Mesothelioma is a deadly type of cancer that forms in the mesothelium – the protective lining that covers most of the body’s internal organs including the heart, lung and stomach. This incurable disease is primarily linked to exposure to asbestos, a mineral fiber that had long been used in construction, shipbuilding, the oil and plastics industry, and the automotive industry, among others. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, you may be entitled to significant compensation.
The law office of Michael Logiudice fights for the rights of mesothelioma victims in the greater New York City area. As the premier personal injury firm serving the community, we have a proven track record of helping our clients obtain the compensation they deserve.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that results from a genetic mutation within the cells of the body that causes healthy cells to change into malignant cells, ultimately forming tumors and spreading more malignant cells from the mesothelium throughout the entire body. Malignant mesothelioma typically spreads rapidly, and there is no known cure for the disease. Generally, the three main types of mesothelioma are:
- Pleural Mesothelioma – occurs in the lining of the lung, known as the pleura. This is the most common form of the disease, accounting for about 70 percent of the cases.
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma – occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity, or the peritoneum, accounts for about 20 percent of the cases.
- Pericardial Mesothelioma – occurs in the lining of the heart, the pericardium, accounts for less than 5 percent of the cases.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was widely used in the manufacturing, construction, and resource extraction and production industries due to its durability and high resistance to heat, flame and electrical currents. Although asbestos is no longer used as a construction material, it continues to be used in many manufacturing processes, as well as in certain consumer products such as automobile brakes. Nonetheless, the hazardous effects of asbestos have long been known and many individuals have been exposed on the job and elsewhere as a result of negligence.
Risk Factors for Mesothelioma
Those at the highest risk are workers in occupations in which there was prolonged exposure to asbestos. This includes construction workers, military personnel, veterans, pipefitters, shipyard workers, steamfitters, power plant workers, railroad workers, steel mill workers, automobile industry workers, demolition and abatement workers, plumbers, drywallers, plasterers, painters, teachers, and workers in other occupations.
In short, anyone who works with or around asbestos can be exposed to it and can also carry the invisible fibers with them on their work clothes or body. For this reason, family members of these individuals are also at risk of asbestos exposure. Finally, residents in neighborhoods near factories and plants in which asbestos is used are also at an increased risk of mesothelioma.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Diagnosing mesothelioma is difficult because the symptoms are said to be common and nonspecific, such as:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Persistent dry cough
- Abdominal swelling
- Unusual lumps under the skin
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swelling of the face and neck
- Fever, night sweats and weight loss
In order to diagnose mesothelioma, it is necessary to perform a variety of tests. This typically starts with a thorough medical examination by a primary care physician who is familiar with the patient’s health history, occupation and lifestyle, and potential exposure to asbestos. If a doctor suspects mesothelioma, a number of diagnostic tests may be ordered including radiological tests (X-ray, CT and MRI scans), as well as biopsies of the blood, body fluids and tissue to detect the presence of malignant mesothelial cells.
The Grim Statistics
Today, the survival rate is improving and depends on a variety of factors, not the least of which is the stage of diagnosis and treatment received. Nonetheless, mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose in its early stages and is often detected after it becomes too advanced to treat. Unfortunately, the prognosis for many victims is grim as the average life expectancy ranges from 12 to 21 months, depending on the cancer’s stage and treatment outcome. If you have been exposed to asbestos and suspect you may have mesothelioma, it is crucial to consult with your doctor immediately and undergo a thorough medical evaluation.
Fighting for the Rights of Mesothelioma Victims
If you or a loved one has been been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be afraid and not know where to turn. With the help of an experienced attorney, however, you may be able to recover meaningful compensation. It is important to note that billions of dollars have been set aside in asbestos trust funds to compensate mesothelioma victims and their families.
The law office of Michael Logiudice routinely represents victims of mesothelioma in the greater New York City area. Although there is no cure for this disease at this time, we are dedicated to helping our clients obtain significant compensation and to making sure they receive the medical care that they need. We believe that no one should be forced to suffer because of another’s negligence. Call our office today for a fee consultation or complete the contact form on our website.
The law office of Michael Logiudice serves clients in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Nassau and Suffolk Counties.