industries most associated with asbestos-related illnesses are:

Secondhand exposure can also cause asbestos-related illnesses. Workers who were heavily exposed to asbestos often brought home asbestos dust on their clothing, skin, shoes, and hair. Because of this, their families face an increased risk of mesothelioma.

The second-most common occupation among mesothelioma patients who passed away in 1999 was "homemaker/housewife," according to federal data. This alarming statistic proves that families of workers are extremely vulnerable to inadvertently inhaling asbestos fibers. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure; even minor or few incidents of secondhand exposure can cause serious illness.

Many people with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers mistakenly believe that the asbestos companies did not know their products caused cancer until it became newsworthy in the 1970s. In fact, there is evidence that manufacturers of asbestos products knew as early as the 1930's that workers were at risk for lung cancer and mesothelioma from asbestos exposure.

With over five decades of combined experience, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has extensive knowledge about many types of toxic substance cases, especially asbestos exposure.Our team of Illinois lung cancer attorneys has a vast database of companies, products, occupations, and sites that used asbestos across the country. We can find the source of your exposure for you, so you can focus on your health. We are prepared to ensure that you receive the best representation and the largest settlement possible.

If you or a loved one has suffered from asbestos exposure, contact us today at (800) 794-0444. We can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation and travel directly to you.

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Mesothelioma and Asbestos Lawyers | Pintas & Mullins Law Firm

Mesothelioma: Medical and legal information on asbestos …

The MesotheliomaCenter is dedicated to providing those who suffer from the asbestos-related cancer malignant mesotheliomaalso known as asbestos canceror from asbestos-related lung cancer, or who know someone who does, with the most up to date information and support.

A rare and aggressive malignancy, mesothelioma is cancer affecting the lining that surrounds various organs and cavities within the body. Mesothelioma gets its name from this lining, which is called the mesothelium.

This lining exists in several places in the body, but tumors are most commonly found in the pleura (the mesothelial lining of the lungs and chest) and the abdomen. Pleural mesothelioma accounts for most cases of mesothelioma, about two thirds of all diagnosed cases. Abdominal or peritoneal mesothelioma makes up most of the remaining third (pericardial mesothelioma, affecting the lining of the heart, is an exceedingly rare variation).

Perhaps the most striking about mesothelioma, which kills more than 3000 people each year, is that is considered almost wholly preventable. Mesothelioma is almost always directly linked to asbestos exposure. Because of this, mesothelioma is often referred to as "asbestos cancer," however, mesothelioma is not the only cancer caused by asbestos. Lung cancer is also caused by asbestos exposure.

Malignant Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which malignant cells are found in the sac lining of the chest (pleura) or abdomen (peritoneum). Virtually all cases of malignant mesothelioma are attributable to asbestos exposure.

While "meso" (as it is sometimes called) is one of the most aggressive cancers, strides are constantly being made in combating this deadly disease. We encourage you to bookmark this site and return for the latest news and resources important to those suffering from mesothelioma and their families.

Our staff diligently seeks new information and we are available 24 hours a day to help you find answers for your individual situation.

You may e-mail us right now or call us at (412)-471-3980. (Please read our disclaimer before proceeding.)

Last update: January 19, 2018. 04:52:16 pm.

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Mesothelioma: Medical and legal information on asbestos ...

Mesothelioma Diagnosis & Treatment Guide – Drugs.com

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a very rare type of cancer that can affect the thin membrane lining of different organs in the body, most commonly the lungs. This thin membrane is known as the pleura. These tumors can be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). Benign mesotheliomas are usually removed by surgery and dont require further treatment.

Malignant mesothelioma is often caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral from rocks and soil and used prior to the 1970s in industry and manufacturing. Exposure results in an aggressive and usually deadly form of cancer where cells making up these tissues grow out of control. Mesothelioma is a very rare cancer in the United States, with about 3,000 new cases being diagnosed each year.

Standard and accepted mesothelioma treatment guidelines are not available. Treatment should be individualized based on symptoms, stage at presentation, and outcome goals. The following review primarily focuses on malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). However, there are three conditions that may occur due to asbestos exposure:

Because of its fiber strength and heat resistance, asbestos was used in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire retardant. The federal government began regulating the use of asbestos and asbestos products in the 1970s. Today, asbestos handling is strictly regulated; however, in general, it's safe to be around asbestos as long as the fibers are contained. This prevents them from getting airborne and into the lungs, which leads to disease.

There are four different types of mesothelioma. The early symptoms are tied with disease progression. Symptoms can be caused by pain from nerve irritation or fluid build-up. Usually, by the time a patient presents with symptoms the disease is in a more advanced stage.

Frequent symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:

Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms can include:

Common symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma include:

Mesothelioma types are classified based upon the type of cells that makes up the cancer:

Mesothelioma is almost always caused by having worked in an industry or being in areas where asbestos, a type of mineral, has been present in the air and inhaled. Most people who get this disease today are diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 70, and may have had exposure to asbestos in the past.

How do you get asbestos mesothelioma?

Asbestos exposure prior to 1970 resulted from industrial products such as:

Asbestos fibers are useful in industry because they are strong, heat resistant, chemically resistant, and do not conduct electricity. People working in industries such as shipbuilding or automotive, particularly prior to the 1970s, were at greater risk. Family members were also at risk due to inhaling particles if workers brought asbestos home on their clothing. Typically, it can take 20 to 30 years to develop this condition after inhaling the fiber particles.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most uses of asbestos in the U.S. are not banned; only a few are banned under existing regulations. In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air. However, asbestos fibers may be released into the air by the disturbance of asbestos-containing material during product use, demolition work, building or home maintenance, repair, and remodeling.

As published by the EPA, other products where asbestos may be found include:

Older homes or other buildings may still contain asbestos. Testing may be required to determine if asbestos is present in older buildings, especially if remodeling or other construction occurs. If it is found, it will need to be sealed off and removed with special procedures by a certified company. Asbestos abatement workers are trained to properly use protective equipment to minimize exposure.

A history of asbestos exposure greatly increases your asbestosis and mesothelioma risk factors. People who either live or work in buildings with asbestos-containing materials that are either under reconstruction or deteriorating are at a greater than normal risk. Workers at risk may include:

Living with someone who is exposed to asbestos can increase a familys risk due to passive inhalation if they bring it home on clothes. Those who smoke and are exposed to asbestos have an even high risk of developing lung cancer and mesothelioma; however, this disease has no direct association with smoking like lung cancer.

A diagnosis of mesothelioma will involve several mesothelioma tests, because symptoms can be caused by other medical conditions, including other cancers. These tests might include:

There are 4 mesothelioma stages with pleural mesothelioma. Determining the stage will allow the doctor to determine the tumor size and placement, progression, and help to guide the choice of therapy.

Stage 1 is considered localized disease, while stages 2, 3 and 4 are considered advanced mesothelioma. Initial staging will identify patients who are not candidates for surgery, and who may receive palliative therapy and drug treatment to lessen symptoms. Stages of mesothelioma are based on the recommendations of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group.

There are three approaches to treatment for mesothelioma: surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Treatments can help patients breathe easier and have less pain. It is important to consult with a team of mesothelioma specialists.

The question may be asked by patients or family members Is there a mesothelioma cure? There is not a cure for mesothelioma unless surgery is 100% effective, which is highly unlikely in most patients. The prognosis for mesothelioma is usually poor due to an advanced stage at initial diagnosis.

Many factors play into the length of mesothelioma survival, including: age, gender, stage at diagnosis, mesothelioma cell type, tumor location, and treatment success. Your doctor will give you a prognosis based on these factors, and your treatment options and choices. You might be able to enroll in mesothelioma clinical trials, as well.

Staging is important to determine mesothelioma life expectancy after diagnosis. Although these timelines look grim, improved treatments and clinical trials offer newly diagnosed patients a reason to seek experienced medical care.

To learn more about clinical trials for mesothelioma, speak to your physician and visit the National Cancer Institute and search for mesothelioma on their search engine. There are many ongoing trials, including some with new immunotherapy cancer treatments. Your physician can provide more detailed information.

Asbestosis vs. Mesothelioma: Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease that often occurs in textile mining, milling, or manufacturing workers who inhaled asbestos fibers over a prolonged period in their workplaces. Asbestosis leads to shortness of breath, lung tissue scarring, and severe fibrosis. It takes 1020 years for the disease to develop after exposure. Patients should be medically monitored periodically for disease progression and closely observed for asbestos-associated malignancies such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other cancers.

Asbestosis signs and symptoms can include:

A chest X-ray, a CT scan, and a pulmonary function (breathing) test may be used to diagnose asbestosis. Treatment focuses on relieving your symptoms; oxygen therapy may be offered. In some cases, a lung transplant might be an option, as well. Today, asbestosis is unlikely if you follow your employer's safety procedures.

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Mesothelioma has been the subject of many injury lawsuits, and, in fact is the longest running series of civil liability in U.S. history. Many patients wonder what they can do legally if they are diagnosed with mesothelioma.

There are U.S. lawyers that specialize in handling these cases. An asbestos trust fund in the U.S. is said to hold over $30 billion, as well, for people who have mesothelioma. Here are a few frequently asked questions about mesothelioma lawsuits that may help to answer some questions; always seek reliable and licensed lawyers to help with your individual questions.

Q. How do I find a mesothelioma attorney?

A. There are many lawyers who are experts on lawsuits involving injury due to asbestos exposure. You might ask a trusted lawyer who deals with these types of litigation in your area, to start. It is important to find a trusted lawyer you feel comfortable with, and that has years of proven experience dealing with these cases. Beware of immediately selecting legal help from the Internet without some degree of investigation. Your attorney should evaluate the facts of your case and guide you to your best options. Whether you can file a lawsuit will depend on many issues, such as when you were exposed, how the exposure to asbestos occurred, when you became ill, your medical history, and your medical complications.

Q. How do I file a lawsuit?

A. Mesothelioma claims are usually brought against the company that you worked for where your asbestos exposure occurred. If you are a Veteran, you may also be eligible for assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Q. How can I get mesothelioma compensation? How much will my mesothelioma settlement be?

A. Beware of any mesothelioma law firm who guarantees you a specific award amount; there is no assurance that you will receive any settlement. However, the types of expenses and losses that may be sought in a lawsuit include: lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering. Your compensation may be impacted by your lawyers legal fees, as well.

Q. Is there a deadline (statute of limitations) for filing a mesothelioma case?

A. Yes, a deadline for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is decided on a state-by-state case. Speak to a lawyer as soon as you can after your diagnosis.

Q. Is there a trust fund for mesothelioma compensation?

According to the Mesothelioma Guide, people with asbestos-related diseases can receive financial support from asbestos trust funds. Companies who went bankrupt organized these funds to provide funds for victims of asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma patients typically collect the highest compensation of all asbestos-related diseases. Mesothelioma Guide reports that roughly 575,000 claims were paid out in 2008, helping families manage lost wages and treatment. Some cases may not go to trial because the suit settles before trial.

Q. Should I join a mesothelioma class action lawsuit?

A. A mesothelioma class action lawsuit would collectively bring a claim against a defendant for a group of people with similar injuries, circumstances, and legal issues due to mesothelioma. Class actions have not been widely used in asbestos cases; however, that may still be an option. Before you agree to participate or exclude yourself from a class action lawsuit, you should consult with an experienced law firm.

Q. Can my family make claims if I die before my case goes to trial?

A. Typically, your estate would act on your behalf to divide any mesothelioma payouts among your survivors. It is always best to consult an experienced mesothelioma lawyer to discuss mesothelioma facts on a case-by-case basis.

Researchers found the connection between asbestos and lung cancer in the 1930s. However, the link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma lung cancer was not found until the 1970s.

Cancer can occur in people who worked for those companies that manufactured products that contain asbestos. These companies often knew asbestos was toxic to humans but purposely failed to warn employees. Due to this negligence, lawsuits with mesothelioma compensation claims in the billions of dollars have been filed.

Patients and families often seek information about mesothelioma on the Internet. Mesothelioma was once among the highest "pay per click" advertising topics on the Internet. Intense competition among mesothelioma attorneys trying to attract the attention of patients eligible for large compensation payouts led to related "cost-per-click" advertisements on Google skyrocketing above $US100.00.

In addition, many commercials advertising for mesothelioma lawyers are often seen on TV in the U.S.

Mesothelioma cases are expected to rise at least through 2025.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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Mesothelioma Diagnosis & Treatment Guide - Drugs.com

What Is Mesothelioma? Causes and Treatment

Overview

Mesothelioma is a somewhat rare cancer, with only about 2,000 new cases diagnosed in the United States each year -- but its incidence is increasing worldwide. Sadly, most cases of this disease are related to on-the-job exposure to asbestosand could be prevented through awareness and protective measures at work. That said, in many cases, mesothelioma does not develop until decades after asbestos exposure occurs, and many people that are diagnosed today were exposed to asbestos years ago.

Mesothelioma is a cancerous (malignant)tumor that begins in the mesothelium. The mesothelium is a membrane that lines and protects the lungs, the heart, and the abdominal cavity. There are three main types of mesothelioma:

Most cases of mesothelioma are because of exposure to asbestos on the job. Other causes include:

Most people with pleural mesothelioma note shortness of breath and chest pain (especially under the ribs), but other symptoms can include:

Diagnosing mesothelioma can be difficult since there are many conditions that cause similar symptoms. Your physician will first take a careful history, especially questioning you about your employment history, and then perform a physical exam. Imaging studies are often doneand may include x-rays of your chest and abdomen, CT scans, MRI scans,or PET scans.

If your doctor suspects mesothelioma, she will need to schedule a biopsy. Depending upon the location of your tumor, she may recommend a thoracoscopyor video-assisted thoracoscopy (VAT), a procedure where a tissue sample is taken from the pleura, or a peritoneoscopy, a similar procedure to obtain tissue from the abdomen. If the biopsy reveals mesothelioma, further studies are then done to determine the stage of the cancer (how advanced it is).

Mesothelioma is divided into 2 primary stages:

Depending on the size and location of your tumor, and if it has spread, treatment options may include:

On top of the heartbreak, a diagnosis of cancer brings, many people with mesothelioma lack the emotional and psychosocial support that those with other forms of cancer find readily available. In addition, medico-legal battles related to asbestos exposure on-the-job can be emotionally draining. Participating in a support group, either through your cancer center, community, or online, can help you wade through the maze of treatment options, and find camaraderie in others who are living with mesothelioma.

The most important thing you can do to prevent mesothelioma is to use appropriate precautions if you are exposed to asbestos at work. OSHA has asbestos safety standards for individuals who may be exposed on the job. If you work with asbestos, it is important to follow these guidelines to minimize your families exposure as well. Asbestos insulation in homes is usually not a problemunless it is damaged or disturbed by remodeling projects. If you may have asbestos insulation (homes built prior to 1950) make sure to hire a contractor certified in asbestos management before you begin any home improvement projects.

Some people who have been exposed to asbestos may want to consider CT screening for lung cancer. At this time, recommendations for screening include only those people aged 55 to 74 with a 30 pack-year history of smoking. Yet studies show that some people who have been exposed to asbestos may be at an even higher risk of developing lung cancer than heavy smokers. If you've been exposed to asbestos make sure to talk to your doctor about lung cancer screening.

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What Is Mesothelioma? Causes and Treatment

Mesothelioma Information on Cause, Symptoms, Prognosis …

Mesothelioma has become a widely known and publicized disease despite its relative infrequency because of the fact that the only proven cause for its development is asbestos exposure specifically, inhalation or ingestion of tiny, microscopic asbestos fibers that eventually cause the development of mesothelioma. Asbestos related diseases are among the primary industrial medical afflictions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The disease has an unusually long period of latency. Persons exposed to asbestos may not develop symptoms of asbestos related disease for twenty to fifty years after the asbestos exposure has taken place. For that reason, the widespread use of asbestos through the 1970s is still causing new diagnoses of mesothelioma today among workers who have long been retired. Although today there are only about 3,000 new cases of the disease diagnosed in the U.S. annually, mesothelioma has taken tens of thousands of lives in this country since asbestos was introduced as an industrial material in the late 19th century.

Asbestos fibers are the primary cause of mesothelioma. They are microscopic, cannot be seen with the human eye and when they are ingested or inhaled go unnoticed. Asbestos fibers are given off by asbestos products that have deteriorated and become friable, which means that they easily crumble at which point the fibers can become airborne in dust clouds. In thousands of industrial sites and repair shops where asbestos insulation or other products were used, workers inhaled asbestos fibers on the job sometimes on a daily basis.

When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, the human body cannot excrete them through any natural means such as coughing, sneezing or any other physiological function. The fibers remain within the body, eventually embedding themselves in tissue; in most cases that tissue is the mesothelium. Asbestos fibers remain in the body forever; eventually they begin to cause problems with the mesothelium tissue. They can cause abnormal cells to develop and those cells begin to reproduce uncontrollably. Often they are cancerous cells, which begin to form the diffuse tumors that characterize most cases of mesothelioma.

The primary cause of asbestos exposure has always been job related. Through World War II exposure occurred in asbestos mines and mills, in textile and pulp & paper mills, in auto assembly plants, steel mills, auto brake shops, in the shipbuilding industry, as well as a large percentage of veterans. Workers in refineries, power plants and petrochemical plants have historically been at risk because of the use of asbestos products for insulation. Construction workers using asbestos laced cement, and asbestos insulation in buildings and the installation of heating systems have historically been at high risk for asbestos exposure.

During the first three quarters of the twentieth century, family members of workers who were subject to on the job exposure were at risk of inhaling asbestos fibers from clothing worn on the job and brought home by the workers. People who lived near asbestos mills were also exposed to asbestos laden clouds of dust. People living in households with asbestos workers were found to have significantly elevated lung burdens of asbestos, often in the same range as found in individuals occupationally exposed to asbestos, such as shipyard workers.

In 1990, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimated that approximately 568,000 workers in production and services industries and 114,000 workers in construction industries potentially were exposed to asbestos.

The key to understanding mesothelioma is understanding the various locations that the mesothelium is found and the role that it plays. The lungs are surrounded by a portion of the mesothelium, and the chest cavity wall opposite the lungs is also covered by the mesothelium. These two layers of tissue comprise the pleura, or pleural mesothelium. Another portion of the mesothelium wraps around the heart; this tissue is known as the pericardium. The third important portion of the mesothelium covers the abdominal cavity wall; this portion of the protective tissue is called the peritoneum, or peritoneal mesothelium. The three main malignant types of mesothelioma are:

Pleural Mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs. It accounts for about seventy percent of all malignant mesothelioma cases. Because asbestos fibers that affect humans are most commonly inhaled the diseases they cause are most often in or around the lungs.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma develops in the abdominal cavity and often attacks the liver, kidneys and other organs. About fifteen to twenty percent of all mesothelioma cases develop in the peritoneum.

Pericardial Mesothelioma impacts the sac around the heart, is exceedingly rare occurring in about five percent of all cases. Pericardial mesothelioma can have a fatal impact on cardiovascular function because of the pressure the swollen pericardium applies on the heart.

Three medical characteristics of this disease make it particularly insidious. One is the fact that mesothelioma has a latency period that makes the disease far removed from its cause and that much more difficult to diagnose. The second problem with mesothelioma symptoms is the fact that so many of them are similar to symptoms found in far more common afflictions. Finally, because of the latency involved with the onset of mesothelioma and often with asbestosis, the disease usually impacts people entering into their senior years, when medical problems become more common. Diagnosing a rare disease such as mesothelioma under these circumstances often takes an extended period of time.

The most common symptoms for pleural mesothelioma are:

All of these symptoms can be easily associated with far more common physical problems such as pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, or the onset of lung cancer. If the patient has been a smoker, the diagnosing physician is going to be looking for these diseases first.

The symptoms for peritoneal mesothelioma include:

Many of these symptoms are consistent with liver disease, intestinal disorders or kidney malfunctions. The fact that mesothelioma tumors are difficult to see with medical imaging systems make early diagnosis of this disease a rarity.

The symptoms for pericardial mesothelioma include:

Heart disease is perhaps the most common serious illness among people over fifty years of disease, and several forms of cardiovascular problems result in similar symptoms. A pulmonary embolism, cardiovascular thrombosis (blocked artery) and congestive heart disease all show these characteristics and they are usually the diseases attending physicians look for first.

Because mesothelioma is cancer that develops upon a membrane, more often than not it develops as a diffuse form of cancer rather than as a singular mass, or tumor. A series of small tumors spread across the mesothelium membrane are much more difficult to identify with medical imaging equipment than a single tumor is. For that reason X-rays, CT scans and MRI exams usually arent enough for a mesothelioma diagnosis.

The most common form of the disease, pleural mesothelioma almost always causes pleural effusion, or excessive fluid accumulation, to develop as a primary symptom once the disease begins to advance. Once this condition is established the physician can draw out some of that fluid with a surgical needle to analyze the cell content in the lab. Usually a biopsy extracting a small piece of mesothelial tissue is also conducted. Analyses of these samples will generally expose the existence of malignant cells.

A similar approach is often taken with peritoneal mesothelioma, which commonly causes fluid accumulation in the abdomen. A tissue sample from the abdominal wall extracted with a laparoscope along with a fluid sample help to determine the presence of malignant cells. Analysis of kidney and liver functions and protein levels can help to eliminate other potential causes of the symptoms.

Surgery is often the choice when mesothelioma is diagnosed early enough, such as a stage I and stage II mesothelioma. In many cases with pleural mesothelioma this means a pleurectomy, a procedure where the entire pleura is removed. In cases where pleural effusion has been severe, the two surfaces of the pleura might be fused in a process called pleurodesis; generally this is a palliative treatment. Many procedures also take a piece of the lung. An extrapleural pneumonectomy removes part of the lung, part of the diaphragm, part of the pericardium and part of the parietal pleura, which is the tissue covering the chest wall.

Surgery with peritoneal mesothelioma follows a similar model, except that removing nearby organs is not always a viable option as it is with a pneumonectomy. Surgery on the pericardium often occurs on an emergency basis as mesothelioma causes the membrane to swell and put dangerous pressure on the four chambers of the heart.

The use of chemotherapy is widespread in mesothelioma treatment; in recent years it is almost always conducted in conjunction with a radiotherapy program. Most chemotherapy drugs have not proven to be terribly effective against mesothelioma; there are two that have been approved by the FDA thus far for mesothelioma treatment. Researchers are constantly searching for innovative methods to attack malignant mesothelioma cells and avoid damaging healthy cells in the mesothelium membrane. Often chemotherapy is used in tandem, especially when treating biphasic mesothelioma a form of the disease that features two types of malignant cells. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy together are referred to as multimodality therapy.

Recently there has been some use of radiotherapy during the surgical process itself. Rather than target cancerous cells with radioactive ions the tissue is targeted directly while the patient is on the operating table. Chemotherapy drugs have been applied in a similar fashion, to give a more powerful application of the treatment than can be provided by intravenous delivery; one such procedure called Heated Intraoperative Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy used heated medication in a peritoneal mesothelioma surgery.

Other options include immunotherapy and other experimental concepts such as gene therapy. These concepts are creative efforts at attacking cancer cells in new and innovative ways. While they remain in the seminal state, hopefully continued research and trial activity will yield results.

Clinical trials are staged for the benefit of medical research, but they are also a prerequisite for the approval of a new medication or new treatment use of an existing medication by the FDA. That process is divided into stage I, stage II and stage III procedures. It is the stage III studies that are conducted on groups of humans in order to determine the efficacy of a treatment.

There are usually several mesothelioma clinical trials are occurring at any given time, being conducted at one or several locations. It is not easy to find mesothelioma patients who are in condition to participate in a lengthy research project, so recruiting is generally conducted at several locations. Many of these trials involve the use of pemetrexed, marketed under the name Alimta. This is the only drug that has been approved by the FDA for mesothelioma treatment and it is generally used with patients who are not candidates for surgical treatment. Many clinical trials have been conducted using pemetrexed and other effective cancer chemotherapy drugs, cisplatin in particular.

But clinical trials continue not only for chemotherapy options but for new treatment concepts such as immunotherapy.

Prognosis for mesothelioma patients is usually a question of life expectancy rather than recovery. The figures vary for types of mesothelioma, for treatment modalities and, to an extent, on who you ask. Often diagnosis of this disease is a lengthy process, which means that it has advanced significantly since the symptoms first manifested. One of the issues is the nature of the cells being attacked; epithelial mesothelioma patients have an average survival rate of about one year, while those diagnosed with the more unusual sarcomatoid mesothelioma, or biphasic mesothelioma (a combination of the two cell types) is closer to six months. These are average figures; the percentage of people who live beyond one year is significant but most figures for mesothelioma and morbidity are based on limited case studies.

These figures are changing slowly as diagnoses occur more readily, as some forms of chemotherapy prove to be effective against some forms of mesothelioma, and as new treatment modalities are tried and found to help. The overall gain in average survival time is a matter of weeks or months with these clinical tests, but slow progress is being made.

There are also always exceptions to these rules. Many patients who respond well to surgery and chemotherapy live on for two years or more. One of the issues that comes into play with these poor prognosis figures is the fact that so many mesothelioma patients are elderly and have other health problems as well. Often a patient does not have the constitution to withstand major surgery, so resection is not an option.

Asbestos lawsuits comprise the largest single civil tort in the history of the nation. More suits have been filed seeking damages for health problems caused by asbestos than for any other civil legal complaint. Hundreds of thousands of American workers have been impacted by mesothelioma and asbestosis over the last half century and many more are getting sick today. The continued diagnosis of mesothelioma is expected to continue at the current rate for another five to ten years.

If you or a family member has a medical problem that you believe is related to asbestos exposure, you should be in touch with an experienced asbestos lawyers who can assist you by providing the specialized legal help that is required in asbestos and mesothelioma liability cases.

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Mesothelioma Information on Cause, Symptoms, Prognosis ...

Mesothelioma Life Expectancy | How Long Do Patients Live?

How Can I Improve My Mesothelioma Life Expectancy?

Being proactive about your health is a great first step toward improving your mesothelioma life expectancy after a diagnosis.

In addition to seeking traditional mesothelioma treatments immediately, there are a few steps you can take to improve your mesothelioma life expectancy.

The first step you should take is to seek legal advice so you can begin pursuing the compensation you deserve to afford the treatment you need.

Contact us today to learn about your options for mesothelioma compensation.

Other options to explore as you work to improve your mesothelioma life expectancy include:

Malignant mesothelioma, caused by exposure to airborne asbestos fibers, is an incurable cancer involving the lining of the lung, abdomen, or heart.

The latency period, the time between asbestos exposure and diagnosis, can be decades long. For many patients diagnosed 15 to 60 years after their initial exposure to asbestos, the disease is already in an advanced phase when they begin to suffer symptoms of shortness of breath and chest pain.

At this late stage of diagnosis, the average survival time is less than a year.

Although there are many factors doctors look at to determine a patients prognosis and mesothelioma life expectancy, doctors, patients, and cancer advocates are now emphasizing the importance of early detection.They all agree that in order to increase the effectiveness of treatment options leading to an increased survival time, early detection is critical. In fact, the American Cancer Society states that if you cant prevent cancer, the next best thing you can do to protect your health is to detect it early.

According to the American Thoracic Society, malignant mesothelioma is a fatal disease with median survival time of less than 12 months from first signs of illness of death.

However, some studies have shown that among patients where it is diagnosed early and treated aggressively, about half can expect a mesothelioma life expectancy of two years, and one-fifth will have a mesothelioma life expectancy of five years.

As a comparison, for patients whose mesothelioma is advanced, only five percent can expect to live another five years.

Early diagnosis of the cancer often means that the cancer will be localized, with the cancer cells found only at the body site where the cancer originated.

The localized cancer would be identified as Stage 1 and can involve a surgically removable tumor. Once the cancer cells have spread beyond that original location, the mesothelioma is considered advanced and surgery is often no longer an option.

The importance of early diagnosis of this cancer cannot be overemphasized. Treating a limited area of cancer is easier, and includes more treatment options, than trying to treat cancer that has spread, or metastasized, to several sites or throughout the body.

Mesothelioma is typically diagnosed within three to six months of the first visit to a doctor with complaints about breathing problems or chest and abdominal pain.

Anyone who has worked around asbestos is urged to see a physician for screening for malignant cancer. Screening methods are advancing, and various blood tests now exist that may identify mesothelioma.

The blood tests focus on a protein in the blood that is released into the blood stream by cells. One test checks for a protein known as SMRP, or soluble mesothelin-related peptide.

The biomarker measures the amount of SMRP in a persons blood. Abnormally high levels may indicate the presence of mesothelioma.

Early diagnosis can improve life expectancy.

However, the following factors for a mesothelioma diagnosis are all important when assessing life expectancy:

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic add quality of life prior to a diagnosis to the list of increased survival. The researchers found that patients who deemed their quality of life highest among other lung cancer patients lived significantly longer.

The American Cancer Society encourages cancer survivors to focus on healthy behaviors including exercise, diet, and not smoking to limit the risk of mesothelioma recurrence and for improved quality of life.

The younger the better. Many studies report that younger, fit patients have a higher mesothelioma life expectancy than their older counterparts when diagnosed with cancer.

Younger patients are generally healthier overall, which points to encouraging Americans to live a healthy lifestyle in order to combat mesothelioma.

The primary types of mesothelioma are pleural, involving the lung, and peritoneal, involving the abdomen.

Pleural mesothelioma patients typically have a shorter mesothelioma life expectancy than peritoneal patients. According to statistics, 80 percent of the mesothelioma cases are pleural, with close to 20 percent peritoneal cases.

Pericardial, which occurs in the lining around the heart, is extremely rare, representing less than one percent of all mesothelioma cases.

There are three types of cells that appear in mesothelioma: epithelioid, sarcomatoid, and biphasic.

Epithelial cells

These cells protect and surround organs. When they are invaded by mesothelioma, they form tumors that can be removed with surgery or treated with radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of the three.

Mesothelioma cases often include a malignant epithelial tumor. There are 20 kinds of epithelial mesothelioma cells. Some are associated with a specific type of mesothelioma. Others are found in all forms of the disease.

Sarcomatoid cells

Are made up of cancerous cells that can include epithelial cells. Sarcomatoid cells are hard to tell apart from healthy tissues. They spread quickly and are the most difficult to treat.

There are three kinds of sarcomatoid cells associated with mesothelioma: transitional, lymphohistiocytosis, and desmoplastic. They are found in all three types of mesothelioma.

Biphasic cells

Are the second most-common found in mesothelioma patients. These cells are most often present in pleural patients.

They may include elements of epithelial cells and sarcomatoid cells; for this reason, treatment and patient survival time frames will vary. Treatment is also based on the stage, size and location of the tumor.

Unlike many other predominantly pulmonary-related cancers, cigarette smoking has no known causative effect on pleural mesothelioma incidence.

However, statistics show that smoking accounts for 90 percent of lung cancer cases and 85 percent of head and neck cancers. Smoking cessation is one of the primary ways to prevent lung disease.

The effectiveness of treatment for mesothelioma patients can be complicated if patients continue to smoke.

Patients with few to no additional health complications may have a longer survival than those with other health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Patients with other chronic conditions must carefully monitor their health and medications to prevent complications from arising. When they are then diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important that the medical team and patients work closely together to monitor drug interactions and proper nutrition.

The American Cancer Society reports the following median survival time of patients with pleural mesothelioma who were treated with surgery to cure the cancer.

The numbers include the relative five-year survival rate and median survival. The ACS adds that survival times tend to be longer for patients treated with surgery.

Patients who are not eligible for surgery often have cancer that has metastasized.

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Mesothelioma Life Expectancy | How Long Do Patients Live?

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer Information

Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of asbestos-related cancer. Though its an aggressive illness, ongoing advancements in chemotherapy, surgery and clinical trials are extending patients' lives years beyond their life expectancy.

Free Mesothelioma Guide

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive cancer that develops in the pleura, a thin layer of tissue surrounding the lungs.

Inhaling microscopic asbestos fibers is the primary cause of mesothelioma. Once these fibers enter the lungs, they can become lodged in the pleura, accumulating and causing cellular damage that can lead to cancer. This process often takes decades. Mesothelioma may not develop until 20-50 years after asbestos exposure.

Pleural mesothelioma (PM) is the most common of the four types of mesothelioma. It accounts for nearly 75 percent of all cases diagnosed annually in the U.S., and the majority of cases are traced to occupational exposure to asbestos. Factory workers, shipyard workers, mechanics and construction workers have the highest risk of developing the disease.

We know receiving a pleural mesothelioma diagnosis can be frightening and confusing, and our Patient Advocates are here to ease your burden. Take advantage of our resources to learn about the latest research and top doctors who can help you cope with this rare cancer.

The initial symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include chest pain, shortness of breath, slight fatigue and weight loss. Because these symptoms mirror those of less serious illnesses, such as pneumonia or the flu, doctors often misdiagnose the cancer in its early stages.

Unfortunately, many of the more serious symptoms, such as painful breathing, coughing blood and difficulty swallowing, arent noticeable until the cancer has reached its later stages, when treatment options are usually more limited.

Pleural mesothelioma symptoms can include:

Other signs of mesothelioma can include certain benign asbestos-related diseases.

For example, studies show people with pleural plaques (areas of fibrous thickening on the lung's lining that can become calcified) are at an increased risk of developing pleural mesothelioma. Pleural thickening is another benign condition that sometimes develops before PM.

Asbestosis is a chronic respiratory disease characterized by scarring and inflammation in the lungs. Approximately 15 percent of people with asbestosis develop pleural mesothelioma.

It's important to discuss any exposure to asbestos with a physician as early as possible and seek out a specialist if your risk level is high. It can take months, and sometimes up to a year, to diagnose this rare cancer.

To ensure a definitive diagnosis, your doctor will first conduct a full medical and occupational history review. Then you will typically undergo multiple imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans or PET scans.

The most important step of the diagnostic process is the biopsy, in which a surgeon collects samples of the tumor through a minor outpatient surgical procedure known as a thoracoscopy or video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). A pathologist then analyzes the samples to determine what kind of disease or cancer is present.

Most doctors use the following staging system to describe the severity of pleural mesothelioma:

This stage is divided into two categories. During stage 1a, the cancer is localized to the outer layer of the pleura, which is closer to the chest wall. At stage 1b, the cancer is also located on the inner layer of the pleura, which is closer to the lung.

The cancer has spread to the lung tissue, diaphragm and linings of the chest cavity.

The cancer has advanced beyond the lining of the lungs and impacted other internal organs, lymph nodes near the main tumor, esophagus, trachea, fatty tissues and possibly other nearby areas.

The cancer is possibly on both sides of the chest cavity, inside distant lymph nodes and in other organs such as the brain, spine and prostate. At stage IV, pleural mesothelioma cancer cannot be treated with surgery because metastasis (the spread of the cancer) is too extensive.

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Conventional pleural mesothelioma treatment can involve surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination of two or more of these, which is known as multimodal therapy. These treatment methods can be curative, reducing the cancer and extending life expectancy, or they can be palliative, which means they are performed to alleviate cancer-related pain.

In addition to these traditional methods of cancer treatment, researchers are developing emerging techniques to fight the cancer. Cancer centers specializing in PM host clinical trials to test new drugs, treatment methods and other medical advancements.

Extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) are two surgeries that can potentially eliminate the cancer. The EPP removes the affected lung, parts of the chest lining, heart lining, nearby lymph nodes and part of the diaphragm. The P/D spares the affected lung but takes out the lining around it and tumors inside the chest cavity.

Younger, healthier patients fare best with surgery, but it's not effective for people with late-stage cancer or multiple tumors.

Chemotherapy involves treatment with a drug designed to kill cancer cells. It is usually administered by IV. Your physician will determine dosage and frequency based on your health, weight and cancer stage.

While the effects of chemotherapy are immediate, it has a poor success rate and causes discomfort during infusions.

Radiation therapy is commonly administered alongside chemotherapy and following surgery to kill any cancer cells the surgeon accidentally left behind. Radiation is most effective when used with other types of treatment, though it can provide some pain relief on its own.

Although emerging and experimental treatments can be risky because they have not yet proven effective, they can lead to improvements of traditional cancer therapies.

For example, in recent immunotherapy clinical trials, researchers boosted the immune systems of some pleural mesothelioma patients to significantly minimize cancer symptoms and tumor progression.

Many patients with PM also use integrative oncology or complementary and alternative treatments, such as massage and yoga, to relieve pain and other side effects of treatment. While these therapies cannot cure cancer, they can improve your quality of life and relieve stress.

Alternative therapies include:

Our Patient Advocates are available right now.

Danielle DiPietro Patient Advocate

Your choice of doctor and treatment center can have a tremendous impact on your experience with pleural mesothelioma.

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan for this disease. You need a personalized approach from a specialist who understands the intricacies of PM and is up to date on the most modern and effective treatment options. This kind of doctor can only be found at a specialty center.

Most of the top pleural mesothelioma specialists practice at cancer centers in major metropolitan areas. If you do not live near a cancer center, traveling to one is worth the time and expense because these are the doctors who can give you years beyond your initial prognosis.

A few notable mesothelioma doctors:

Dr. Hedy Kindler is the director of the mesothelioma program at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Dr. Abraham Lebenthal is a nationally renowned surgeon who specializes in treating mesothelioma at Bostons Brigham and Women's Hospital, which is a world leader in mesothelioma treatment.

Dr. Anne Tsao, director of the mesothelioma program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is a national leader in the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancers and pleural mesothelioma.

Dr. Robert Cameron, a renowned thoracic surgeon and pioneer in mesothelioma treatment, practices at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and the UCLA Medical Center.

Dr. J.F. Pingpank Jr. specializes in peritoneal mesothelioma at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which is ranked as one of the top 25 best hospitals for cancer care in the U.S.

Dr. Jacques Fontaine is a thoracic surgeon at the Mesothelioma Research and Treatment Center at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida.

Our Doctor Match program will guide you to the right specialist based on your diagnosis and location. Our experienced Patient Advocates can provide a closer look at some of the nation's best pleural mesothelioma doctors and help match you with the right provider for your needs.

There are specialty cancer centers across the nation, and there may be one or two near where you live. When choosing a center, consider its doctors and location, your ability to travel and your preferred treatment method, as well as what you expect from your health care team.

Top cancer centers include:

Nearly 30 percent of PM patients are military veterans. As in the construction industry, the U.S. armed forces made extensive use of asbestos for much of the twentieth century. Members of the military, especially Navy sailors, have often been at risk of hazardous occupational exposure.

The Veterans Department at the Pleural Mesothelioma Center will provide you with a curated list of mesothelioma specialists and centers that cater to veterans and their families.

Get information about your legal options and find out if you qualify for financial assistance.

A prognosis is your doctors best estimate of how your cancer will affect your health and life expectancy. Prognosis is usually measured in terms such as "good," "favorable" or "poor."

Life expectancy is measured in months or years. The average life expectancy of patients with pleural mesothelioma is 1221 months after diagnosis, but that's not the case for everyone. Depending on certain factors, some patients may improve their initial prognosis and live years beyond their life expectancy.

While a patient cannot change factors such as age, cancer stage and cell type, they do have some control over their overall health, smoking habits, nutrition and level of exercise. Most important, a patient or caretaker can take the initiative in educating themselves about treatment options and seeking out the best health care professionals available.

Even an experienced oncologist can misdiagnose and incorrectly treat pleural mesothelioma. Finding an oncologist who specializes in malignant mesothelioma and has years of experience with this rare cancer will greatly improve your prognosis. Let our Patient Advocates find the best doctor for you.

Research shows the most favorable treatment results arise from a multimodal approach a combination of one or more traditional treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Tell your doctor you are interested in exploring multimodal treatment.

When standard treatment isnt enough, you may want to consider clinical trials. Because of an increase in pleural mesothelioma diagnoses, more and more clinical trials are seeking patients. While clinical trials test experimental therapies and new drug combinations, all participants still receive the best standard-of-care treatment.

Moderate exercise and good nutrition are the foundation of physical fitness. The healthier your immune system is, the better your body will respond to pleural mesothelioma treatment. Healthy choices about diet and exercise may improve your prognosis and your state of mind.

Snehal Smart is the Pleural Mesothelioma Centers in-house medical doctor, serving as both an experienced Patient Advocate and an expert medical writer for the website. When she is not providing one-on-one assistance to patients, Dr. Snehal stays current on the latest medical research, reading peer-reviewed studies and interviewing oncologists to learn about advancements in diagnostic tools and cancer treatments.

Last Modified August 4, 2017

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Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer Information


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