At Hotze Runkle PLLC, we understand the devastating effects that mesothelioma can have on the lives of those suffering from the disease. Companies have immorally and illegally exposed hundreds of thousands of American workers and families to mesothelioma-causing asbestos.
Hold those responsible for your pain accountable for their actions.
If you are uncertain about what comes next and whether or not you can take legal action against the party that exposed you to asbestos, then please continue reading for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about mesothelioma lawsuits.
What is mesothelioma?
According to the National Cancer Institute, malignant mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the thin tissue lining of the lungs, chest wall, heart, as well as the abdominal cavity.
How does one get mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma stems from exposure to asbestos. Individuals that are most likely to suffer from mesothelioma are those that were exposed to asbestos while on the job. Others that may be suffering from the disease may have been exposed to asbestos in their household, most likely without ever knowing.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a heat-resistant mineral that can be woven into fabrics. The mineral is mostly used in fire-resistant and insulating materials such as pipe insulation. Asbestos was used for decades in a number of industries. This use of asbestos was profitable for companies but dangerous and toxic for workers.
How much exposure does it take to get the disease?
Individuals with prolonged exposure to asbestos are at a greater risk of developing mesothelioma. Although, there have been cases in which people have had very little exposure.
It is important to understand that just because symptoms are not showing up right now does not mean that you are in the clear. People exposed to asbestos from the 1940’s-1970’s are now being diagnosed with the disease.
Symptoms of mesothelioma?
Some symptoms of mesothelioma that affect the lungs appear similar to pneumonia. It is essential that you seek medical care immediately to verify whether or not you are dealing with mesothelioma or some other health issue.
Symptoms of mesothelioma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Persistent cough
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
Some symptoms that may affect the lining of the stomach include:
- Swelling of the abdomen (due to the buildup of fluids)
- Weight loss
- Obstruction of bowels
- Swelling of the feet
Some patients show no symptoms; if you have had excessive exposure to asbestos it is important to get a medical check including an x-ray. A chest x-ray will show if you have a buildup of fluid in your lungs.
An x-ray or CT scan is helpful at showing signs of danger and are needed to properly diagnose your condition. However, a tissue sample is the only way to know for certain.
What are my treatment options for mesothelioma?
To treat malignant mesothelioma, there are four types of standard treatment options: surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Each of these treatments are used for certain types of mesothelioma.
The surgical option is usually used for those that have Stage I malignant mesothelioma. Surgical treatments are used for mesothelioma in the chest and include:
- Wide local excision is a surgery used to remove the cancer as well as some of the healthy tissue around it.
- A pleurectomy and decortication removes the lining of the chest, as well as part of the surface of the lungs.
- Extrapleural pneumonectomy is surgery to remove one entire lung and some lining on the chest, lining on the diaphragm, and lining around the sac of the heart.
- Pleurodesis is a treatment that drains the fluid between layers of the pleura (thin layered tissue).
The patient may be given either chemotherapy or radiation therapy in order to kill any cancer cells that may be left after surgery. Usually used for Stage II, III, or IV malignant mesothelioma, doctors may use two types of radiation therapy, external and internal.
Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy is used when mesothelioma has spread to the tissue that lines the abdomen and the organs of the abdomen.
This therapy option causes less damage to healthy cells than chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Can I sue if I have mesothelioma?
Every situation is different and dependent on a number of factors including:
- How you were exposed.
- Where you were exposed.
- The party responsible for your exposure.
- Time frames of exposure.
- When you were diagnosed.
Contact Hotze Runkle PLLC today to see if you are eligible.
Do I need a lawyer?
In any situation which you will be filing a lawsuit, hiring an attorney is a good idea. Especially one that has plenty of experience in mesothelioma lawsuits. This guarantees that your rights will be protected and that you will obtain the compensation needed to help ease your situation.