Mesothelioma Lawyer in Alexandria

Do you need a mesothelioma lawyer in Alexandria?

Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that develops in the mesothelium, which is a thin, protective layer of tissue that lines the abdominal, thoracic and other body cavities. When mesothelioma develops, the mesothelium’s abnormal cells divide without order or control, invading nearby organs and/or spreading to other areas. Although it is possible for mesothelioma to develop from other causes, between 75 percent and 90 percent of the cases are the result of exposure to asbestos; most cases involve those who worked with asbestos or the people living in the home of an asbestos worker who had contact with the worker’s contaminated clothing, including children delivering a welcome-home hug to their father or spouses who laundered their husband’s work clothes.

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Mesothelioma is categorized according to the location in which the cancer develops. Usually, mesothelioma falls into one of the following three types.

Pleural mesothelioma: The pleura is a thin membrane that lines the chest wall and lungs. Between 80 and 90 percent of all cases of mesothelioma are found in the pleura, making pleural mesothelioma the most common form of the disease. Approximately 2,500 Americans are diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma annually.
Peritoneal mesothelioma: Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer of the peritoneum, which is the lining of the abdominal cavity. It is second in number to pleural mesothelioma in terms of mesothelioma cases, but there are only 500 or so cases of peritoneal mesothelioma diagnosed annually in the United States.
Pericardial mesothelioma: Of the three major types of mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma is the least common, accounting for less than 2 percent of total cases. Pericardial mesothelioma is found in the pericardium or the tissue lining the heart. Fewer than 50 Americans annually are diagnosed with this form of mesothelioma.

A fourth type, testicular mesothelioma, is so rare that doctors do not yet understand the connection between the cancer and asbestos. Worldwide, only a few hundred cases have ever been diagnosed.

The Link Between Asbestos and Mesothelioma

Asbestos is extremely friable, meaning that it easily breaks into microscopic fibers that are often too small to be seen without magnification. When products containing asbestos are cut, abraded or broken, a dust containing millions of these tiny fibers becomes airborne. If inhaled or swallowed, these asbestos fibers can settle in the lungs or stomach. The body’s immune system cannot absorb or otherwise remove the fibers, so scarring results. As the fibers move, additional scarring occurs. Eventually, the fibers increase in size, disrupt the body’s defenses against cancer, cause harmful inflammation and exacerbate the growth of malignant tumors.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 50 years or more following exposure to asbestos, and symptoms virtually never appear before at least 10 years have elapsed. The symptoms of mesothelioma depend primarily on the particular type of mesothelioma, but patients may not display all of the symptoms associated with the different forms of mesothelioma.

Pleural: Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include breathing difficulties, hoarseness, difficulty in swallowing, fatigue, night sweats, low oxygen levels in the blood and fluid in the lungs.
Peritoneal: Common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include nausea, anemia, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, blood clots, fever, low blood sugar, abdominal pain and fluid buildup in the abdominal area.
Pericardial: The common symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma include chest pain, coughing, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, heart palpitations and night sweats.
Testicular: Due to its rarity, no standardized set of common symptoms has been developed. However, the one symptom that manifests frequently is a painless lump or mass that develops on the scrotum.

Prognosis for Mesothelioma Patients

Although new treatments and improved diagnostic methods have contributed to better outcomes, most patients live only 12 to 20 months after mesothelioma is discovered. Approximately 9 percent survive for more than 5 years, but there are cases of patients who have lived 20 years or more after they were diagnosed. The patient’s age when diagnosed, the type of mesothelioma, the patient’s overall health and how quickly the disease is diagnosed all play a part in the patient’s prognosis.

The Importance of Contacting a Mesothelioma Lawyer in Alexandria

To date, asbestos litigation in the United States has involved more than 700,000 claims against companies such as W.R. Grace, Johns-Manville, Celotex, National Gypsum and approximately 8,000 other defendants. It has been the longest mass tort in the history of the United States legal system.

Evidence indicates that the dangers of asbestos were known as early as 1898. However, mining companies and manufacturers did not take steps to protect workers until legally required to do so during the 1970s. Although there were dozens of medical publications that described the hazards posed by asbestos, some companies ignored the warnings or concealed the potential risks from workers for decades. Due to the secretive actions of asbestos companies, the actual number of Americans who died from mesothelioma may never be known, but researchers believe that exposure to asbestos has killed as many as 700,000 people worldwide and 100,000 in the United States.

Studies have shown that the quality of the health care that mesothelioma patients receive has a direct bearing on their life expectancy and the quality of their remaining years. However, the bills can mount quickly. Tests, treatments, follow-up exams, costly medications and other medical expenses add up rapidly. It may be necessary to travel far from home to obtain the best care, and many patients can no longer work or make any meaningful financial contribution to their care.
If you or someone you love has received a mesothelioma diagnosis, we urge you to contact a qualified attorney in Alexandria to pursue a claim. Every mesothelioma patient has the right to quality medical care and the right to concentrate on healing rather than worrying over the costs.

We Also Help Victims of Mesothelioma in these Areas of Louisiana
Alexandria | Baton RougeLafayetteLake Charles | New Orleans | Shreveport

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