Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mesothelioma | Construction Workers and Risk for Mesothelioma

Construction workers are often involved in the renovation and upgrading of buildings or industrial complexes.  As a result, construction workers may be at a high risk of asbestos exposure.  Asbestos is a mineral fiber linked to mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.  Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that attacks the lining of the organs caused asbestos exposure.

There were a number of products manufactured and used in the construction industry that contained asbestos and exposed construction workers to the hazardous mineral.  Examples of the construction products that contained asbestos were:
  • Shingles,
  • Roofing felts,
  • Concrete pipe and sheet material,
  • Architectural panels and plenums,
  • Joint and taping compounds,
  • Heating system insulation,
  • Floor tile,
  • Electrical wire and cable,
  • Paints and
  • Plumbing fixtures.
As a result of the asbestos containing materials, construction workers had numerous opportunities for exposure to asbestos.  Asbestos exposure to construction workers could occure during the manufacturing of materials and equipment, transportation, and installation.  Today, construction workers may be exposed during the renovation, abatement and demolition of existing structures.  There remains the potential for “in-place” asbestos exposure for construction workers.

The Throneberry Law Group helps construction workers who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or an asbestos-related lung cancer.  We offer a free consultation at 888-506-1131 to answer your questions, and it costs nothing up front for us to represent you in the lawsuit — we collect no fees unless we recover compensation. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mesothelioma | $90 million Jury Verdict in Mesothelioma Trial

Mesothelioma trial results in a $90 million jury award to a former pipefitter.  A jury in Bloomington, Illinois awarded $90million to 59 year-old Charles Gillenwater who is suffering from mesothelioma.  Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that attacks the protective lining of the heart, lungs and abdomen that is caused by asbestos exposure.  The pipe fitter was exposed to asbestos during the 1970s while working at a several job sites including Bridgestone-Firestone, The Eureka Company and Illinois State University.

Mesothelioma cancer invades the mesothelium – the lining of tissue that surround vital organs.  The most common is pleural mesothelioma or cancer of the lining of the lungs.  Mesothelioma also attacks the lining of either the heart, abdomen, or testicles.  Symptoms of mesothelioma generally occur approximately 20 to 30 years after the asbestos exposure and include shortness of breath, chest pain and a persistent cough.  In most instances, mesothelioma is diagnosed in the advanced stages leaving the victim with 8 months to 18 months to live.  Mesothelioma is treated with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation in an effort to extend the patient’s life.

The trial lasted for five weeks and the jury deliberated for two days before awarding compensatory damages of $9.6 million against Honeywell International, Inc., Owens-Illinois, Inc., John Crane, Inc. and Pneumo Abex.  The jury also awarded $20 million in punitive damages against Honeywell International, Inc. and Pneumo Abex and $40 million in punitive damages against Owens-Illinois.

The jury concluded that Honeywell, Pneumo Abex and Owens-Illinois conspired to suppress or suppressed information about the harmful effects or hazards of asbestos.  The jury went on to find that the companies failed to warn employees and customers about the dangers of asbestos. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mesothelioma | Billy Ray Cyrus to Receive Asbestos Awareness Award

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) will hold its 7th Annual Asbestos Awareness Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on April 1-3.  ADAO will honor Billy Ray Cyrus at this conference.  Billy Ray Cyrus will receive an award on behalf of his late father Ron Cyrus who passed in 2006 from mesothelioma.  The artist has been quoted “Hearing the name Ron Cyrus still gives me chills.  He was everything to me, but most of all he was my best friend – and mesothelioma robbed me of that relationship.”  The country star will pay tribute to his father on April 2 in Atlanta, Georgia on receiving the ADAO “Warren Zevon Keep Me in Your Heart” honor. 

In addition to honoring Billy Ray Cyrus, the annual ADAO conference titled Asbestos:  Impact on Public Health, Environment, and the Economy will have presentations on asbestos exposure issues, asbestos detection and treatment, environmental and economic impact, national and global policy.  Asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis and other asbestos-related diseases.

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer linked to asbestos exposure.  Mesothelioma cancer invades the mesothelium – the lining of tissue that surround vital organs.  The most common is pleural mesothelioma or cancer of the lining of the lungs.  Mesothelioma also attacks the lining of either the heart, abdomen, or testicles.  Symptoms of mesothelioma generally occur approximately 20 to 30 years after the asbestos exposure and include shortness of breath, chest pain and a persistent cough.  In most instances, mesothelioma is diagnosed in the advanced stages leaving the victim with 8 months to 18 months to live.  Mesothelioma is treated with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation in an effort to extend the patient’s life.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mesothelioma | Homeowners and Asbestos Exposure

Homeowners especially those who complete do-it-yourself projects may be at an increased risk of asbestos exposure in tackling their own remodeling jobs in older homes. In doing so, homeowners may encounter old or "friable" asbestos in their homes.  Examples of asbestos products in older homes may include:
  • Insulation in attics
  • Insulation wrapped around wires or pipes
  • Insulation around older boilers
  • Asbestos Shingles and siding
  • Roofing felt
  • Taping compounds & asbestos plaster
  • Acoustic ceiling material
  • Asbestos wallboard
  • Linoleum backing
  • Vinyl asbestos floor tiles
We strongly recommend that you hire a trained and certified asbestos contractor to remove the insulation and other "friable" asbestos containing products in the home.

Asbestos fibers in vermiculite are too small to be seen by the naked eye so only a trained technician with a microscope can see asbestos fibers. Therefore, to be safe, you should assume that vermiculite insulation may be contaminated with asbestos. Make every effort not to disturb the insulation.

Attorney Michael Throneberry has personal experience with mesothelioma.  In fact, that’s what led him to devote his law practice to asbestos litigation. We understand the physical, financial and emotional impact of asbestos disease on the victim and the family. We are with you every step of the way through your medical treatment and pursuit of justice for mesothelioma or lung cancer.  If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, call the Throneberry Law Group at 888-506-1131 for a no-obligation consultation and compassionate, proven representation.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mesothelioma | Homeowners and Asbestos Insulation Exposure

Homeowners may be at risk of exposure to asbestos due to the insulation either in the attic or wrapped  around wire or pipes.   In addition to the low cost of asbestos insulation, it has insulating characteristics that make it exceptionally useful in home application.  Asbestos insulation is light and can be installed without difficulty into confining spaces such as residential attics. 

Asbestos fibers in vermiculite are too small to be seen by the naked eye so only a trained technician with a microscope can see asbestos fibers. Therefore, to be safe, you should assume that vermiculite insulation may be contaminated with asbestos. Make every effort not to disturb the insulation.

Homeowners especially those who complete do-it-yourself projects may be at an increased risk of asbestos exposure in tackling their own remodeling jobs in older homes. In doing so, homeowners may encounter old or "friable" insulation in attics, wrapped around wires or pipes, or elsewhere in their homes such as older boilers. Asbestos containing insulation can lead to the development asbestos related diseases including pleural plaques, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. As such, we strongly recommend that you hire a trained and certified asbestos contractor to remove the insulation and other "friable" asbestos containing products in the home.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, call the Throneberry Law Office at 888-506-1131 for a no-obligation consultation and compassionate, proven representation.



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Friday, March 18, 2011

Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma and Insulation

Insulation is used in a host of applications and has long been associated with asbestos.  At one time, the workers who installed insulation were often referred to as “asbestos workers” because the majority of insulation produced contained asbestos.  Asbestos was used in insulation because of its unique properties of fire resistance and heat insulation.

Asbestos insulation could be found and is sometimes still found around boilers, generators, furnaces, ovens, pipes and electrical wires.   Construction insulation products that contained asbestos include:
  • Blown-in Insulation
  • Boiler Insulation
  • Breaching Insulation
  • Calcium Silicate Insulation
  • Electric Wiring Insulation
  • HVAC Duct Insulation
  • Spray-Applied Insulation
  • Pipe Insulation
As a result, anyone working around or installing insulation for this type of equipment could have been exposed to asbestos.  This could include insulators, construction workers and those who worked in and around insulation factories.

 “Asbestos workers” would often grind, cut and sand the asbestos containing insulation to fit a particular piece of equipment.  As a result, this insulation activity would create a major asbestos exposure to the insulators and surrounding workers because of the airborne asbestos fibers either inhaled or ingested.  Workers, unfortunately, were unaware that asbestos was hazardous and did not wear any protective gear even though many insulation manufacturers knew exposure could cause serious illnesses.

Exposure to asbestos containing insulation can lead to the development asbestos related diseases including asbestos-related lung cancer and  and mesothelioma.  Attorney Michael Throneberry has personal experience with mesothelioma from his father-in-law's death. In fact, that's what led him to devote his law practice to asbestos litigation. We understand the physical, financial and emotional impact of asbestos disease on the victim and the family. Call Throneberry Law Group at 888-506-1131 for a no-obligation consultation and compassionate, proven representation.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma Risk for Chemical, Petrochemical and Refinery Workers

The dangers of asbestos were known to the owners of the oil refineries and petrochemical and chemical manufacturing facilities long before they were finally forced to stop using asbestos-containing products and remedy the facilities or replace the contaminated machinery. 

Temperature control is key to the efficient operations of these facilities.  As a result, asbestos was used extensively because of its insulation properties.  Refineries and chemical and petrochemical manufacturing plants, for example, typically contain miles of piping insulated in the past with asbestos.  In addition to the insulated piping, cracking coils in refineries as well as boilers and vats in chemical plants were often insulated with asbestos.  Still further, valves and pumps with asbestos gaskets and packing were installed in these facilities.

The construction of these facilities required teams of pipe fitters, plumbers and other outside specialty trades.   The day-to-day maintenance of refineries and chemical plants is typically performed by the full-time staff.  The dismantling of these facilities was typically done by demolition specialists and.  During the construction, maintenance and demolition of these facilities, the refinery, chemical and petrochemical workers were at an increased risk of asbestos exposure. 

Mesothelioma is linked to asbestos exposure where the cancer invades the lining of the organs.  Many of these workers are unaware of the risk of working in and around asbestos-containing products until the diagnosis of mesothelioma or an asbestos related disease.  Today, the greatest risk of exposure for these workers are those working in and around structures and facilities built before the 80’s that have yet to be remediated satisfactorily.

At the Throneberry Law Group, our clients are the innocent workers at the oil refineries and petrochemical and chemical facilities who were heavily exposed to asbestos and now suffer decades later from mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer.  We offer a free consultation at 888-506-1131 to answer your questions, and it costs nothing up front for us to represent you in the lawsuit — we collect no fees unless we recover compensation. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma Pain Management

Mesothelioma Pain Symptoms:  Mesothelioma is an extremely painful cancer.  The most common is pleural mesothelioma or cancer of the lining of the lungs where the majority of patients suffer pain in the lower back and sides of the chest.  Victims of pericardial mesothelioma or cancer of the lining that surrounds the heart often experience chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and constant coughing.  Whereas peritoneal mesothelioma victims may experience severe abdominal pain. 

Cause of Mesothelioma Pain:  There are many causes of the mesothelioma pain, but most mesothelioma pain occurs when a tumor presses on nerves or body organs or when the mesothelioma invades bones or body organs.  Mesothelioma treatment such as chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery may also cause pain.

Medicines Used to Treat Mesothelioma Pain:

Mesothelioma pain treatment varies depending on the severity.  It is important to start mesothelioma pain management as early as possible to get the most benefit.  The earlier pain treatment is started, the more effective it is.

Mild to Moderate Mesothelioma Pain:  Typically treated with over-the-counter drugs that do not require a prescription.  These often include aspirin or ibuprofen (Motrin or Aleve) and are called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).  Mesothelioma patients should check with a physician before using these medicines especially if chemotherapy is being administered.

Moderate to Severe Mesothelioma Pain:  Narcotic pain relievers such as morphine, Actiq, Duragesic, Dilaudid, oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet, and Tylox) and codeine are often prescribed to treat moderate to severe mesothelioma pain.  These narcotic pain relievers are often used along with mild pain relievers. 

Breakthrough Pain:  A flare-up of pain characterized by rapid onset, severe intensity and short duration is referred to as breakthrough pain.  Mesothelioma breakthrough pain is often treated with onset narcotic pain relievers such as a patient controlled analgesia.  A morphine drip is often used to treat mesothelioma breakthrough pain.  Others include fentanyl and hydromorphine.

Tingling and Burning Pain:  Antidepressants such as Elavil, Pamelor and Norpramine are often used to relieve pain regardless of if the person is depressed.  Anti-seizure medications  are used not only for seizures, but also to control burning or tingling pain or painful symptoms of nerve damage.  These sometimes include Tegretol and Neurontin.  Other drugs used to lessen swelling which often causes pain include corticosteroids such as Deltasone.

Source:  WebMD



Monday, March 14, 2011

Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma Treatment

Mesothelioma treatment depends on various factors including the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, and the patient’s age and health.  Mesothelioma is a rare cancer linked to asbestos exposure that attacks the lining of the organs – lung, heart and abdomen.  The most common is malignant pleural mesothelioma or cancer of the lining of the lungs.  Mesothelioma has a long latency period and symptoms are non-specific, so in most cases diagnosis is difficult before the advanced stages of the disease.  Typical mesothelioma treatment includes chemotherapy, surgery and radiation in an effort to extend the patient’s life.

Surgery:  Surgery is a common treatment for mesothelioma wherein the doctor removes part of the lining of the chest or abdomen and the surrounding tissue.  For pleural mesothelioma or cancer of the lining of the lung, a lung may be removed.  This surgery is called a pneumonectomy.  Sometimes part of the diaphragm is also removed during this procedure.

Radiation: Radiation or radiotherapy involves the use of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy affects the cancer cells only in the treated area. The radiation may come from a machine (external radiation) or from putting materials that produce radiation through thin plastic tubes into the area where the cancer cells are found (internal radiation therapy).

Chemotherapy:  Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. Most drugs used to treat mesothelioma are given by injection into a vein (intravenous, or IV). Doctors are also studying the effectiveness of putting chemotherapy directly into the chest or abdomen (intracavitary chemotherapy).

To relieve symptoms and control pain, the doctor may use a needle or a thin tube to drain fluid that has built up in the chest or abdomen. The procedure for removing fluid from the chest is called thoracentesis. Removal of fluid from the abdomen is called paracentesis. Drugs may be given through a tube in the chest to prevent more fluid from accumulating. Radiation therapy and surgery may also be helpful in relieving symptoms.


Source:            National Cancer Institute
                       WebMD

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mesothelioma | UCLA Mesothelioma Lung-Sparing Seminar

The Pacific Meso Center (PMC) at the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI) will sponsor a UCLA symposium on Lung-Sparing Technologies for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.  The conference will be the first of its kind focusing on cancer treatments that preserve the victim’s lungs.  The symposium will take place on Saturday, May 21st at the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica.

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma is an asbestos-related disease that attacks the lining of the chest or the pleura. Mesothelioma also attacks the lining of either the heart, abdomen, or testicles.  Symptoms of mesothelioma generally occur approximately 20 to 30 years after the asbestos exposure and include shortness of breath, chest pain and a persistent cough.  In most instances, mesothelioma is diagnosed in the advanced stages leaving the victim as short as 6 months to live.

The conference will be led by Dr. Robert B Cameron, Director of the Mesothelioma Research Program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a long time advocate for lung-sparing technology.  The conference will feature Mr. Tom Treasure, MD and Mr. David A. Waller, MD from England who will discuss the recent results of the Mesothelioma and Radical Surgery Trial conducted in the UK.  The program will also feature experts in the fields of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and pulmonary medicine.  The conference is designed for physicians but mesothelioma victims, their families, students and other interested parties may attend.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mesothelioma | Finding Clinical Studies for New Mesothelioma Treatments

Mesothelioma or cancer of the mesothelium is a rare disease that invades the lining of tissue surrounding vital organs.  The cells of the mesothelium become abnormal and divide without control or order and can attack nearby tissues and organs.  Cancer cells can also metastasize or spread from their original site to other parts of the body.   Most cases of mesothelioma begin in the pleura or peritoneum.

Mesothelioma is very hard to diagnose and treat.  Because of the aggressive nature of mesothelioma and the difficulty to control, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) sponsors clinical trials or research studies with people designed to find new mesothelioma treatments.  The clinical trials also try to find better ways to use current treatments.  Generally speaking, doctors conduct clinical trials to find out whether the treatment is safe for patients and effective against the disease.  The clinical trials are done before the treatment is ready for general use.  Participation in clinical trials is an important consideration for treatment options for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma.

 The first inquiry in taking part in a clinical trial for a mesothelioma patient should be with their doctor.  Another resource for finding more information about mesothelioma clinical trials is the Cancer Information Service (CIS) with the NCI.  The CIS maintains a cancer information database to identify and provide detailed information about specific ongoing clinical trials.  The CIS can be contacted by calling 1-800-4-CANCER.  Another resource is NCI's clinical trial web page located on the Cancer.gov Web site, located at http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials.  This web page provides general information about clinical trials.  To find a detailed list of mesothelioma clinical trials go to ClinicalTrials.gov.  Patients, of course, also have the option of searching for clinical trials on their own.   

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mesothelioma | Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Expands into U.S.

Malignant Mesothelioma, coronal CT scan. Legen...Image via Wikipedia
The Italian biotechnology company, MolMed S.p.A, announced the expansion of its anticancer drug NGR-hTNF for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma into the United States, Canada and the European Union. 

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer linked to asbestos exposure that attacks the lining of the organs – lung, heart and abdomen.  The most common is malignant pleural mesothelioma or cancer of the lining of the lungs.  Mesothelioma has a long latency period and symptoms are non-specific, so in most cases diagnosis is difficult before the advanced stages of the disease.  Typical mesothelioma treatment includes chemotherapy, surgery and radiation in an effort to extend the patient’s life.

MolMed’s NGR-hTNF is an anti-tumor therapy developed for malignant mesothelioma.  In more detail, it is a vascular targeting agent with unique mode of action with a first-in-class compound in the class of peptide/cytokine complexes able to selectively target tumor vasculature.  NGR-hTNF contains a tumor homing peptide (NGR) that selectively binds tumor blood vessels attached to the human cytokine TNF.  Clinical development of NGR-hTNF is ongoing as the sole treatment as well as combined with other treatments of mesothelioma. 

Malignant mesothelioma treatment using conventional therapies has not proven to be successful often leaving the affected patients with a poor prognosis and limited survival time.  Clinical trials for mesothelioma may offer the best available treatment but participants should be fully aware of the risks. The clinical trial is one of the final stages of the cancer research process and is important in developing new treatments for cancers.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

Mesothelioma | Asbestos Awareness Conference April 1-3, Atlanta, GA

Asbestos fibres - a single fibre is believed t...Image via Wikipedia
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) will hold its 7th Annual Asbestos Awareness Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on April 1-3.  The conference titled Asbestos:  Impact on Public Health, Environment, and the Economy will have presentations on asbestos exposure issues, asbestos detection and treatment, environmental and economic impact, national and global policy.  Asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, asbestosis and other asbestos-related diseases.

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer linked to asbestos exposure.  Mesothelioma cancer invades the mesothelium – the lining of tissue that surround vital organs.  The most common is pleural mesothelioma or cancer of the lining of the lungs.  Mesothelioma also attacks the lining of either the heart, abdomen, or testicles.  Symptoms of mesothelioma generally occur approximately 20 to 30 years after the asbestos exposure and include shortness of breath, chest pain and a persistent cough.  In most instances, mesothelioma is diagnosed in the advanced stages leaving the victim with 8 months to 18 months to live.  Mesothelioma is treated with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation in an effort to extend the patient’s life.

The ADAO conference brings will feature presentations on advanced medical, occupational and environmental asbestos exposure as well as disease prevention and treatment.  Speakers include physicians, safety professionals, public health advocates, patients and families.

The 2011 ADAO Asbestos Awareness Day Keynote Speakers include Dr. Linda Murray, President of American Public Health Association and Jordan Zevon, ADAO National Spokesperson.  The 2011 ADAO Honorees include:
  • U.S. Sen. Baucus of Montana will be presented with the Tribute of Hope Award for his steadfast commitment and determination to ban asbestos.
  • Ron Cyrus will be honored posthumously with the Warren Zevon “Keep me in Your Heart” Memorial Tribute for his countless years of public service as a legislator, labor leader, and public servant.
  • Guadalupe Aguilar Madrid, M.D. will be recognized with the Dr. Irving Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of her dedicated research on the social and medical impact of asbestos on humankind in Mexico and around the world.
  • Sugio Furuya will be presented with the Tribute of Inspiration Award for being a bridge of hope and strength to victims of asbestos exposure in Asia and across the globe.
  • Julie Gundlach, a mesothelioma patient, will be recognized with the Alan Reinstein Award for her commitment to education, advocacy, and support to countless patients and families.
The ADAO was created by asbestos victims and their families in 2004 and seeks to give asbestos victims and concerned citizens a united voice to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure.  The ADAO is the largest independent organization dedicated to preventing asbestos-related diseases through education and legislation.
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma Awareness Week

Mesothelioma Awareness Week has been designated for the first week in April in an effort to raise awareness for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.  The Mesothelioma Awareness Week resolution makes the point that individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma are expected to survive 6 to 24 months after the diagnosis.  The resolution also urges the Surgeon General to warn the public about asbestos-related health issues.

Montana Senator Baucus proposed Mesothelioma Awareness Week to remember the asbestos-related tragedies of the past and to look to the future in helping those victims and families who are affected by asbestos-related diseases.  Senator Baucus went on to say that the resolution for the Mesothelioma Awareness week was a “rallying cry to keep the tragedy of Libby from happening again” and was proposed in an effort to “remind people that much more work lies ahead to help victims of asbestos-related diseases.”  Additional cosponsors and key supporters include:  Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT).

Senator Baucus represents the Libby, Montana residents where it is estimated that sixty percent of the people living in Libby has some asbestos-related disease due to the Libby Mines nearby.  The Libby Mines operated from 1919 to 1990 when W.R. Grace halted operations.  During its operations, this was one of the most productive asbestos vermiculite mines.  Those affected by the Libby Mines include miners, mill workers, families and neighbors of the Libby Mine site.

Asbestos is a known cause for cancer and exposure can lead to mesothelioma, lung cancer or other asbestos-related diseases.  Mesothelioma is described as localized if the cancer is found only on the membrane surface where it originated. It is classified as advanced if it has spread beyond the original membrane surface to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, lungs, chest wall, or abdominal organs.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mesothelioma | Diagnosing Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is described as localized if the cancer is found only on the membrane surface where it originated. It is classified as advanced if it has spread beyond the original membrane surface to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, lungs, chest wall, or abdominal organs.

Diagnosing mesothelioma is often difficult, because the symptoms are similar to those of a number of other conditions. Diagnosis begins with a review of the patient's medical history, including any history of asbestos exposure. A complete physical examination may be performed, including x-rays of the chest or abdomen and lung function tests. A CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI may also be useful. A CT scan is a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. In an MRI, a powerful magnet linked to a computer is used to make detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures are viewed on a monitor and can also be printed.

A biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of mesothelioma. In a biopsy, a surgeon or a medical oncologist (a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer) removes a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope by a pathologist. A biopsy may be done in different ways, depending on where the abnormal area is located. If the cancer is in the chest, the doctor may perform a thoracoscopy. In this procedure, the doctor makes a small cut through the chest wall and puts a thin, lighted tube called a thoracoscope into the chest between two ribs. Thoracoscopy allows the doctor to look inside the chest and obtain tissue samples. If the cancer is in the abdomen, the doctor may perform a peritoneoscopy. To obtain tissue for examination, the doctor makes a small opening in the abdomen and inserts a special instrument called a peritoneoscope into the abdominal cavity. If these procedures do not yield enough tissue, more extensive diagnostic surgery may be necessary.

If the diagnosis is mesothelioma, the doctor will want to learn the stage (or extent) of the disease. Staging involves more tests in a careful attempt to find out whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to which parts of the body. Knowing the stage of the disease helps the doctor plan treatment.

 The Throneberry Law Group helps victims who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or an asbestos-related lung cancer.  We offer a free consultation at 888-506-1131 to answer your questions, and it costs nothing up front for us to represent you in the lawsuit — we collect no fees unless we recover compensation

www.mesolawcenter.com

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma Risk for Sheet Metal Workers

Sheet metal workers make, install and maintain ductwork for heating and air-conditioning systems.  Sheet metal workers can be found in the construction, automobile, aircraft and ship building industries.  In the construction industry context, sheet metal workers often work in what is called the “dead” spaces or the spaces behind the walls and ceiling where spray-on asbestos insulation has been applied or where asbestos sheeting was installed in the past.  As a result, sheet metal workers are at risk for asbestos exposure. 

Many sheet metal workers are unaware of the risk of working in and around asbestos-containing products until the diagnosis of mesothelioma or an asbestos related disease.  The harmful effects of asbestos exposure began to gain national attention in the mid 1970’s because of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.  As a result, government agencies began to warn and protect workers with the use of protective gear.  Today, the greatest risk of exposure for sheet metal workers are those working in and around structures built and insulated before the mid 70’s that have yet to be renovated satisfactorily.

A study conducted by Duke University and the Sheet Metal Occupational Health Institute Trust confirmed that sheet metal workers are at an increased risk for developing asbestos-related diseases.  In that study, researchers followed sheet metal workers from 1986 to 2004 with 20 or more years of experience.  The researchers concluded through statistical modeling that sheet metal workers were at significant risk of developing pleural cancers, mesothelioma and asbestosis.  Sheet metal workers were also at a higher risk for developing asbestos-related lung cancer. 

The Throneberry Law Group takes cases throughout the United States. We will come to you to help you trace the asbestos exposure that caused mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer.  We offer a free consultation at 888-506-1131 to answer your questions, and it costs nothing up front for us to represent you in the lawsuit — we collect no fees unless we recover compensation.