Mesothelioma is a rare but terrible cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure. One of the most tragic aspects of this rare cancer is that it is usually preventable; workers typically are exposed to asbestos on the job. Being exposed to this toxic mineral at work can cause pleural mesothelioma or peritoneal mesothelioma. The disease may not be diagnosed up to 40 years after exposure.
If your dad has mesothelioma, he may be entitled to compensation in a mesothelioma lawsuit. If your mesothelioma attorney can prove that a certain company or companies exposed him to asbestos, he may be entitled to compensation for his medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Keep reading to learn more about what to do if your dad has mesothelioma.
How Dad’s Asbestos Exposure Causes Mesothelioma
The American Cancer Society reports that asbestos exposure is the major way people get mesothelioma. It is estimated that eight out of 10 people who were diagnosed with mesothelioma had asbestos exposure at work or home. When the victim breathes in or swallows the asbestos fibers, the travel into the tiny air passages of the lungs and reach the pleura. There they get stuck for many years. The body tries to get rid of them but asbestos is extremely durable both inside and outside the body. Over the decades, inflammation and scarring can cause mesothelioma.
Damage to the DNA cells leads to genetic mutations and uncontrolled cell growth, which leads to cancer. (Cancer.org). If your dad swallows the asbestos fibers, they can reach the lining of his abdomen, where peritoneal mesothelioma can develop.
Your dad’s chances of getting mesothelin cancer depends on how much asbestos he was exposed to and for how many months. People who are exposed when they are younger and the exposure continues for years at high levels have a greater chance of developing mesothelioma. (Cancer.org).
Whether your dad was exposed to asbestos at work or at home, he will have a higher chance of getting mesothelioma.
Signs and Symptoms of Dad’s Mesothelioma
One of the issues with mesothelioma is many of its early symptoms are likely to mimic less serious problems. So your dad might ignore them or mistake them for a minor illness. Most people with asbestos cancer have symptoms for a few months before they are diagnosed: (Cancer.org)
Pleural Mesothelioma symptoms:
- Pain in the lower back or side of the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble swallowing
- Swelling in arms and face
Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms:
- Belly pain
- Swelling or fluid in the abdomen
- Nausea or vomiting
Pericardial mesothelioma symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Heart murmur
- Shortness of breath
General symptoms of mesothelioma
- Excessive sweating
- Weight loss
- Blood clots
- No appetite
Dad’s Diagnosis of Mesothelioma
One of the most important factors in your dad living longer with mesothelioma is if it is found early. Mesothelioma is rare, so there are no regular screening tests for this cancer for the general public.
But for people who have been exposed to asbestos, some doctors say you should have regular imaging tests, such as X-rays of the chest or a CT scan to look for changes in the lungs that could be signs of lung cancer or mesothelioma. But it is unclear how useful these tests are in finding asbestos cancer early.
Doctors find that people with asbestos cancer have higher levels of certain substances in the blood, such as fibulin-3 and soluble mesothelin-related peptides. Researchers are continuing to study how doing blood tests for these substances could help to find asbestos cancers early. They also might be useful to monitor the progression of the disease in people who already have mesothelioma.
If your father was exposed to asbestos, he should talk to his doctor about it so the medical provider can be on alert for any new symptoms that might point to a more serious health condition.
Dad’s Treatment Options for Mesothelioma
Treatment for your dad’s mesothelin cancer depends on his health and the stage and location of cancer. It is an aggressive disease and a cure may not be possible. Instead, the doctor may focus on making your dad more comfortable. Common treatment options are:
- Surgery: Most effective if caught in the early stages and it is possible to cut the entire tumor out. If not, surgery can still help to reduce signs and symptoms and spreading cancer elsewhere.
- Chemotherapy: Uses chemicals to kill mesothelioma cells. Chemotherapy can be used before surgery to shrink tumors so they are easier to remove.
- Radiation: High energy beams such as x-rays and protons are focused on certain spots of the body. Often used after surgery to kill any cancer cells that are left.
Dad’s Survival Rates for Mesothelioma
Survival rates for cancer can give you an idea of what number of people with the same type of cancer are still alive after five years after diagnosis. You cannot tell for certain how long your dad will live, but you may get a better understanding of how likely treatment will be a success.
A five-year survival rate compares patients with the same type of stage of malignant pleural mesothelioma to people in the general population. For instance, if the five-year relative survival rate for a certain stage of mesothelioma is 30%, it means that people who have this cancer are about 30% as likely to live five years after their diagnosis.
According to the American Cancer Society, people diagnosed with mesothelioma between 2009 and 2015 had the following five-year survival rates:
- Localized: 20%
- Regional: 12%
- Distant: 8%
- Overall for all stages: 10%
The numbers make it clear that the sooner your dad is diagnosed with cancer, the better the odds are he will live five years or longer.
It is wise to talk to a mesothelioma attorney as soon as your dad has a diagnosis as he could be eligible for compensation in a lawsuit.
Get Your Dad Mesothelioma Compensation He Deserves
With over $30 billion available for victims through the Asbestos Trust Funds, you could be entitled to financial compensations without ever filing a lawsuit. Mesothelioma & Lung Cancer victims qualify immediately. Complete the form or call us toll-free (800) 352-0871