Diagnosing & Treatment
Doctors often have a difficult time reaching a conclusive diagnosis of mesothelioma, as many of the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma are shared by or similar to other diseases, making it difficult to differentiate the symptoms and locate the source, which makes it difficult in diagnosing and treating Mesothelioma. Diagnosis usually begins by evaluating a person’s medical history and any history of asbestos exposure.
If a person has had previous asbestos exposure and any of the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma are present, a physical exam will then be conducted as well as lung function tests and possibly chest and abdominal x-rays. This is usually followed by a CT scan or MRI which will allow the doctor to see if the linings of the lungs, linings of the abdominal cavity, and/or the linings of the heart appear thick.
If these linings look abnormally thick, it is often indicative of mesothelioma and biopsies are often the next step in diagnosing. When the process of diagnosing and treating mesothelioma begins, there are different types of biopsies needed for each of the three main types of mesothelioma. Doctors try to use the least invasive biopsy necessary to conclusively diagnose or rule out mesothelioma.
A biopsy to determine the presence of pleural mesothelioma is often done by testing the pleural fluid through thoracentesis or tube thoracostomy. A biopsy to determine the presence of peritoneal mesothelioma is often done by testing the ascites fluid through paracentesis of the ascitic drain.
Lastly, a biopsy to determine the presence of pericardial mesothelioma is often done by testing the pericardial fluid through pericardial effusion with pericardiocentesis. In all cases, the fluids are tested for malignant cells which would indicate mesothelioma if present.
Treatments for Mesothelioma
If you or your family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the next step is to discuss treatment options with your doctor and develop a treatment plan. There have been recent breakthroughs in medical treatment for all types of mesothelioma. There are traditional treatments as well as experimental treatments, alternative therapies, and clinical trials available for some types of mesothelioma patients to participate in. Traditional options for the treatment of mesothelioma include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and multimodality therapy. Some types of alternative medicine treatments have also been successful in certain cases.
Surgery for Mesothelioma
Surgery is often a successful treatment option for the early stages of malignant mesothelioma and for benign mesothelioma. However, if mesothelioma is diagnosed in the later stages, surgery is not a viable option for treatment. Often doctors will recommend a combination of therapies like chemotherapy and/or radiation coupled with surgery. The most common type of surgery used to treat mesothelioma is called pleurectomy. A pleurectomy involves removing the lining of the chest including the hem-diaphragm and the pericardium. It is a dangerous operation. Another type of surgery often performed on mesothelioma patients is an extrapleural pneumonectomy. This is a more radical surgery where the lung is removed. The surgery is usually only done on younger patients with a good prognosis.
Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma
Chemotherapy is a common treatment for multiple types of cancer, and it is used by doctors in the treatment of all types of mesothelioma. Chemotherapy is administered orally or through IV medications. Studies have shown that chemotherapy seems to be the most effective treatment option for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma. Chemotherapy is often supplemented with different combinations of vitamins to increase its effectiveness. It is also used in conjunction with surgery and radiation.
Radiation for Mesothelioma
Radiation is often used to prevent tumor growth in patients who are in the later stages of mesothelioma. It is also administered to patients who have undergone surgery to treat mesothelioma. Studies have shown that radiation therapy alone is not significantly effective in treating mesothelioma. However, when it is combined with other forms of treatment, such as surgery, it has sometimes extended the patient’s life expectancy.
Immunotherapy is another type of treatment for patients with mesothelioma. There are two ways to administer immunotherapy. The first is called active immunotherapy which is treated with drugs that stimulate the patient’s immune system to fight the disease. However, the type of immunotherapy for mesothelioma is passive immunotherapy that targets particular cells instead of the whole immune system. Immunotherapy for mesothelioma is commonly administered through clinical trials.
Alternative therapies are also used to combat mesothelioma. These therapies include massage, mediation, and acupuncture. Alternative treatments are often used in conjunction with other more traditional treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation, to treat the disease.
The side effects of mesothelioma treatment are often as difficult to bear as the actual treatment. Side effects include nausea, pain, hair loss, loss of appetite, sleep apnea, memory loss, and compromised immune function. These symptoms often last long after treatment is concluded.
Mesothelioma Litigation Then and Now
There are many mesothelioma cases being litigated in Louisiana today. Mesothelioma litigation is complicated, and defendants in these cases, along with their insurance companies, hire teams of lawyers to try to prove that they are not responsible for the injuries mesothelioma patients suffer. It is important that if you or your family member is suffering from mesothelioma, you have an experienced mesothelioma attorney on your side to prove your case by presenting the proper evidence and information it takes to show that asbestos exposure caused your mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma litigation has been going on in the United States since the late 1920s, shortly after the link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma was discovered. However, even after this link was established by numerous studies, the government and businesses themselves were slow to implement regulations and safety measures. In fact, it was not until the late 1970s, that any types of government regulations were put in place in the United States. Even then, many companies attempted to dodge these regulations, and asbestos was still put into building materials and other manufactured products, or the cleanup of asbestos was not done in a proper and thorough manner. These companies should be held responsible for the lives they have ruined and the families they have hurt as a result of their negligence. At Cueria Law Firm, LLC, we will see to it that the parties at fault pay for what they have done.
Find Out More
The attorneys and staff at Cueria Law Firm, LLC, are fully equipped to handle your case and bring it to a resolution that is in your best interest. Our attorneys know what it takes to win your case. Experts play an important role in mesothelioma cases. The Cueria Law Firm, LLC, has developed working relationships with the types of experts whose testimony is necessary for your case to be resolved in a favorable manner. Gathering information and investigating your work-related injuries are also important aspects of your case. Our attorneys and staff know what needs to be done to show that asbestos exposure at your workplace was the cause of your injuries. We are not only available to help you navigate the tricky and challenging aspects of litigation, but we are also available to help you and your family members cope with this terrible disease. The symptoms and effects of mesothelioma and the treatments associated with the disease place a lot of strain and pressure on victims and their families. We will work with you to alleviate as much of the stress associated with litigation and with the disease as we can.
Mesothelioma litigation is still going on today with many hundreds of cases being filed each year. It is important that you find a mesothelioma attorney who you can trust to handle your case properly and efficiently. You need an attorney who will give your case personalized attention and focus. Contact Cueria Law Firm L.L.C. today.