Sunday, July 15, 2007

Select a Mesothelioma Attorney

Questions to ask when selecting a mesothelioma attorney.

These pages provide consumer tips for how to deal with the financial aspects of selecting a mesothelioma attorney. They do not provide any information regarding the medical aspects of this serious disease.

Since so much is at stake, selecting the right mesothelioma lawyer is very important. According the Wall Street Journal, lawyers say a typical mesothelioma award in a mesothelioma settlement is $1 million, and attorneys get 40% of this amount. If the case actually goes to trial, the average award was $6 million in 2001, which was triple the amount awarded just two years earlier.

So, mesothelioma attorneys are very eager to find mesothelioma patients. And it's vital that patients select the mesothelioma attorneys that are best for them.

A Brief Background on Your Legal Rights Regarding Mesothelioma-
Companies that manufacture products that contain asbestos have known for over 60 years that asbestos can cause serious diseases.

Unfortunately, because many of these companies wanted to increase their profits, they kept this information quiet, thereby seriously endangering their workers.

There are now laws that help protect the workers who have been harmed by their exposure to these asbestos-related products.

However, since representing mesothelioma can be so profitable to attorneys, it is important that people who have mesothelioma be especially careful selecting attorneys who are really qualified to represent them.

Important Questions to Ask When Selecting a Mesothelioma Attorney

Question #1 to Ask When Selecting a Mesothelioma Attorney:

What is your personal experience in representing mesothelioma patients? Your goal is to find out how many cases the attorney has actually handled.

You also want to know: how many of these were settled, and how many of these went to trial? What were the results of each case?

You should ask the same questions about his or her law firm. You're goal is to find out about the firm -- is this an area the firm specializes in?

Question #2 to Ask When Selecting a Mesothelioma Attorney:

Next, you want to ask if the lawyer intends to actually handle your case him or herself. Many attorneys simply refer these cases to another law firm and receive part of the fee in exchange. This may not be in your best interest.
read more "Select a Mesothelioma Attorney"

Mesothelioma latest research

Mesothelioma Research 1

According to Science Daily, an online resource for latest research news, mesothelioma patients who got treated by a combination of 2 drugs had an improved chance of surviving. Their survival rate increased by a minimum of 3 months. The two drugs used for the treatment were PEMETREXED and CISPLATIN. The clinical trials were done on 448 mesotheliomic patients.

About 80% of the mesotheliomic patients were men with an average age of 61 years. Some patients received only cisplatin whereas some patients received a combination of pemetrexed, cisplatin, vitamin supplements, folic acid and B12. Not only did their life span increase by three months but also the patients felt less tired, had improved appetite, experienced less pain and had smaller coughing spells. The clinical trial and research was done at the Clatterbridge Center for Oncology in England.
Mesothelioma Research 2

A research published in The New England Journal of Medicine says that researchers in New York University School of Medicine and Wayne State University have discovered a molecular particle that shows the beginnings of pleural mesothelioma. The blood levels of a protein called OSTEOPONTIN rises significantly in patients with early stages of pleural mesothelioma.

This is a breakthrough discovery as it may lead to the development of a blood diagnostic test which can detect the disease pleural mesothelioma in its earliest stages. Currently the patient has to wait for mesothelioma to become a full blown case before it is properly diagnosed. Although it is incurable, the detection of pleural mesothelioma in its earliest stages, will lead to swifter treatment options with the patient having a longer survival rate and a reduced pain free life.
Mesothelioma Research 3

A study conducted by a team of researchers at University of Cincinnati have found that all those workers who used were employed at a Ohio manufacturing plant in Marysville and were exposed to vermiculite ore had abnormally high rates of chest wall lining disfigurement.

Vermiculite ore is known to contain asbestos fibers and exposure to it means that previous workers have a high chance of developing asbestosis, lung diseases and mesothelioma. Because of mesothelioma’s long latency period, researchers will not know about the development of mesothelioma in these people till the next 30-50 years.
read more "Mesothelioma latest research"

Mesothelioma survival rate

Because mesothelioma is so hard to detect, and can easily seem to be just an upset stomach or other minor issue, it is often the case that by the time you realize you have mesothelioma, it is too late to do anything about it. The only reason you realize that you have a cancer in your chest cavity is that something truly awful has gone wrong, and you are on the final stages.

The average person who finally finds a doctor to determine they have mesothelioma often has less than a year left to live at that point - even with the best treatment. The current 5 year survival rate is between 7%-20% depending on which study you read. Again, this is not necessarily because mesothelioma is "nastier" than other forms of cancer - it is more that it is so hard to detect. It festers away in the core of your chest for years and years, causing damage but not being noticed.

In fact, on a webpage for a drug being tested for mesothelioma patients, the drug makers claim with pride, "Some of the patients survived two years after the study which is very unusual for mesothelioma." It is a pretty harsh disease, when helping you make it to 2 years is a great victory.
Part of the problem with helping patients survive is that there are so few known people with mesothelioma - and they die so quickly after being discovered. There aren't a lot of people to do clinical trials on, to figure out what works and what doesn't work.

There are hundreds of thousands of people who HAVE mesothelioma right now, according to most doctors. But all of those sick people do not realize yet that they have it. They typically only really know they have mesothelioma right before they die. So by then it is often impossible to do any real tests to see what might have helped them, if it had been caught earlier.
read more "Mesothelioma survival rate"

Alternative methods for mesothelioma

Alternative methods for mesothelioma cure include the following.

-- Acupuncture
-- Herbs
-- Massage
-- Homoeopathy
-- Visual / Guided Imagery
-- Yoga
-- Meditation
-- Breathing techniques
-- Specialized diet
-- Spiritual Healing

Acupuncture Treatment for Mesothelioma
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese remedy used for curing many ailments. Sterile acupuncture needles are placed on specific energy points on the skin to release positive energy to diseased parts of the body, helping restore a perfect balance in the body. It is a technique that is very helpful in relieving pain associated with mesothelioma.

Herbs Used for Treating Mesothelioma
As with acupuncture, treatment with herbs too has its origins in China. Traditional Chinese doctors have an assortment of herbs that will cure / reduce the intensity of various ailments. These herbs are used in addition to conventional mesothelioma treatment.

Massage for Mesothelioma
Massages are known to increase blood circulation and relieve body stress. Massages are not used for curing mesothelioma, but for stress and pain relief during / after conventional treatments used to cure mesothelioma.

Meditation for Mesothelioma
Meditation techniques are centuries old and practiced worldwide for various spiritual reasons. It is one of the best ways known to relax the mind and body. If done with proper guidance it can destress the mesothelioma patient and help control pain. Meditation is also claimed to strengthen the immune system. The advantages of meditation are many. Meditation can be performed by the patient in the comforting confines of home. At a time when alternative therapies cost a lot monetarily, meditation once learned will not cost anything. Unlike most medication, meditation does not have any negative side-effects.

Don't Stop Conventional Mesothelioma Treatment
Many of those practicing alternative mesothelioma treatments will make you believe that they can cure you of the dreaded cancer without the need for conventional treatment. Most of these claims are not true and could end in disaster, since time is of essence in any mesothelioma treatment.

Even though not proven scientifically (which will never happen), many alternative treatments (most of which are based on spirituality) have proved to be beneficial when combined with conventional treatment. Whenever you decide to opt for an alternative treatment, try to locate and speak to someone who has undergone the specific treatment. Also speak to the physician / surgeon treating you and let them know of your alternative treatment choice.

As of today, mesothelioma is not curable using conventional methods such as surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or combination therapy. Keeping this fact in mind, and also the fact that most alternative treatments for mesothelioma do not have any negative side-effects, it is a good option to combine conventional treatment with an alternative treatment to help fight mesothelioma.

Alternative treatments for mesothelioma could cost a lot. Before opting for a particular type of alternative treatment, find out if insurance will cover this treatment. If it does, good. If not, go in for alternative treatments such as meditation, yoga, or specialized breathing techniques that once learned will help you get better, at the same time not burden you financially.
read more "Alternative methods for mesothelioma"

Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by an exposure to asbestos. When asbestos fibers Danger%3A Asbestos are inhaled, they attack the wall lining the inside of the abdomen, heart or lungs, which leads to mesothelioma.

Symptoms can take decades to surface, so those affected often do not receive the proper mesothelioma diagnosis until the cancer is far advanced.

Mesothelioma lawyers have helped prove that many companies knowingly put their employees at risk for mesothelioma by allowing them to work in environments with a high risk of asbestos exposure.
Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos was most commonly used from the 1940s to the 1970s. During this time, more than 27 million Americans were exposed to the cancer-causing asbestos without even knowing of the link between asbestos and mesothelioma. Recent mesothelioma lawsuits have helped hold companies accountable for failing to warn employees of this link.

mesothelioma mortality

Those between the ages of 50 and 70 are most commonly diagnosed with mesothelioma. Some mesothelioma treatment do exist, but there is no cure for this type of cancer. When mesothelioma is diagnosed early, these treatment options are more successful.

Doctors often struggle to make the correct diagnosis, as the symptoms of mesothelioma are shared with a number of other illnesses. When a patient is diagnosed, the survival rate range is from one to five years.

Mesothelioma lawyers in the United States file roughly 3,000 cases every year, making asbestos lawsuits the most expensive mass tort in the nation’s history.
read more "Asbestos and Mesothelioma"

How to prevent Mesothelioma?

In terms of asbestos, mesothelioma prevention is extremely important to reduce the risks of this serious cancer . Mesothelioma is a fatal cancer that affects the lining of the heart, lung, or abdominal cavity. Mesothelioma has been almost exclusively linked to asbestos exposure, a group of hazardous fibers that were manufactured in hundreds of industries around the world. There are many ways that people to protect themselves against workplace or non-occupational exposure to asbestos in an effort to prevent mesothelioma.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has enacted a number of workplace asbestos regulations to aid in mesothelioma prevention. Under workplace asbestos laws , the permissible level of exposure is 01. fibers per cubic centimeter for an eight-hour work day and one fiber per cubic centimeter in any thirty minute time frame. Furthermore, workplace regulations to prevent asbestos exposure require employers to frequently monitor and regulate the work environment in addition to providing their employees with protective clothing and respiratory equipment, sufficient hygiene facilities, routine medical exams, and training .

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends a number of steps and precautions people can take to help protect themselves against non-occupational asbestos exposure that may lead to mesothelioma. These mesothelioma prevention methods include, but are not limited to: Regular inspection and monitoring of asbestos-containing products or materials around the home since asbestos was commonly used in the production of roof shingles, insulation, flooring, and more. Don't attempt to remove any asbestos-containing materials. It is vital that you enlist the help of an asbestos removal who is properly trained to handle the material and can ensure safe removal.

Avoid vacuuming, sweeping, drilling, sanding, or scraping any surfaces that may contain asbestos fibers. Once these fibers are airborne, they may be inhaled or ingested greatly increasing the risk of mesothelioma. Quit smoking, especially if you work in an industry in which you are frequently exposed to high levels of asbestos. Studies have indicated that asbestos workers who smoke cigarettes have a 50 to 100 times greater risk of dying from mesothelioma or lung cancer. If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma side effects, it is vital that you seek immediate medical attention at the first sign of symptoms such as chest pains, shortness of breath, coughs, severe weight loss, and more . Early diagnosis of mesothelioma is the best form of prevention and can produce the most favorable outcome of the disease.
read more "How to prevent Mesothelioma?"

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Which Surgery for Mesothelioma?
The possible operations for pleural mesothelioma are

* Extrapleural pneumonectomy
* Pleurectomy

Surgery is not suitable for everyone and won't cure your mesothelioma. The aim of the operation is to try and keep the disease under control and enable you to stay well for as long as possible. If you are having major surgery for mesothelioma, it should be as part of an overall treatment plan that includes radiotherapy and chemotherapy as well. From what we know from research so far, this is the best way to try to control mesothelioma for as long as possible.

Mesothelioma is often diagnosed too late to make a big operation worthwhile. If pleural mesothelioma is diagnosed early enough, you may be able to have an extrapleural pneumonectomy. If the cancer has already spread, a pleurectomy can help to control symptoms. But it will not cure your mesothelioma and may not actually make any difference to how long you live.

An operation can help some people who have peritoneal mesothelioma. This operation can only be done if it is diagnosed early enough.

There is more about what happens before and after surgery in this section of CancerHelp UK.

Extrapulmonary pneumectomy(EPP)

This is major surgery. It means removing the lung on the affected side. The pleura, diaphragm and covering of the heart (pericardium) are also removed.

EPP is not suitable for everyone with pleural mesothelioma. You need to be fit enough to walk up and down two flights of stairs without becoming breathless. Your cancer must be at an early stage. This means that is must not have spread to lymph nodes, or be growing into any other major body parts outside the lung.

To do the operation, your surgeon will open your chest, either at the front or at the side. An opening at the side is called a thoracotomy. An opening at the front is called a sternotomy. You will have a wound about 9 inches long. You will have to stay in hospital for about 2 weeks afterwards. It will take you about 6 to 8 weeks to fully recover.

This major surgery cannot cure your mesothelioma. But it can help you to live longer. The people who have lived longest after a diagnosis of mesothelioma have had this operation, together with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. You and your family need to understand that this is a very big operation and has risks. About 6 or 7 out of every 100 people who have this particular operation die during or just after the surgery.


You may be offered pleurectomy to help control symptoms. It can help to control fluid build up in the chest and relieve some chest pain. This is a major operation, but can be done using keyhole surgery. If you have keyhole surgery you will have 3 wounds, each about an inch long (2cm).

The surgeon will take away as much of the tumour as possible. This means removing the outside covering of the lung - the pleura - on one side on one side of the chest. You will have to stay in hospital for about 7 days afterwards. It will take you about 3 to 4 weeks to fully recover.

Surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma

Surgery is not possible for everyone with peritoneal mesothelioma. If surgery is possible, the operation is called a peritonectomy. This means removing the peritoneum (the lining of the abdomen). In recent years some doctors have been developing a technique known as cytoreductive surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma. Cytoreductive surgery involves the surgeon carrying out up to 6 different peritonectomy procedures, to remove as much of the cancer as possible. Then chemotherapy may be given straight into the peritoneal cavity. Some studies have suggested that this can work better if it is heated to a few degrees above body temperature first. This is called hyperthermic intraoperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIIC). Doctors have achieved some promising results using these techniques; in one review, about half of the patients who had been treated in this way were still alive 5 years after. But this is still very experimental treatment and, if it is available, may only be so as part of a clinical trial.
read more "Treatment:surgery"

Mesothelioma Symptoms and Diagnosis

The primary risk factor for developing mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. In the past, asbestos was used as a very effective type of insulation. The use of this material, however, has been declining since the link between asbestos and mesothelioma has become known. It is thought that when the fibers of asbestos are inhaled, some of them reach the ends of the small airways and penetrate into the pleural lining. There the fibers may directly harm mesothelial cells and eventually cause mesothelioma. If the fibers are swallowed, they can reach the abdominal cavity, where they can contribute to the formation of peritoneal mesothelioma.

Exposure to certain types of radiation as well as to a chemical related to asbestos known as zeolite has also been related to incidences of mesothelioma.

The early symptoms of mesothelioma are often ignored, because they may be caused by a variety of ailments. These symptoms include:

* pain in the lower back or at the side of the chest
* shortness of breath
* difficulty swallowing
* cough
* fever
* fatigue
* abdominal pain,weight loss and nasuea & vomiting(symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma)
read more "Mesothelioma Symptoms and Diagnosis"

About Mesothelioma


Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer. In mesothelioma, malignant cells are found in the sac lining of the chest (the pleura) or the abdomen (the peritoneum). The majority of people with mesothelioma have a history of jobs that exposed them to asbestos,as insulation material.


In the chest and abdominal cavities, as well as in the cavity around the heart (pericardial sac), there is a layer of specialized cells called mesothelial cells. These cells also surround the outer surface of most internal organs. These cells form tissue called mesothelium.
The mesothelium performs a protective function for the internal organs by producing a lubricating fluid that permits the organs to move around. For example, this fluid makes it easier for the lungs to move inside the chest while a person breathes. The mesothelium of the abdomen is known as the peritoneum, and the mesothelium of the chest is called the pleura. The pericardium refers to the mesothelium of the pericardial cavity.
There are three primary types of malignant mesotheliomas:
  • Epithelioid. About 50% to 70% of mesotheliomas are of this type and have the best outlook for survival.
  • Sarcomatoid. Approximately 7% to 20% of cases are of this type.
  • Mixed/biphasic. From 20% to 35% of mesothelioma cases fall into this category.
Approximately three fourths of all mesotheliomas begin in the chest cavity and are known as pleural mesotheliomas. Peritoneal mesotheliomas begin in the abdomen, and make up around 10% to 20% of all cases. Mesotheliomas arising in the cavity around the heart are quite rare.

Mesothelioma is a fairly rare form of cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, there are an estimated 2, 000 to 3, 000 new cases per year of the disease in the United States, but this figure seems to be rising. This rising figure is related to the widespread use of asbestos from the 1940s to the end of the 1970s. European researchers studying the disease expect deaths from mesothelioma to peak around the year 2020 and then drop off, because asbestos use has been cut back greatly since the early 1980s.
The average age of a person with mesothelioma is 50 to 70 years old. It affects men three to five times more often than women and is less common in African-Americans than in Caucasian American
read more "About Mesothelioma"