Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Questions to ask when selecting a mesothelioma lawyer.

Question #3 to Ask When Selecting a Mesothelioma Lawyer:

A very important question to ask is how expenses and attorney fees will be handled for the case. The process is not fast -- preparation for the trial and then the trial itself -- will take many months (or even years).

During this time, there will be thousands of dollars of initial costs associated with preparing for the trial, such as travel, hiring expert witnesses, depositions, etc. Ordinarily, the attorney who represents you advances these initial costs that are associated with the preparation and trial.

Most attorney fees in these cases are based on contingency fee contracts. This means that the lawyers receive a percentage of the amount the victim recovers if the suit is successful. If the suit is not successful, then the attorneys earn no fee.

Question #2 to Ask When Selecting a Mesothelioma Lawyer:

The next thing to ask is what is involved in this kind of lawsuit. You want to get an overview of the process, and what your role will be in it. You also want to get a sense of how good a communicator the attorney is.

Finally, a lot is at stake financially in these lawsuits. Therefore, it is ordinarily a good idea to interview a number of attorneys before you make a final decision about who will represent you. Consider trying to get at least two or three recommendations so you can make the best decision for you.

Mesothelioma Lawyers

Mesothelioma is a very rare malignancy in the general population, but found quite commonly in asbestos-exposed individuals. In fact, asbestos is the only known confirmed cause of mesothelioma in the United States. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lung, known as the pleura, (pleural mesothelioma) or the lining of the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneum (peritoneal mesothelioma).

Mesothelioma is a very serious condition which usually first develops many years after a person was first exposed to asbestos. The time it takes for mesothelioma to develop following first exposure to asbestos, known as the latency period, can be from ten to fifty years. People exposed to asbestos, including people who worked at a summer job involving intensive asbestos exposure while they were in their teens or in school, may be shocked to learn many years later that the mesothelioma they developed came from a fleeting, short term exposure to asbestos. That is why an extensive occupational and asbestos exposure history is explored with each potential client suffering with mesothelioma to discover the source of their disease.

Mesothelioma Symptoms
The first symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include one or more of the following: shortness of breath, chest or pleural pain (such as experienced with pleuritis), cough, weakness and a loss of weight or appetite. Often, pleural mesothelioma is accompanied by the accumulation of pleural fluid which can cause significant discomfort and chest pain. That fluid can be removed and analyzed by a physician for malignant cells.

Peritoneal mesothelioma may cause loss of weight or appetite as well as severe cramps or diarrhea.

Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Mesothelioma can be detected and diagnosed by a variety of techniques including CAT Scan and/or chest x-ray, cytology (which is examination of fluid removed from the pleural space) or pathology (which is examination of tissue removed by surgery). The most effective and certain way to diagnose mesothelioma is through a biopsy of pleural tissue. Not surprisingly, the more tissue that can be examined, the more definite the diagnosis can be. A transbronchial biopsy, taken through a tube inserted down the throat, will not require surgery but will also result in a very small tissue sample which may or may not be able to confirm a diagnosis. A more invasive surgical procedure, while less physically desirable, will provide more tissue and greater chance for confirming the diagnosis.

Mesothelioma Treatment
There is presently no known cure for mesothelioma, although a number of treatments have been developed and attempted to help contain the spread of the disease and thus the longevity of the mesothelioma victim.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Different Types

A disease that has only started to come to light in recent years, mesothelioma is a cancer that normally presents itself in malignant form and results in tumours in and around vital organs of the body. The definition of the word mesothelioma is literally cancer of the mesothelium (-oma being a medical term for cancer). The mesothelium is the sac that lines and protects vital organs such as the heart and the lungs, and this disease causes the cells of the lining to become abnormal and malignant.

The result of asbestos exposure, mesothelioma comes in three forms: pleural mesothelioma; peritoneal mesothelioma; and pericardial mesothelioma. All three types have a variety of associated symptoms, and there are some symptoms that are common to all three types of the disease. In all cases of the disease, sufferers are unlikely to even realise that there is a problem until many years after they have actually contracted mesothelioma from regular exposure to asbestos.

The symptoms of all types of mesothelioma do not generally manifest for several decades after contraction. This can make the disease difficult to diagnose and all too often is too late to save the patient by the time a diagnosis is made.

Pleural Mesothelioma:
The most common form of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma. This is where the cancer affects the lungs and the protective lining and cavity of the lungs. The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma result from pleural effusion, which is a build up of fluid between the lung lining and the chest cavity. Sufferers of pleural mesothelioma may experience some or all of the following symptoms: difficulty in breathing, difficulty in swallowing, shortness of breath, persistent coughing, weight loss, fever, coughing up of blood, and rasping. (Click Here For More Information On Pleural Mesothelioma)

Peritoneal Mesothelioma:
A rarer form of mesothelioma is peritoneal mesothelioma. This is where the cancer affects the stomach and abdomen. The cancer can start in the abdominal area and spread to other parts of the body, but the tumours that press against the wall of the abdomen can cause some or all of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, breathing problems, chest pain, bowel obstruction, anaemia, fever, and blood clotting abnormalities. (Click Here For More Information On Peritoneal Mesothelioma)

Pericardial Mesothelioma:
The last and the rarest of the mesothelioma types is pericardial mesothelioma. This is where the cancer affects the heart and the cavity that surrounds the heart. The tumours affecting pericardial mesothelioma patients can cause some or all of these symptoms: chest pain, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, persistent coughing, and palpitations. (Click Here For More Information On Pericardial Mesothelioma)

There are also cases of other asbestos related diseases such as asbestosis and respiratory problems that have stemmed from exposure to this potentially fatal material. Anyone that has worked with asbestos should see their doctor if they have any onset of this type of problem or if they are concerned and have doubts.

As you can see, the symptoms for all three types of mesothelioma are non-specific, which means that they could be the result of a number of more common diseases that are associated with the same symptoms. Many of the symptoms are the same as those displayed by viral pneumonia patients, and the disease if often mistaken for something else.

If your doctor is unaware that you have been exposed to asbestos, he or she is unlikely to assume that you may have mesothelioma and will instead test for a number of other more common diseases that are associated with your symptoms. People who have worked with asbestos or who have close contact with someone that works with asbestos should therefore always be vigilant in looking out for any of these symptoms and seeking medical advice if any or all of the symptoms manifest. They should also make their doctor aware that they have worked with asbestos so that no further time is wasted in testing for other types of disease. Much of the delay in diagnosing mesothelioma comes from lack of information and awareness on both the part of the doctor and the patient.

However, it is up to the patient, who is aware of the asbestos exposure, to increase the chances of a speedy diagnosis by making the doctor aware of the circumstances and keeping an eye out of any tell tale signs that mesothelioma may be present.

What is Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is one of the deadliest diseases known to man; the average life span of an inflicted person from the time of diagnosis until death is less than 24 months. It’s a disease that strikes approximately 3,000 United States citizens each and every year; hard working people who have labored for a lifetime to provide for their families, doing the work that keeps this country running and a great place to live. They worked in factories, at shipyards, in mines, for the US military, as engineers, as pipefitters, as steel workers, as auto mechanics, and in so many other professions. They came home to their loved ones exhausted and covered in dirt and dust; tired, but content that they had a job and were providing for their family. Content that they were putting food on the table and a house over their loved one’s heads. Content that they were working to make a better life for their families in this generation and the next...

But what they didn’t know was that while they were working so hard, they were not only slowly killing themselves, but those that they were working so hard to help; their family, their loved ones.

Mesothelioma is a disease that is almost 100% preventable; the only known cause is via exposure to the deadly mineral Asbestos. It comes from inhaling the particles of dust as the asbestos degrades; eating away at the lining of your lungs and developing into a deadly cancer. Dust that was inhaled in clouds of white powder, dust that was carried home on the clothes of the men who built this country, dust that was cleaned from the clothes by the wives and children who supported their sole provider at home, dust that was packed around the heating systems in houses and offices and schools, dust that carried a deadly price; and dust made a fortune in blood money for the companies that produced it.

Unfortunately, the effects of asbestos on the human body were known to be deadly for years by the companies who employed the ‘greatest generation’ and made hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars off of their backs. But instead of taking simple steps to alleviate the problem and save the lives of thousands of their workers, they choose to do nothing and continue to make a “healthy” profit with a “deadly” product. Many even went so far as to hide the truth from their workers and their families. And because the normal latency period for Mesothelioma (The time from exposure until the patient falls ill) is 20 to 30 years, many got away with this for years. We are only now beginning to see the full effects of the disease, and feel the terrible outcry of the people against those who put profits before human lives to a degree that is simply unfathomable.