Types of Mesothelioma

If you have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma or Lung Cancer you could be entitled to significant compensation from both the Asbestos Trust Funds and asbestos product manufactures.

Contact us now for a FREE consultation.

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Types of Mesothelioma

If you have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma or Lung Cancer you could be entitled to significant compensation from both the Asbestos Trust Funds and asbestos product manufactures.

Contact us now for a FREE consultation.

Free Case Review

Mesothelioma:
a Persistent Threat

This rare and aggressive kind of cancer is still a serious threat to public health, even though large-scale asbestos use ended around 1980. Half of the owner-occupied homes in the United States were built before 1980. These structures are usually laced with asbestos in literally almost every corner, from the attic to the living areas to the basement.

Demolition and renovation workers aren’t the only people at risk. Mesothelioma has at least a fifty-year latency period. So, many workers who built these homes were exposed to asbestos. They just don’t know it yet. Other asbestos-related activities continued well after 1980. For example, U.S. officials didn’t ban asbestos mining until 2002. Even in later years, asbestos cross-contamination infected many miners. More on that below. No matter how long ago the asbestos exposure occurred, a personal injury attorney usually has multiple legal options.

Because mesothelioma is so serious, and because many asbestos providers deliberately ignored the health risks of asbestos, compensation in these cases is normally very high. Victims need this compensation to fight their illnesses and provide for their families. They deserve it because their mesothelioma cancer is not their fault.

What Causes Mesothelioma?

Asbestos exposure is almost the exclusive cause of mesothelioma. This exposure could occur under varying circumstances.

Primary Exposure

We mentioned miners and construction workers above. Possible primary exposure victims also include industrial workers and Navy shipbuilders and sailors.

Miners handled raw asbestos. They sold these fibers to manufacturers who packed building materials with asbestos. Back in the day, asbestos was not only the most effective and cheapest construction insulation material. In many cases, it was basically the only one available. 


Therefore, manufacturers happily used asbestos, and construction companies happily bought these asbestos-laced products. Since asbestos doesn’t conduct heat, it was a primary ingredient in brake pads, electrical components, and other products that needed heavy insulation. Textile mills also added asbestos to blankets and other such products. The corrosive-resistant fibers made these items longer lasting.

For many years, navy shipbuilders added asbestos to warships, mostly in vulnerable, high-heat areas, like ammunition storage areas and boiler rooms. Then, in 1967, a fire on the USS Forrestal killed more than a hundred people. After this disaster, which is still the second-worst incident on any U.S. warship since World War II, the Navy doubled down on asbestos use. In addition to boiler rooms and ammunition storage dumps, shipbuilders added asbestos to:

For many years, Navy shipbuilders added asbestos to warships, mostly in vulnerable, high-heat areas, like ammunition storage areas and boiler rooms. Then, in 1967, a fire on the USS Forrestal killed more than a hundred people. After this disaster, which is still the second-worst incident on any U.S. warship since World War II, the Navy doubled down on asbestos use. In addition to boiler rooms and ammunition storage dumps, shipbuilders added asbestos to:

Shipbuilders faced the same asbestos exposure risks as sailors. Usually, these individuals wore little or no PPE (personal protective equipment), either because they didn’t know about the risk or were told the risk was minimal.

Secondary Exposure

After 1980, the Navy stopped using asbestos and removed it from some older vessels. As is the case in construction and many other industries, these removal and renovation workers faced the same risks as builders.


An office worker at an asbestos hotspot, like a mine, is also a good example of a secondary exposure victim. When asbestos handlers go to the office, they usually don’t change their clothes. So, they carry stray fibers inside. These fibers infect unsuspecting people. Furthermore, asbestos fibers often float into parking lots and other common areas.


Granted, the mesothelioma risk is lower in secondary exposure cases. However, a single toxic fiber could cause this disease. 

Household Exposure

Household exposure occurs from asbestos products used in the home or that are shed from clothing when someone working with asbestos. This could occur when a family member washes clothes or is simply hugging a friend or family member. The airborne asbestos is very light and may stay suspended in the air for days and inhaled. 

Tumor Locations

Mesothelioma tumors could form in various parts of the body, generally depending on whether the fiber entered the victim through the lungs or through another part of the body, such as the ears, eyes, or skin pores.

Testicular Mesothelioma

The rarest form of mesothelioma tumors form around the testes. Primary, secondary, and tertiary exposure victims often develop these tumors if they relieve themselves when an asbestos fiber is in the room. Otherwise, this part of the body is almost never exposed.


Testicular mesothelioma is also treatable, a condition that is very rare in this area. That’s especially true if doctors begin treatment before the mesothelioma tumor metastasized. Testicular cancer is very painful, so some early warning signs are available. However, this pain often radiates into the back or breasts. So, doctors may have a hard time identifying the source of the pain.

Pericardial Mesothelioma

In rare cases, a mesothelioma tumor forms in the pericardial sac that protects the heart. Researchers don’t know much about this disease. It’s even more rare than testicular mesothelioma.


Researchers do know the symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma, which include arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), coughing, trouble breathing, and chest pain. Researchers also know that the life expectancy for pericardial mesothelioma is usually less than one year.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Abdominal cancer cases make up about 10 percent of all mesothelioma cases. Inhaled fibers sometimes migrate into the abdomen, especially if the victim was exposed to a significant amount of asbestos. Usually, however, absorbed asbestos fibers settle into the abdomen, alter cellular DNA, and form tumors.


Unlike pleural mesothelioma, which is discussed below, peritoneal mesothelioma is often treatable, if the victim is a candidate for advanced surgical procedures. First, doctors often perform cytoreductive surgery, Then, they follow up with HIPEC (hyperthermic intraoperative peritoneal perfusion with chemotherapy).


Cytoreductive surgery (CRS) is a very aggressive procedure wherein doctors open the abdomen and painstakingly remove cancer cells. HIPEC is also a very aggressive treatment. Doctors flood the abdomen with chemotherapy drugs heated to over 40 degrees celsius (104 degrees fahrenheit). Hyperthermia intensifies the strength of chemotherapy drugs without intensifying the side effects of these drugs.

The CRS/HIPEC combination is very effective. However, the CRS/HIPEC window is also very small. If any cancer cells have spread outside the abdomen, this procedure almost 
always fails.


Physical peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms often don’t appear until after this window closes. Therefore, an asbestos exposure lawyer connects victims with doctors who use a combination of non-medical and medical evidence to find these tumors.


For example, if Harry worked a construction job in the mid-1960s and anything that looks like a lump or tumor shows up on an X-ray test, more testing is 
immediately required.

The CRS/HIPEC combination is very effective. However, the CRS/HIPEC window is also very small. If any cancer cells have spread outside the abdomen, this procedure almost 
always fails.


Physical peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms often don’t appear until after this window closes. Therefore, an asbestos exposure lawyer connects victims with doctors who use a combination of non-medical and medical evidence to find these tumors.


For example, if Harry worked a construction job in the mid-1960s and anything that looks like a lump or tumor shows up on an X-ray test, more testing is 
immediately required.

Pleural Mesothelioma

Over 80 percent of mesothelioma cases are pleural mesothelioma (lung cancer). That’s very bad news for victims. Pleural mesothelioma is the hardest kind of mesothelioma to diagnose and treat.


Initial pleural mesothelioma symptoms, like coughing, chest tightness, and radical weight change, are identical to NSCLC (non-small cell lung cancer) symptoms, a much more common kind of lung cancer. The tumors are also identical, unless the doctor orders an advanced B-radiation or other test.

NSCLC isn’t very aggressive. Doctors often contain the tumor before removing it surgically. This approach doesn’t work in pleural mesothelioma cases. These tumors cannot be contained. These efforts simply give the cancer a chance to spread.


Furthermore, the advanced surgical techniques available in peritoneal mesothelioma cases are unavailable in pleural mesothelioma cases. Instead, doctors must use traditional anticancer tactics, like traditional chemotherapy drugs.

Even at regular temperatures, these drugs are very powerful. Strong medicines usually have strong side-effects. Many asbestos exposure victims are like Harry. They were infected in their 20s or 30s, and symptoms don’t appear until these victims reach their 70s or 80s.


Many older individuals are too physically frail to tolerate aggressive chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. Furthermore, by the time doctors discover mesothelioma tumors, the cancer may have reached Stage III 
or even Stage IV.

Even at regular temperatures, these drugs are very powerful. Strong medicines usually have strong side-effects. Many asbestos exposure victims are like Harry. They were infected in their 20s or 30s, and symptoms don’t appear until these victims reach their 70s or 80s.


Many older individuals are too physically frail to tolerate aggressive chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. Furthermore, by the time doctors discover mesothelioma tumors, the cancer may have reached Stage III 
or even Stage IV.

Types of Mesothelioma Tumors

Mesothelioma’s location often dictates the treatment available. The type of mesothelioma comes into play as well. Malignant and benign are like black and white. These colors have different shades, like midnight blue and eggshell white. Some colors are easier to work with or paint over than others.

Epithelial

Epithelial cells are like epidermal (skin) cells. Layered cells are more frail than other types of cells. A pinprick destroys epidermal cells. Just imagine what chemotherapy drugs could do to epithelial tumors. Additionally, layered cells are something like bowling pins. Knock over one and you may knock over them all if the bowling ball is at the proper angle. Pleural mesothelioma tumors are usually epithelial tumors.

The tumor’s makeup means that, in rare cases, a combination of radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery might be an option for pleural mesothelioma victims, especially if doctors test for this disease regularly and aggressively.

Sarcomatous

On the other end of the scale, sarcomatoid mesothelioma is the least common and most aggressive mesothelioma cell type. These fibrous cells spread quickly and unpredictably through the body.

Biphasic

The final mesothelioma type of tumor is a combination of sarcomatoid and epithelial cells. Treatment outcome hinges on which kind of cell is more common.
 

Possible mesothelioma treatment outcomes usually depend on the tumor’s location and makeup.

For a free consultation with an experienced and successful lawyer in your area, please contact us at MesotheliomaAttorney.com or Paul Danziger, Esq. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters and only get paid if we successfully resolve your asbestos claim.

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