Mesothelioma Lawyers

types, symptoms and treatment

Recognizing the Symptoms of Mesothelioma

According to Cancer.net, an estimated 3,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. Too often, this diagnosis is the result of poor working conditions and lax employers that act without care for their staff. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos at work and now suffer from mesothelioma, Vogelzang Law wants to represent you. Our Chicago-based law firm is here to educate the public about the symptoms of mesothelioma and the courses of action for people affected.

Mesothelioma Types Explained

While we often think of mesothelioma as one disease, it’s actually an umbrella term that encompasses a slew of conditions. If you visit the doctor with mesothelioma symptoms, the next step is to determine which type you’re dealing with. Here’s a brief overview of each type, its symptoms, and potential mesothelioma treatments:

Pleural mesothelioma

Of the different types of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma is the most common. Pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the pleura, the sheet-like membrane that covers the inside surface of the ribcage and lungs. As the cancer progresses, the pleura thickens and makes breathing difficult. Treatment is possible and often includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Pleural mesothelioma comes with these symptoms:

  • Chest pain under the ribcage
  • Painful or prolonged coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual lumps of tissue under the skin on your chest
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
  • Blood in sputum (phlegm)
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Prolonged hoarseness
  • Nausea
  • Low oxygen levels

Diagnosis

Mesothelioma specialists use a variety of tests, instruments and procedures to diagnose patients. These procedures may include a(n):

  • Physical examination
  • Health history review to determine asbestos exposure
  • SOMAmer and MESOMARK blood test
  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • PET scan
  • Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) of the lung
  • Thoracoscopy
  • Thoracotomy
  • Open biopsy

Treatment

Treatment options for pleural mesothelioma often involve a multimodal approach. Surgery may be an option in some cases; however, it is not a guarantee. Treatment options may include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Tumor Treating Fields
  • Clinical Trials

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the lining (mesothelium) of the abdomen (peritoneum), covering the visceral organs. When asbestos fibers become lodged in the lungs and trachea, they can make their way into the abdomen and cause cancer to develop. This condition causes the abdomen to fill with liquid and begin to swell. Like pleural mesothelioma, treatment is possible. Patients often require surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or radiation therapy. The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Lumps of tissue in the abdomen
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue

Diagnosis

Mesothelioma specialists use a variety of tests, instruments and procedures to diagnose patients. These procedures may include a(n):

  • Physical examination
  • Health history review to determine asbestos exposure
  • SOMAmer and MESOMARK blood test
  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • PET scan
  • Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) of the lung
  • Peritoneoscopy
  • Laparotomy
  • Open biopsy

Treatment

Treatment options for peritoneal mesothelioma often involve a multimodal approach. Surgery may be an option in some cases; however, it is not a guarantee. Treatment options may include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Tumor Treating Fields
  • Clinical Trials

Pericardial Mesothelioma

Unlike the previous two mesothelioma types, pericardial mesothelioma is quite uncommon. Those with this condition develop cancerous cells in the lining of the heart. Treatment tends to involve multiple approaches and could require a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and participation in clinical trials. Patients diagnosed with pericardial mesothelioma show the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Heart murmurs
  • Arrhythmia
  • Fluid build-up
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Night sweats

Diagnosis

Mesothelioma specialists use a variety of tests, instruments and procedures to diagnose patients. These procedures may include a(n):

  • Physical examination
  • Health history review to determine asbestos exposure
  • SOMAmer and MESOMARK blood test
  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • PET scan
  • Echocardiogram
  • Pericardioscopy
  • Pericardiocentesis

Treatment

Treatment options for pericardial mesothelioma may involve a multimodal approach. Surgery may be an option in some cases; however, it is not a guarantee. Treatment options may include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Clinical Trials

TESTICULAR MESOTHELIOMA

Testicular mesothelioma, also known as mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis, is an extremely rare cancer that develops in the lining of the testes. Because this condition is so uncommon, patients may need multiple treatments to stave off its growth. These might include radiation, surgeries, or chemotherapy. Unfortunately, testicular mesothelioma is known for its few visible symptoms. Research is still developing to explain the link between asbestos and tunica vaginalis tumors.

Treatment

Treatment options for testicular mesothelioma may involve a multimodal approach. Surgery may be an option in some cases; however, it is not a guarantee. Treatment options may include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation

Epithelioid Mesothelioma

Epithelioid mesothelioma is the most common mesothelioma cell type. While no one is ever pleased with a mesothelioma diagnosis, this type tends to have the most favorable prognosis. Because epithelioid cells respond better to treatment, physicians and mesothelioma specialists may be able to prolong a patient’s life. Epithelioid cells often clump together and remain in groups. As a result, they are less likely to mobilize and spread cancer throughout the body.

Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma

Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is the least common cell type. Patients with sarcomatoid mesothelioma often face a less favorable prognosis. Sarcomatoid tumors are comprised of large, spindle-shaped cells that form fibrous bundles within the mesothelium. These fibrous cells develop in the pleural membrane that lines the lungs and chest cavity. Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is aggressive, grows quickly, and spreads rapidly to other areas of the body. It is resistant to treatment and considered the most deadly. If you’re experiencing any mesothelioma symptoms, it’s imperative to talk to your physician about this aggressive cancer.

Biphasic Mesothelioma

Biphasic mesothelioma indicates the presence of both sarcomatoid and epithelioid cells. Patients with this mesothelioma type may face an uncertain prognosis. Depending on the ratio of epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells, prognoses may change. Biphasic tumors are more common in pleural rather than peritoneal mesothelioma patients. But no matter where the cancer occurs, mesothelioma treatment may be more challenging with this diagnosis.

 

Metastatic Mesothelioma

If cancer spreads beyond the primary tumor in the lungs, heart, abdomen, or testes, the condition is deemed metastatic. Metastatic mesothelioma can affect multiple parts of the body and is often associated with stages three and four of the disease.

How Is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?

Diagnosing this condition as soon as possible is paramount to developing a mesothelioma treatment plan. Physicians who specialize in the forms of mesothelioma use a variety of tests and procedures to check for signs of cancer. Common diagnostic methods include:

  • Physical examination
  • Health history review to determine asbestos exposure
  • SOMAmer and MESOMARK blood test
  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • PET scan
  • Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) of the lung
  • Thoracoscopy
  • Thoracotomy
  • Open biopsy
  • Laparotomy
  • Echocardiogram
  • Pericardioscopy
  • Pericardiocentesis

Get in Touch With Our Lawyers Today

If you’ve experienced symptoms of mesothelioma and recently received a diagnosis, you may be eligible for compensation. At Vogelzang Law, we work with clients who have been exposed to asbestos because of a corporation’s negligence. We believe in holding the responsible parties accountable, and we’ll go over your circumstances and decide whether you have a strong case. Contact our team today to schedule your consultation.