People with mesothelioma often have questions about their legal choices. The legal process can be intimidating. Know that you are not alone. Help available.
The dangers of asbestos exposure were known long before any efforts were made to protect workers. Thousands of American workers were exposed to asbestos during the 20th century, and were often unaware of the hazards of exposure.

Companies that produced asbestos-containing products or used these products on a daily basis are liable for their negligence in failing to protect their workers. If you or a loved one has developed mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease as a result of asbestos exposure, you may wish to speak with an attorney to seek compensation to help cover medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.

Many people who are victims of exposure have sought advice from the mesothelioma law firm to get justice and help them cover the extraordinary costs associated with this disease.

Most victims are exposed to asbestos at work. In many cases, producers of asbestos and materials containing asbestos know about the hidden dangers and risks of asbestos, but fail to inform the public. Therefore, workers who develop health problems from asbestos exposure may qualify for financial compensation to cover expenses such as loss of wages, medical bills, emotional suffering, physical pain, and more.

If you suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may qualify for a large amount of compensation. Currently, there are more than $ 30 billion in asbestos trust funds, which are prepared for those who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Package. Our package contains information about leading mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to make a claim for an asbestos trust fund, how to get payment in 90 days, and more.



What Does the Law Office Mesothelioma Do?

A law firm that specializes in the focus of mesothelioma, especially on victims of this type of cancer and those with other asbestos-related diseases. For the best chance of positive results for asbestos cases, it is important to avoid completion of a law firm that handles all types of personal injury cases. You need a legal team that specializes in mesothelioma cases, because these types of lawsuits are complicated and require an in-depth understanding of asbestos exposure and disease.

Lawyers at the asbestos law firm have in-depth knowledge of federal and state laws regarding the use of asbestos and how it has been used in various industries where workers are exposed. They also have sharp investigative skills and are able to dig deeper to reveal when and where companies expose workers to asbestos. You need the guidance and advice of a law firm of this type to have the best chance for a claim or a successful lawsuit.

Mesothelioma lawyer

Mesothelioma Treatment - The most common treatment for mesothelioma involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Supportive care can help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life for many mesothelioma patients.

There are several types of treatment available for patients with mesothelioma, some recommended more than others. The most commonly used treatments are surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In addition, some experimental treatments are becoming more common in clinical trials. These treatments include photodynamic therapy, gene therapy, and immunotherapy, among others.

After a patient begins to demonstrate mesothelioma symptoms and a diagnosis occurs, the next step is possible. Treatment options range from surgery to chemotherapy and Asbestos.com offers mesothelioma patients and their loved ones comprehensive information about current treatment options and new developments in a complimentary informational packet available here

The most common mesothelioma treatments recommended by doctors for patients include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Patients often have multiple treatments for combat the disease, which is known as multimodality therapy. The combination of aggressive treatments helps combat cancer in various ways, helping to improve the patient's life expectancy.

Experimental procedures, such as immunotherapy, photodynamic therapy and gene therapy are also utilized by mesothelioma patients. However, since these treatments are still in the experimental stage, they are usually only available through clinical trials.

Recent clinical trials on mesothelioma have investigated photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy, both finding resutls that warrent further research. Patients who participate in a clinical trial contribute to the discovery of mesothelioma cure through testing and medications.

Treatment helps people live longer with malignant mesothelioma. While curative treatment results are rare, a treatment approach called multimodal therapy can help certain patients live for years with cancer.

Multimodal therapy combines treatments to kill cancer cells in various ways. Specialists consider it the best treatment for mesothelioma.

Patients diagnosed at an early stage often qualify for a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Multimodal therapy for end-stage patients may involve chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

The most common treatment options for mesothelioma include:
  • Operation 
  • Chemotherapy 
  • Radiation therapy
 
New and experimental therapies are available through clinical trials. Some of these therapies include targeted therapy, immunotherapy and photodynamic therapy.

Various types of mesothelioma require special care. Various operations and chemotherapy drugs are used in the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma compared to peritoneal mesothelioma treatment.

Life expectancy of untreated Mesothelioma is about four to six months for the average patient diagnosed in stage 3 or stage 4. Treatment of transfer at this stage often helps patients live at least one year.

Those diagnosed in stage 1 or stage 2 who undergo aggressive treatment can live for years with mesothelioma.


What are the types of mesothelioma surgery at this time?

Current types of surgery for pleural mesothelioma include extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) and pleurectomy and decortation (P / D). Thoracotomy is the first part of EPP or P / D surgery. This allows the doctor to operate the organs in the chest. Surgeons can also use a diagnostic procedure called video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS), which inserts a small camera through small pieces in the chest to see the lungs. VAT allows doctors to look into the chest and take biopsy samples. The main operation for peritoneal mesothelioma is cytoreductive surgery, also known as debulking surgery.


 Mesothelioma Treatment

Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP)

EPP removes lung cancer and all nearby areas where mesothelioma spreads. This can include nearby lymph nodes, part of the lining of the chest, lining of the heart and diaphragm.

Pleurectomy and Decortication (P / D)

P / D widens the lungs and only removes cancerous parts in the pleural layer, chest wall and diaphragm.

Cytoreductive Surgery

Cytoreductive surgery removes cancerous growth from the lining of the stomach. Also known as debulking surgery or peritonectomy, this procedure is often followed by heated chemotherapy.


What are the Options for Chemotherapy for Mesothelioma?

The standard and most effective first-line chemotherapy regimen for patients with pleural mesothelioma is a combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed (Alimta). The combination of pemetrexed and carboplatin often results in the same results but with fewer side effects.

These drugs are usually sent by infusion into the bloodstream. Sometimes, doctors heat chemotherapy drugs and release them locally after surgery rather than throughout the bloodstream.

In the 2016 study, researchers at Wayne State University found mesothelioma patients who received one combination of chemotherapy lasted three times longer than patients without chemotherapy.

If cancer grows, patients can undergo second-line chemotherapy with other drugs, including:
  • Carboplatin 
  • Gemcitabine 
  • Doxorubicin

Other chemotherapy drugs tested in mesothelioma include onconase, navelbine, raltitrexed and mitomycin.

HIPEC

Heated Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) is the most effective treatment option for peritoneal mesothelioma patients.

In this procedure, heated chemotherapy drugs are sent directly into the abdominal cavity after cytoreductive surgery to kill the remaining cancer cells.

According to a 2013 study at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, the average survival rate for peritoneal patients undergoing HIPEC and cytoreductive surgery was 41 months. Those who returned for the second procedure survived an average of 80 months.

Intrapitoneal chemotherapy can also be given without surgery and with chemotherapy at normal room temperature.

HITHOC

Hyperthermic intrathoracic chemotherapy (HITHOC) is an experimental version of HIPEC for people with pleural mesothelioma.

HITHOC provides heated chemotherapy throughout the chest cavity after pleurectomy and decortication.

At present, HITHOC is not as successful as HIPEC, but doctors are optimistic that the procedure can be improved. Some studies have reported longer survival among patients receiving HITHOC.


Other Mesothelioma Treatment Options

Chemotherapy and surgery are mainly used to prolong survival, while radiation therapy and other therapies are mainly used to control symptoms. However, radiation therapy can reduce the risk of local recurrence in addition to increasing chest pain.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy particles or waves, such as X-rays, gamma rays or protons, to target cancer cells.

This is used to control chest pain by shrinking mesothelioma tumors that press against the chest wall. When combined with surgery, radiation therapy can reduce the risk of local recurrence.

Some doctors apply radiation before surgery to shrink the tumor to make it easier to remove.

Radiation often does not have strong chemotherapy side effects, and can help reduce the physical pain of mesothelioma. Sometimes palliative is used to reduce mesothelioma symptoms when surgery is no longer an option.

However, because radiation can be toxic to various organs and damage DNA when killing cancer cells, it is used with caution. Pleural mesothelioma patients are more likely to receive radiation than peritoneal patients because it is difficult to apply radiation to the stomach without damaging vital organs.

Choice of Mesothelioma Pleural Treatment

Other mesothelioma cancer treatment options control pleural symptoms and help doctors diagnose cancer. Noninvasive surgery is available to drain fluid that builds up in the chest, reducing disturbing symptoms.

Pleurodesis


Treat pleural effusion by removing fluid from the space between the visceral and parietal layers of the lung layer and closing the pleural space to prevent further buildup.


Thoracentesis

This older method for treating fluid pleural effusions drains but does not close the pleural space.


Treatment Options for Peritoneal Mesothelioma

In addition to cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC, another treatment option called paracentesis is available to relieve pain and pressure caused by excess stomach fluid.

Paracentesis

 Mesothelioma Treatment

This procedure removes ascites, which is a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity. A tube drains fluid through a small abdominal incision.


Treatment Options for Pericardial Mesothelioma

There are limited treatment options for pericardial mesothelioma, a rare type of asbestos-related cancer that forms in the lining of the sac around the heart.

Pericardiocentesis

Remove excess fluid from the sac surrounding the heart using a thin needle and drainage tube.

Pericardiectomy

Pericardiectomy is a surgical removal of a tumor for pericardial mesothelioma. This procedure aims to remove as much cancer tissue as possible from the lining of the pericardial sac.

Pericardial window

The pericardial window removes part of the heart's lining to drain excess fluid around the heart.


Complementary Mesothelioma treatment

Most mesothelioma patients choose complementary therapies that improve their overall health and enhance their immune system. Examples include palliative care, alternative therapies and maintaining your physical health.

Palliative care

Palliative care involves any therapy that is used to relieve symptoms or improve quality of life.

If cancer has spread significantly, doctors usually recommend palliative care options for mesothelioma that can help relieve pain, respiratory problems and other cancer symptoms that reduce your quality of life.

Alternative therapy

Alternative and complementary treatment options do not treat the disease itself but focus on the patient mentally, emotionally and physically. They can be used with more traditional approaches to cancer treatment. This type of treatment is not a substitute for modern medicine and should not be used in a doctor's place or other medical professionals.

Massage, acupuncture, yoga, naturopathy and aromatherapy can be used to relieve pain or reduce stress that comes from traditional treatments. Patients in many countries have access to medical marijuana, which can help control cancer pain.

Physical Health Care

Many mesothelioma patients take steps to improve their overall health. Some patients focus on their emotional and mental health by joining support groups.

Others change their diet to improve nutrition. Some patients start a gentle exercise program to reduce fatigue.


New Mesothelioma Treatment Options

Some new mesothelioma treatment options in development include immunotherapy and photodynamic therapy. They are used in clinical trials and can be standard treatment at some point. New treatments for mesothelioma are really tested in clinical trials to ensure safety and efficacy.

Clinical trial

Many mesothelioma patients are eligible for clinical trials that test for emerging treatments. Clinical trials also test new approaches to multimodal therapy and different combinations of chemotherapy drugs.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy helps your immune system fight cancer. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved several checkpoint inhibitors, such as pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo), for the treatment of various types of cancer. Mesothelioma can be next.

Photodynamic therapy

This therapy uses light energy to kill cancer cells. The doctor injects light-sensitive drugs into the patient. After a few days, special light is applied to the area, usually through a laser, to activate the drug and kill cancer cells.
 

Mesothelioma specialist

Doctors who specialize in mesothelioma include oncologists and thoracic surgeons. These doctors know how to treat mesothelioma and they often take a leadership role in mesothelioma clinical trials.

Some other types of doctors play a supportive role in mesothelioma treatments such as radiologists, palliative medicine doctors, pulmonologists, general practitioners, internal medicine specialists and occupational medicine doctors. Treating mesothelioma requires a multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment.

Oncologist

A small number of oncologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. These oncologists always follow all the latest malignant mesothelioma treatment guidelines. Your oncologist will be the main doctor who oversees your care and chemotherapy that you may receive.

Your oncologist will also coordinate with other doctors involved in your care such as radiologists, surgeons, and palliative care doctors.

Thoracic Surgeon

A number of thoracic surgeons specialize in surgical procedures for mesothelioma. These doctors trained under other mesothelioma surgeons for years to get the expertise needed to perform this complex operation.

Care Center

Top specialists working in a recognized mesothelioma center. Some of the most famous mesothelioma specialists, such as Dr. David Sugarbaker at the Lung Institute at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, trains young surgeons who have moved to other cities and treatment centers.

Dr. Jacques Fontaine at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and Dr. Abraham Lebenthal at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston took Sugarbaker's expertise to others throughout the country.
 

How much is the average cost for Mesothelioma treatment?

Treatment of malignant mesothelioma can be expensive if you do not have health insurance or financial resources. Costs are difficult to determine because each case is unique.

The cost of chemotherapy varies depending on the type of cancer, the drug used and the patient's specific factors. The total cost for pemetrexed (Alimta) plus cisplatin - the most widely used combination of chemotherapy for mesothelioma first-line treatment - was $ 40,102, according to a 2013 cost-effectiveness study that compared drug partners with other chemotherapy regimens.

The estimated monthly cost of radiation therapy is $ 2,000, but the total cost depends on your health coverage and the amount of care you receive.

According to a 2015 study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice, the average cost of a radiation therapy course for lung cancer patients is $ 9,000.

Mesothelioma Treatment

Mesothelioma Diagnosis - Mesothelioma diagnosis usually involves taking tumor imaging, recording a patient's history of asbestos exposure, and analyzing cancer tissue biopsy. This rare disease can be misinterpreted as an infection or a more common type of cancer, so diagnosing it requires a specialist.

The process of mesothelioma diagnosis usually begins with a review of a patient’s medical history followed by a physical examination.
Mesothelioma Diagnosis

If a problem is suspected, a doctor may request several diagnostic tests. These typically include medical imaging scans such as:
  • X-rays 
  • CT scans 
  • PET scans 
  • MRI scans

A combination of these tests is often used to determine the location, size and type of the cancer. Biopsy procedures are often requested following an imaging scan to test samples of fluid and tissue for the presence of cancerous cells.
Mesothelioma cancer specialists use several diagnostic tools to diagnose mesothelioma:
  • Imaging tests such as MRIs, CT scans, PET scans, X-rays
  • Biopsies to investigate cancerous growth in tissue samples

There is no clear way to diagnose mesothelioma cancer for each patient. Because this disease is rare and has common symptoms like that, doctors sometimes get confused for less serious diseases or different types of cancer.

The most common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include chest pain and difficulty breathing. Peritoneal mesothelioma patients usually experience abdominal pain and distension. Anyone who has a history of exposure to occupational asbestos must remain alert to these symptoms. Report to the doctor immediately.

Important Facts about Diagnosis of Mesothelioma
  • Only a biopsy can confirm the diagnosis of mesothelioma. 
  • Imaging scans and blood tests help identify and monitor cancer. 
  • Early stage diagnosis leads to more treatment options and a longer life span.

Disease determination involves several procedures. This may include X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, PET scans and biopsies. Each of these tests is carried out by different medical professionals. Most people get their diagnosis within two or three months after they see the symptoms.

Diagnosing cancer at the earliest stages provides a broader possibility of treatment that can extend your life expectancy. It is very important that you find an expert who understands the different stages of mesothelioma and can give you the best care.

Mesothelioma Diagnosis

 

What Steps to Lead to Mesothelioma Diagnosis?

There are three steps to diagnosis of mesothelioma:
  • Symptoms Start Indicating: The patient detects symptoms of mesothelioma, which often resembles the symptoms of other diseases. Symptoms develop when the cancer reaches the next stage of development, usually stage 3 or 4. 
  • Patients Consult Primary Care Doctors: Primary care physicians discuss symptoms with patients. These doctors perform initial tests. If cancer is suspected, they refer the patient to an oncologist. 
  • Oncologists make a final diagnosis: Oncologists carry out various tests based on the patient's health. Tests may include scan imaging, blood tests and biopsies to confirm the diagnosis of mesothelioma. 

The doctor starts the diagnostic process by asking about your medical history and by carrying out some standard physical examinations. They must ask if you remember any personal past exposure to asbestos.

Providing your doctor with a comprehensive work history is important for the diagnostic process. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer with nonspecific symptoms. Doctors may not suspect illness unless a patient explains previous work where asbestos exposure may have occurred.

Next, the doctor will order an imaging test to identify abnormal growth. If they show a suspicious mass that looks like mesothelioma, the doctor will ask for a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. They will take fluid and tissue samples during a biopsy.

During this process, you will see several doctors. Patients usually visit general practitioners, pulmonologists, radiologists, surgeons, pathologists, and oncologists. If there is a doctor who suspects mesothelioma or other asbestos disease, it is a sign for the patient to get a second opinion from a mesothelioma specialist, an expert who has the experience of staging cancer and caring for people who have it.

Doctors who specialize in mesothelioma have dedicated the time needed to understand the ins and outs of diagnosing and treating this disease. They have studied under other mesothelioma experts, conducted clinical research and supervised clinical trials. They also work with more mesothelioma patients than the average cancer doctor.

Cancer centers that specialize in mesothelioma staff team of doctors who are experts in subspecialty diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma. This sub-specialty includes pathological, surgical and radiological oncology. Pathologists at these centers have more experience diagnosing mesothelioma than most in the US. These doctors learn from each other. They work together to provide each patient with individual care.


Timeline for Diagnosing Mesothelioma

The timeline for diagnosing mesothelioma varies from patient to patient. This is based on symptoms, the experience of the doctor with the disease, the type of test needed to ascertain the disease and the time to wait for the test results.

The following are possible, and general, chronological explanations for the long process of diagnosing mesothelioma:

Day 1:
Initial symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain often occur. Usually not diagnosed at the time, but the doctor may order X-rays.

Day 2:
X-rays determine the fluid in the lungs can become pneumonia.

Day 3-Day 13:
Doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat pneumonia (10-day treatment) or drain fluid into the pleural cavity. No cancer cells are detected in the liquid.

Day 14:
X-rays after treatment show clean lungs. The doctor ordered X-rays follow-up and asked the patient to return in 30 days.

Day 44:
X-ray follow-up shows fluid buildup in the pleural cavity again. Doctors drain fluid, which may again test negative for cancer cells, or treat pneumonia with antibiotics again (add 10 days). The doctor ordered PET scan and CT scan.

Day 54:
Imaging scans show possible causes or recurrent pneumonia. The patient is referred to the surgeon to make an appointment, which can take up to 15 days.

69th day:
The surgeon schedules a biopsy appointment, which can take up to 10 days.

Day 79:
The surgeon takes a biopsy, usually done through VATS (a procedure that uses a thin optical fiber tube to enter the chest cavity and take a biopsy sample). This usually requires three days of treatment at the hospital for patients. Laboratory work to ensure mesothelioma can take up to 10 days if the surgeon sends a biopsy to an outside laboratory.

Day 89:
(About three months later): Mesothelioma is confirmed if a positive biopsy test for this disease.


The First Diagnostic Appointment

Most patients make an appointment with their general physician several weeks or months after they first notice something wrong with their health. They might be experiencing abdominal or chest pain. Other times they have an unexplained acute shortness of breath or have trouble catching their breath after light exertion.


Prepare For Your First Appointment
  • Assemble all necessary documents, including insurance cards and ID.
  • Make a mental note to discuss any asbestos exposure you may have experienced, including length, time and location of exposure.
  • Plan to spend between 30 minutes and one hour at the doctor’s office.

This initial consultation often includes:
  • Medical History Review
  • Occupational History Review
  • Basic Physical Exam
  • Discussion of Symptoms

If you have a history of asbestos exposure, you will want to bring a summary of your work history and any documentation of your asbestos exposure. This information will help your doctor understand why you may be at risk of an asbestos-related cancer.

It’s impossible for someone to receive a mesothelioma diagnosis at their first consultation because of the biopsy testing required to detect cancerous mesothelioma cells. It won’t be the first disease that comes to mind for a primary care doctor or even for an oncologist. Some physicians may suggest pulmonary function tests, which measure how well your lungs are working. Chances are the general practitioner will send you to a specialist for more tests: Imaging scans or biopsies.


Testing for Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma testing is a long and complicated process. It usually involves several cancer specialists and a series of diagnostic tools. The most widely used tests include imaging scans, biopsies and blood tests.

Imaging scans help doctors visualize abnormal growths in tissues and organs. Some show areas with high metabolic activity, suggesting cancer may be present. This scan helps identify where biopsy samples must be collected, and if cancer is suspected, various blood tests can be ordered.

The most accurate test for confirming a diagnosis is a biopsy. This is a procedure where the doctor removes a fluid or tissue sample and studies it under a microscope. Researchers are also exploring various blood tests for substances that indicate mesothelioma. However, at present there is nothing accurate enough to confirm the diagnosis itself.

Imaging Test

Oncologists use imaging tests to check for signs of visible tumor. The diagnosis of mesothelioma relies on a series of diagnostic imaging tests, including:

X-ray
Produces basic images of solid areas, such as tumors, in the body

CT Scans
Use electromagnetic images to make detailed images of internal structures

MRI
Produce images of internal structures that are very active using magnets and radio waves

PET Scans
Highlight areas of the body that have high metabolic activity with the potential for cancer

CT scan is the first choice for most doctors. The "gold standard" for imaging mesothelioma is a combination of CT-PET. However, many mesothelioma tumors are seen by chance. This occurs when doctors use other types of scanning to identify unknown conditions.

With the results of this scan, the doctor can get a detailed view in the body. This gives them a better idea of ​​whether suspicious growth is cancerous or non-cancerous.

If you are scheduled for diagnostic imaging scanning:

  • Collect the same personal documents that you collected for your first diagnostic appointment. 
  • Plan for an appointment one to two hours. 
  • Follow the pre-scanning guidelines, such as fasting from food or water, provided by your doctor. 
  • Examine relaxation techniques if you are nervous about being on a closed scanner. 
  • Plan to hear results from your doctor in one to two weeks after appointment.

A doctor can order a biopsy to confirm specific information if a scan reveals a mass on a part of the body (pleura, peritoneum or pericardium) where mesothelioma tumor usually develops.


Biopsies

A biopsy is a small fluid or tissue sample that the doctor sends to the laboratory for evaluation during testing for mesothelioma. These tests can reveal whether a growth is cancerous, where the cancer in the body comes from and what type of cell is involved. The location of cancer and cell type plays a major role when it comes to planning mesothelioma treatment.

Doctors can take biopsy samples in several different ways:

Fine-Needle Aspiration

Extract cells through thin, hollow needles and syringes.

Thoracoscopy
Bring a sample with a tube equipped with a camera that the doctor inserted through the chest wall.
Mediastinoscop
Mediastinoscopies are similar to thoracoscopy, unless the doctor inserts a tube through an incision in the neck.

Thoracoscopy is considered the most accurate diagnostic biopsy for mesothelioma. This method allows the doctor to look into the pleural cavity and take a high-quality biopsy sample. This can produce an accurate diagnosis for up to 98 percent of mesothelioma patients.


Blood test

Researchers have spent a lot of time developing mesothelioma blood tests. These tests analyze your blood for protein and other substances (biomarkers). Early studies suggest this blood test has the potential to play a role in testing for mesothelioma. They are not reliable enough to confirm the diagnosis themselves.

MESOMARK

The FDA-approved MESOMARK test can detect dissolved mesothelin-related peptides (SMRP). SMRP is a protein biomarker and mesothelioma. Extensive research shows that SMRP is very helpful for monitoring tumor response to treatment, but cannot definitively diagnose mesothelioma. Too many false positives were recorded and some cases of cancer were not detected using MESOMARK. Potential tests to screen mesothelioma among people exposed to asbestos are also questionable. One study found it helped identify people at risk for mesothelioma and other studies did not.

SOMAMER

The SOMAMER test can detect more than 1,000 proteins in blood serum. These proteins may have diagnostic value in identifying mesothelioma. A 2012 study analyzed blood serum samples from 117 cases of malignant mesothelioma and 142 people exposed to asbestos. This sample detects 13 protein biomarkers that help accurately identify malignant mesothelioma.

This test accurately detects malignant mesothelioma in 90 percent of cases and excludes cancer in 95 percent of people without cancer. The level of biomarkers correlates with the stage of cancer. This shows the test may have value in monitoring the development of mesothelioma. Further analysis of more mesothelioma cases is needed to validate the SOMAmer test scores.

MPF human

The Human MPF ​​test measures a protein called megakaryocyte potentiation factor (MPF). MPF is produced by mesothelin precursor protein. MPF levels increase when mesothelioma tumors grow and are detected in about 91 percent of end-stage patients. This test can get rid of mesothelioma in 95 percent of people who do not have cancer. But, accurately identifying cancer is only 64 percent of people with mesothelioma. This test is not sensitive enough to help diagnose. This can help doctors monitor cancer progression and response to treatment.

Researchers continue to refine these tests to diagnose mesothelioma. They can still play a role in tracking how mesothelioma develops in patients


Mesothelioma staging

Diagnostic tools used before surgery help doctors estimate the stage of cancer development, which is called clinical staging. These tools are sophisticated, but directly examining the body through surgery is the most accurate way to determine the stage of cancer.

Imaging tests are the most non-invasive tool doctors have to estimate growth and spread, or stage, mesothelioma cancer. The images created by the scan provide a view of the inside of the body that shows where the tumor is growing. Radiologists use these images to identify how far the cancer has spread and then establish a stage based on what they see.

For example, if the image shows a small tumor growth in a small area in one lung, the cancer can be in stage 1 or 2. If the image shows the tumor spreads widely throughout the lungs, diaphragm and possibly to the stomach, cancer is likely in stage 4 .

Some minimally invasive diagnostic techniques are used to estimate stages such as thoracoscopy or mediastinoscopy. They can help determine whether the cancer has spread beyond the pleural layer or to the lymph nodes.

However, surgery is the most accurate way to diagnose mesothelioma. Unfortunately, surgery is an invasive procedure and cannot be performed on patients who are in poor health or have end-stage mesothelioma. Imaging scans work well enough to identify the spread of end-stage tumors. This prevents the patient from surgery because the cancer has progressed to the point that the surgical removal becomes life-threatening.

A 2012 study analyzing more than 3,000 cases of pleural mesothelioma was reported in staging mismatches based on clinical versus surgical staging. This shows the most accurate clinical staging for stages 3 and 4 of the case. About 80 percent of patients with clinical stage 1 cancer are found to have more advanced disease after surgery, known as upstaging. About 65 percent of patients with stage 2 clinical mesothelioma are defeated, but only 20 percent with stage 3 and none with stage 4 are defeated.


Misdiagnosis

Sometimes mesothelioma is misdiagnosed as a less serious disease or other cancer. Early symptoms of mesothelioma can resemble other conditions such as pneumonia or irritable bowel syndrome. It is common for cancer to be misdiagnosed as a non-kidney condition.

Initial misdiagnosis is common for people who have mesothelioma. When cancer develops and more serious symptoms develop, testing progresses to be guaranteed. Advanced testing leads to an accurate diagnosis.

However, mesothelioma can also be misdiagnosed as another form of cancer. This is most often misdiagnosed as a form of lung cancer that develops in the mucous secreting glands called adenocarcinoma. Pathologists are professionals who analyze tumor biopsy samples. If they are inexperienced by distinguishing mesothelioma from other cancers, misdiagnosis can occur.

Working with a cancer center that specializes in mesothelioma can confirm or reject the diagnosis. Professionals working in cancer centers have the experience needed to diagnose the disease accurately.


After diagnosis of mesothelioma

The next step after the diagnosis of mesothelioma for many people is the second opinion. Choosing a cancer center that specializes in mesothelioma can confirm the diagnosis and give you access to innovative therapies and clinical trials.

After diagnosis of mesothelioma, make sure you learn the types of mesothelioma and therapies that can help you live longer. The more you know, the more ready you feel.

Discuss your treatment plan in detail with your health care team. Comprehensive communication will help you feel more comfortable and safe with the plan. Ask about complementary therapies that can help with side effects. For example, acupressure can help overcome nausea due to chemotherapy.

Trust whatever medicine or supplement you use. They can interfere with treatment.

Always ask your health care team or a patient advocate about financial assistance options such as travel grants. And don't forget to contact family, friends and health professionals to get support.

Building a mesothelioma support network will help you and your loved ones overcome this cancer.

Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Mesothelioma Symptoms - The first symptoms of mesothelioma include chest or abdominal pain, bloating and shortness of breath, depending on the location of the cancer. Because the signs of the early stages can be minimal, doctors often mistakenly think of them as normal pain and pain or symptoms of less serious illness.

Mesothelioma tumors begin as small nodules on the walls of the lungs or stomach. Cancer does not cause symptoms until the tumor grows and spreads. This is usually around stage 3 and 4 cancers, when the tumor begins to squeeze the chest wall or abdominal cavity.

Recognizing the symptoms of mesothelioma early in the development of cancer is almost impossible because this disease does not produce the initial symptoms to be identified.
Mesothelioma Symptoms

When signs of cancer begin to appear, the most common mesothelioma symptoms include:

  • Dry cough or wheezing 
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea) 
  • Respiratory complications 
  • Pain in the chest or abdomen 
  • Fever or night sweats 
  • Pleural effusion (fluid around the lungs) 
  • Fatigue 
  • Muscle weakness

Most early mesothelioma diagnoses occur accidentally through routine X-rays or blood tests. When someone identifies warning signs, cancer often spreads, making it difficult for doctors to treat it.

Informing your primary care physician about the history of asbestos exposure and looking for cancer examinations can help lead to a diagnosis of mesothelioma earlier than normal and a much better chance of qualifying for life.


Symptoms of Mesothelioma by Stage

In the early stages of mesothelioma, you may notice: 
Mesothelioma Symptoms

  • Dry cough or wheezing 
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea) 
  • Hard to breath 
  • Pain in the chest or abdomen 
  • Pleural effusion (fluid buildup) makes these symptoms worse

In the final stages of mesothelioma, you may notice: 

Mesothelioma Symptoms
  • Pain increases 
  • Anemia 
  • Weight loss 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Respiratory complications 
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Intestinal obstruction

Common Symptoms by Type of Mesothelioma


Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma

  • Faint or hard breath 
  • Dry cough or wheezing 
  • Pleural effusion 
  • Cough up blood 
  • Aches 
  • Blood clotting disorders 
  • Chest pain 
  • Hard to breathe 
  • Reduces chest expansion

The exact stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis - the extent of its development - it is impossible to predict only symptoms. Most patients are not diagnosed until stage 3 or 4 because symptoms do not develop until the next stage. The earlier the cancer is caught, the better the prognosis.
Mesothelioma Symptoms

Overcoming symptoms as soon as they develop can improve medical outcomes. When symptoms are identified and treated quickly, patients often benefit from a higher quality of life and can live longer if symptoms and cancer are controlled more quickly.

Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma
  • Weight loss 
  • Abdominal distention 
  • Hernias 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Feel full 
  • Abdominal swelling 
  • Fatigue 
  • Stomach fluid buildup 
  • Intestinal obstruction

Doctors can provide chemotherapy drugs that shrink mesothelioma peritoneum tumors and slow the growth and spread of cancer. Can be given before, during or after surgery. In some cases, doctors offer chemotherapy as the only treatment option. Chemotherapy drugs considered effective in treatment include pemetrexed, cisplatin, carboplatin and gemcitabine.

Doctors now see amazing results with HIPEC. After experimental treatment, HIPEC begins with surgery to remove all visible tumors from the patient's peritoneum. Furthermore, doctors introduced a solution of heated salt water containing chemotherapy drugs.

A machine pumps drugs throughout the patient's stomach. This helps destroy cancer cells left behind after surgery. Nearly half of peritoneal mesothelioma cancer patients who receive HIPEC can live at least five years after diagnosis.

Symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma
  • Hard to breath
  • Chest pain 
  • Cardiac palpitations 
  • Heart murmurs 
  • Fever or night sweats 
  • Fatigue

This form of cancer related to asbestos develops in the lining around the heart. This is one of the rarest types of disease. Symptoms include difficulty breathing and chest pain. They originate from thickening of the pericardium, the layer around the heart.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma Testis
  • Hydrocele (fluid in the scrotum) 
  • Swollen testicles 
  • Lump in the scrotum 
  • Testicular pain

Lumps in the testes are the most common signs of testicular mesothelioma - the rarest of all types. This accounts for less than 1 percent of all cases of mesothelioma.


When do the symptoms of mesothelioma appear?

Symptoms of mesothelioma and other asbestos cancers first appear in small and smooth ways. This occurs after the cancer has spread, which is around stage 3 or stage 4. Some are so small that people and their doctors think they are symptoms of other disorders or ignore them altogether.

Mesothelioma begins to develop about 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. This latent period is not related to the onset of delayed mesothelioma symptoms, but this concept gets easily confused because both involve unexpected delays.

Symptoms usually do not make a real impact on a person's life until the cancer has reached the final stage. Most people who get any type of mesothelioma are diagnosed in stage 3 or stage 4. This is considered the final or final stage.

Although the latent period of decades is similar to every type of cancer, some studies show it is shorter for people with peritoneal mesothelioma. A 2011 study found women had a latency period that was slightly longer than men.


Early Mesothelioma Symptoms Can Donate Misdiagnosis

Non-specialist specialists often mistaken for pleural mesothelioma for less serious conditions. These include pneumonia, bronchial infection and COPD. People with peritoneal mesothelioma can initially be diagnosed with ovarian cancer or irritable bowel syndrome. Pericardial mesothelioma is so rare that doctors can easily disrupt it with heart failure, coronary heart disease and other general heart disease.

A misdiagnosis of mesothelioma can delay proper treatment. Anyone who has a history of exposure to asbestos should tell their primary care doctor about their exposure. Also ask about annual cancer checks. If you develop stomach or lung problems in your life, be sure to mention the history of your asbestos exposure to medical professionals who provide your care.


What Affects Symptoms of Mesothelioma Symptoms?

The main factors that influence the onset of mesothelioma symptoms are the growth and spread of tumors.

Symptoms of mesothelioma are caused by tumors that suppress the nerves, organs, bones and other parts of the body.
  • Chest pain is mainly caused by tumors that have begun to spread to the chest wall. 
  • Breathing difficulties are caused by tumors that limit full expansion of the lungs. 
  • Pleural effusion is caused by a tumor that has spread to the lymphatic system, including the lymph nodes, preventing the fluid from flowing out correctly from the pleural layer.

The size of a small tumor is the main reason why mesothelioma patients do not experience symptoms in the early stages of cancer growth. Mesothelioma tumors are usually not large enough to suppress the body until stage 3 or stage 4.


What Symptoms Shows Cancer Spread?

Symptoms such as nerve pain piercing the arm may indicate a cancer invasion has occurred locally in the chest. Mesothelioma tends to spread locally throughout the chest or abdominal cavity more often than it spreads to distant locations throughout the body.

Common symptoms Stage 4
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) 
  • Hemoptysis (coughing up blood) 
  • Palsy nerve larynx (hoarseness) 
  • Horner's syndrome (nerve damage to the face) 
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) 
  • Nerve involvement (on the arm) 
  • Superior vena cava syndrome (vein obstruction that returns blood from the upper body to the heart) 

Finding a Specialist

If you have a history of asbestos exposure and believe you have symptoms of mesothelioma, seek medical attention immediately. Tell your doctor about your exposure and tell them about possible asbestos-related diseases. You may need to get a second opinion from a mesothelioma specialist.


How Can I Overcome Mesothelioma Symptoms?

Symptoms of mesothelioma result from the cancer itself and may overlap with side effects caused by cancer treatment. Side effects of cancer treatment usually fade after treatment ends. Symptoms of mesothelioma tend to develop along with cancer. Symptoms management is very important for quality of life.

Talk to your oncologist about working with a palliative care specialist. These doctors specialize in managing symptoms and improving quality of life. Many cancer centers now offer palliative care to patients undergoing treatment, even those who participate in clinical trials.

Mesothelioma Symptoms

Mesothelioma Claims - Mesothelioma claims can be filed by asbestos victims with worker compensation, company trust or personal injury claims. Family members who survived can file a wrong death suit. Damage that may cover medical bills and loss of wages. The statute of limitations differs by country.

If you or your loved ones are considering seeking compensation for asbestos-related injuries, choosing the right lawyer is an important first step.

Your case will have a better chance of continuing more efficiently - and with the best opportunities for compensation - if you work with an asbestos lawyer and experienced mesothelioma. When you decide to file a claim, your lawyer will prepare and submit the legal documents needed to initiate the claim process.

Mesothelioma lawyers are experienced with asbestos manufacturers and can help you determine which is responsible for your illness. A qualified lawyer also has knowledge of mesothelioma trust funds set aside for asbestos victims and can help you make a claim.
Mesothelioma Claims

Options for Submitting Claims

There are several ways to submit mesothelioma claims, including traditional lawsuits, asbestos trust fund claims, and Social Security disability claims. Military veterans exposed to asbestos during service may be eligible to apply for disability and health care claims with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Trial process

Medical problems related to asbestos are very often the result of company negligence or a company failure to warn of the dangers of asbestos. Filing a lawsuit against a company or company responsible for your exposure to asbestos can result in compensation for many types of damage.

There are two types of mesothelioma lawsuits: personal injury claims and false death claims.

Your lawyer will realize the legal options available and can guide you through the claim submission process. After talking with your attorney, you can decide that a lawsuit offers the best opportunity to get a big award for your injury. Most of the mesothelioma lawsuits were settled outside the court before the trial took place.
 Mesothelioma Claims


Claim for Personal Injury

Personal injury claims are claims that can be filed after being diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Damage borne by asbestos claims:
  • Cost of treatment
  • Loss of income
  • Pain or suffering
  • Loss of intimacy

A lawyer can determine whether additional costs can be borne based on your claim. It is important to keep all medical and financial records related to your disease for this reason.

False Death Claim

The claim of wrong death is a lawsuit family members can file when their loved ones die of mesothelioma.

If the original plaintiff on personal injury claims dies from the disease, family members may be able to enter as plaintiffs. If a claim is never filed, they may have the option of filing an incorrect death claim on behalf of the deceased loved one.

Bankruptcy Trust

In the last few decades, many asbestos manufacturing companies have declared bankruptcy for various reasons. Submitting bankruptcy does not necessarily mean that asbestos companies run out of money. In contrast, most asbestos companies that declare bankruptcy only do so to rearrange and become more stable. In some cases, the court involved in the bankruptcy ordered the establishment of a mesothelioma compensation fund, also known as a trust fund.

This fund is intended to provide compensation for patients who have cancer asbestos. An attorney specializing in asbestos can help you determine whether the company responsible for your injury has a trust fund and helps you make a claim.

Worker Compensation

Labor compensation laws can vary by country. Some of these laws change from year to year. If you have been diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases, you may be able to apply for workers' compensation to cover medical bills, pain and suffering.

But feasibility and compensation are two different things. The workers' compensation board in your state can provide more information.

When applying for workers' compensation can be an option, a lawsuit often provides greater compensation. Before pursuing worker compensation, talk to an asbestos lawyer and experienced mesothelioma to determine whether a traditional lawsuit is a better route.

Lawyers usually do not file a claim against your employer, unless the employer is an asbestos company. Conversely, lawyers usually file lawsuits against producers of asbestos-containing products. This producer is generally responsible.

Benefits of Veterans

Men and women serving in the US armed forces have a higher risk of developing mesothelioma due to dependence on asbestos on ships, barracks and pipe covers, among other military parts, equipment and machinery. Those who served in the US Navy - especially those working in shipyards were the most at risk.

Veterans can file claims with VA seeking compensation for injuries or illness resulting from their military service. They can seek disability compensation, health care and dependency and compensation compensation.

Deadline for Mesothelioma Claims

Unlike the most common claims of personal injury where the clock starts beating at a particular injury, it is difficult to determine when exactly and where asbestos injury occurs because an accurate diagnosis usually comes 20 to 50 years after initial exposure.

Because of this long latency period, courts in several countries made exceptions by applying the restrictive law.

Statute of restrictions refers to the amount of time a person must file a claim. For victims of asbestos exposure, this time span usually starts after a person is diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer.

A qualified mesothelioma lawyer can ensure your claim is filed before the restriction law expires.

You may also be able to file a lawsuit in several states, depending on the location of the company identified as the defendant and where asbestos exposure occurs. A lawyer who specializes in these cases can explain your rights, which is different according to country and jurisdiction, in this type of lawsuits.

Mesothelioma Claims

Mesothelioma Causes - Mesothelioma is caused by inhalation of asbestos. When microscopic asbestos fibers attach to the pleura (lining of the lungs), they can cause genetic changes that create cancer cells. Greater exposure to asbestos leads to a greater risk of developing cancer.

Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure, which occurs when asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested and become lodged in human tissue, causing inflammation or infection.

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring fibrous substance that was once widely used in the 20th century in a number of different industries. When the public became aware of the hazards associated with the mineral, warnings were issued in the mid-1970s and use of the product began to decline.

More than 30 percent of those diagnosed with mesothelioma are veterans. Please visit the page on asbestos for additional information about the mineral.

Mesothelioma is almost unknown until the 20th century. After decades of investigating this disease, medical researchers identified the cause: Asbestos exposure. The price of mesothelioma rises because the industry expands the use of asbestos.

Research studies have proven that inhaling or swallowing microscopic asbestos fibers can start a chain reaction that leads to several types of cancer. Toxic dust can also cause asbestosis, an incurable respiratory disorder.

In March 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reaffirmed asbestos exposure as the main cause of mesothelioma. All forms of asbestos cause disease.

Two years later, the IARC presented an update on the relationship between asbestos and cancer at a World Health Organization conference in Spain. They explain the scientific evidence has been strengthened over time. At present there is remarkable evidence that asbestos is carcinogenic in humans, regardless of the type or length of the fiber.

Key Risk Factors for Mesothelioma
  • Work in asbestos mines or asbestos processing plants
  • Work in high risk jobs such as construction or heavy industry
  • Serving on military ships or facilities built with products containing asbestos
  • Living in a residential area near an asbestos mine or contaminated place
  • Disturb asbestos products during home renovations without proper security measures How come 

 

How does Mesothelioma develop?

Once asbestos is inhaled, the body will have difficulty removing sharp fibers.

These fibers eventually form in the lungs or stomach over time. After years, these fibers can cause cancer changes.

Cancer begins in mesothelial cells, which consist of a protective membrane that covers the lungs, stomach and heart.


Possible Mechanisms for Development of Asbestos-Related Tumors

Inflammatory Cells: Fiber stimulates and irritates mesothelial cells, which causes irreparable scarring, cell damage and cancer.

Genetic change: Fiber enters mesothelial cells and disrupts their life cycle, causing genetic changes that lead to cancer.

Cancer mutations
: Asbestos causes the production of free radicals, which are molecules that damage DNA and cause healthy cells to mutate.

Uncontrolled Growth: These fibers trigger the production of oncoproteins, which block genes that protect cells from uncontrolled growth and form tumors.

Mesothelioma has a dose-response relationship to asbestos, which means higher doses of asbestos exposure lead to a greater risk of developing mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases.

In 2012, mesothelioma specialist Dr. Michele Carbone, director of thoracic oncology at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, co-authored scientific articles detailing some ways asbestos can damage the body.

DNA Damage Caused by Asbestos Fiber

Chronic inflammation: Fiber can be stimulated and irritates mesothelial cells, which can cause irreparable scarring, cell damage and cancer.

Cell Life Cycle Disorders: Fiber can enter mesothelial cells and disrupt their life cycle, causing genetic changes that lead to cancer.

Cancer mutations
: Asbestos can cause the production of free radicals, which are molecules that damage DNA and cause healthy cells to mutate.

Uncontrolled Growth: Asbestos fibers can trigger the production of oncoproteins, which block genes that protect cells from uncontrolled growth and form tumors.

Every healthy cell has genes that regulate growth and protection against cancer.

Once asbestos blocks this function, cells can divide uncontrollably, causing malignant tumors to form locally and possibly metastasize - spread throughout the body and form metastatic tumors.

Metastatic tumors develop relatively late in mesothelioma travel but may be the main source of patient symptoms.

While all types of asbestos cause mesothelioma, certain types, such as crocidolite and amosite, are very dangerous. Researchers believe that chemical compositions that vary from different types of asbestos make some asbestos more carcinogenic than others.

The majority of people who work with asbestos will not develop the disease, but individual factors can cause a diagnosis. For example, genetics plays a role in developing mesothelioma. And smoking cigarettes can increase the risk of asbestos-related lung cancer.
Regardless of the risk factors associated with asbestos, several other factors can increase your risk of developing mesothelioma:
  • Exposure to other fibrous minerals such as erionite.
  • Exposure to radiation.
  • Received a polio vaccine between 1955 and 1963 contaminated with simian 40 virus (SV40).
  • Genetic mutations that increase the chance of developing cancer.
Mesothelioma is more common in men than women and rarely affects people younger than 45. This is because mesothelioma often takes decades to develop, and men are more likely to work in jobs where asbestos exposure occurs.


Are Risk Factors for Mesothelioma?

Studies show smoking is not a risk factor for mesothelioma, but those who smoke and regularly get asbestos are far more likely to develop asbestos-related lung cancer. Several studies have revealed that the combination of smoking and asbestos exposure increases the risk of lung cancer by around 90 percent.

Researchers also found smoking can weaken the lungs and reduce the body's ability to get rid of asbestos fibers trapped inside. Smoking also worsens asbestosis.

Difference Between Causes & Risk Factors

Risk factors are everything that increases the chances of developing disease. The cause is the contribution factor that leads to an illness.

For example, although men are much more likely to develop mesothelioma than women, gender alone cannot cause cancer.

Often, various risk factors are involved in developing mesothelioma.

The duration of exposure to asbestos plays a key role. While the World Health Organization says there is no safe amount of asbestos exposure, usually severe, years of repeated exposure leading to asbestos-related diseases.

A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that the longer a person works in a job that involves exposure to asbestos, the higher their risk of mesothelioma.

The relationship between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma is so strong that it is difficult for researchers to find out whether other risk factors can cause mesothelioma alone. Although the exposure is the most obvious cause.

Where Do Asbestos Occur?

Asbestos has filled many US homes and businesses in the form of insulation and refractory materials.

Throughout the construction boom after World War II, asbestos was a key element in thousands of industrial and household products. Examples include drywall, cables, glue and adhesives, ceiling tiles, cement and shingles.

Workers are exposed to dangerous natural minerals while working. Others, including family members of workers, face secondary exposure at home. Environmental exposure occurs in communities that mine or process asbestos.

Some asbestos products remain in the old structure and are usually harmless - provided they are not disturbed. Firefighters, contractors, demolition workers, electricians and plumbers are at high risk of exposure to asbestos in old buildings.

Past Occupational Exposure

The risk for asbestos-related diseases is the highest for people who work with raw minerals or with asbestos-containing products every day.

Some of the highest risk jobs include:
  • Docker
  • Construction worker
  • Power Plant Workers
  • Chemical Plant Workers
  • Industrial Workers
  • Insulator
  • Boiler Workers
  • Automatic Mechanics

Risk Factors in Today's Work

Construction traders and firefighters can be exposed to asbestos while working in old houses and structures built with contaminated materials. Exposure can occur during renovation, demolition or disaster response.

When old buildings are destroyed without safety precautions, air asbestos fibers can pollute the surrounding area.

Direct exposure

When the asbestos industry booms, workers' families are also at high risk. Workers often go home with asbestos fibers in their hair, work clothes and equipment - exposing family members to toxic substances and increasing their risk for related diseases.

In 1995, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) presented a study of "Labor House Controversy" to Congress.

They concluded "families of workers exposed to asbestos have an increased risk of pleural, pericardial or peritoneal mesothelioma, lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, and non-partial pleural and parenchymal abnormalities and asbestosis."

Environmental Exposure

Because asbestos is a natural mineral, people who live near large deposits in hilly or mountainous areas also face the possibility of exposure. A minimum amount of minerals can fill air in this region, but exposure to the most dangerous environment near asbestos mines.

The two best known cities for the problem of asbestos exposure are Libby, Montana, and El Dorado Hills, California.

Libby is home to vermiculite mines that are naturally contaminated with asbestos. The mine, controlled by WR Grace & Company and operated from 1923 to 1990, is responsible for hundreds of deaths related to asbestos.

In June 2009, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a public health emergency at Libby.

At El Dorado Hills, the EPA said asbestos levels were "alarming," according to the agency's report on 400-plus air samples collected there in 2004.

Although asbestos mines no longer operate in the US, people who live near dead mines continue to develop mesothelioma.

In February 2015, reports of naturally occurring asbestos exposure in southern Nevada made national headlines. Geologists discovered asbestos in 150 soil samples from Nevada and Arizona, and epidemiological studies have shown an increased incidence of mesothelioma in the sample area.

Geologists suspect that natural erosion and commercial development of asbestos-contaminated soil send asbestos fibers into the air.

Geological studies show asbestos in Nevada is much like asbestos found in Libby. Nevada officials responded by taking steps to protect workers on projects involving areas contaminated with asbestos


Preventing and Detecting Mesothelioma

The best way to prevent mesothelioma is by following work safety regulations. Be careful of material in old houses that may contain asbestos.

If you think that past work or a home improvement project led you to asbestos, you should look for a routine medical examination to check for signs of asbestos-related illness.

If you or a loved one has a history of exposure to asbestos - especially at work - don't wait for symptoms to appear. Instead, be proactive and talk to your doctor. Early detection offers the best opportunities for effective treatment.

Mesothelioma Causes