Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma Symptoms and Treatment

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

The mesothelium has two layers: one around the organ itself and another forming an outer sac. Between these two layers is a fluid that aids organ movement. Mesothelioma causes the mesothelial cells to multiply wildly and to produce excess lubricating fluid. Ultimately, the mesothelium becomes a thick, tumorous coating of the organ accompanied by excessive fluid. This coating and fluid prevent complete, comfortable expansion of the lung.

Symptoms of mesothelioma can include:
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Lumps
  • Weight loss
  • Cough
  • Hoarseness
  • Localized pain to the particular cancerous lining
  • Swelling and fluid buildup
  • Shortness of breath
  • Painful breathing
  • Fever
  • Respiratory infection
  • Fatigue and anemia
  • Digestive problems
  • Bowel problems
  • Fever
Doctors perform a variety of tests to diagnose mesothelioma and to determine how advanced the cancer is including x-rays, blood tests, pathologic tests, endoscopic ultrasound, bronchoscopy, CT scans, lung-function tests, biopsies or other diagnostic surgeries, MRI and PET scans.

Prognosis

Mesothelioma can metastasize or spread into the organs themselves or to other areas of the body. By the time mesothelioma is diagnosed, the patient usually has only a matter of months to live and treatment is usually palliative - to alleviate symptoms and slow the progress of the disease.
Treatment

Treatment can include surgery to excise the mesothelial and surrounding tissue, chemotherapy, drug regimens, drug trials, gene therapies, radiation, draining of fluid followed by the injection of medication to prevent further buildup, and, rarely, lung removal. Research into new treatment methods continues, as current therapies have relatively disappointing results. If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it is usually a terminal condition. Current patients may be eligible to participate in experimental treatments, if they desire.

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 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, May 10, 2011

Understand your Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment Options

Malignant mesothelioma treatment options generally fall into the following categories – surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy or radiation therapy.  These four treatment modalities are the major “conventional” or “mainstream” treatment options for malignant mesothelioma.  Malignant mesothelioma is very aggressive form of cancer where the tumor grows up against anything it contacts often invading surrounding structures and organs.  As a result, malignant mesothelioma treatment is often limited as with other advanced, aggressive, and metastatic cancers.  The goal in treating malignant mesothelioma becomes one focused simply on extending one’s life.   

Important questions to ask your doctor about malignant mesothelioma treatments include:
  • What is the effectiveness or efficacy of the mesothelioma treatment?
  • Is the malignant mesothelioma treatment designed to cure (curative) or designed to improve symptoms (palliative)?
  • What are the side effects of the mesothelioma treatment?
  • How long will the mesothelioma treatment last?
A critical aspect of going with a particular mesothelioma treatment is that you believe in it and have full confidence that it will work.  It is also critical that you have a good rapport with and confidence in your doctor.  Finally, find out as much as you can about your mesothelioma treatment so that you understand your treatment and be more positive that it will work for you.

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 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.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mesothelioma | Questions to Ask your Doctor

The trauma of a malignant mesothelioma diagnosis leaves confusion and disbelief in its wake.  Your doctor will likely recommend you see an oncologist.  Your doctor typically will recommend a specialist for your treatment of malignant mesothelioma.  From the initial diagnosis, ask your doctor for a copy of all of your test results.  You have a right to do so.  Be certain to keep a folder with your pathology report, blood tests, imaging reports (x-ray, ct scan, PET scan, etc.) and any other medical results.  Keeping these results is invaluable for showing another doctor  the medical history of your illness should you seek another opinion or alternative treatment.

Useful questions to ask your oncologist about malignant mesothelioma include:
  • How far has the malignant mesothelioma spread and what is your life expectancy?
  • What should you expect next?
  • What organs have been affected by the malignant mesothelioma?
  • What are my treatment options for malignant mesothelioma and which ones would you recommend?
  • What success rate does the treatment have on malignant mesothelioma?  Will the treatment be a cure for the malignant mesothelioma?
  • What are the potential short-term and long-term side effects of the malignant mesothelioma?
You have a right ask as many questions as you want until you are comfortable that your doctor has covered the bases and explored all the options.  These are uncomfortable issues, and you have to brace yourself for the bad news, but you need information to make informed decisions.

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 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.