Pleural Mesothelioma

Pleural mesothelioma, asbestos cancer of the lungs, makes up three-quarters of all mesothelioma cases.

Asbestos fibers are microscopic, long and thin, which enables them to slip past many of the body’s defense mechanisms designed to keep foreign substances from making it into the lungs.[1] The fibers become lodged in the alveoli in the lungs, where the oxygen is added to the bloodstream and carbon dioxide is removed. The asbestos fibers cause scarring called pleural thickening and sometimes can develop into cancerous mesothelioma tumors.

Pleural mesothelioma symptoms include difficulty breathing, chest pain and reoccurring fluid in the lungs.

Pleural mesothelioma can only be diagnosed by a surgical biopsy of the tumor. Standard treatment options include radiation, chemotherapy, surgery and targeted therapy if the cancer is caught early enough.[2] If it is not caught early, patients may benefit from palliative care to make their time left more comfortable.

Because pleural mesothelioma symptoms take so long to manifest (sometimes up to 50 years) and are similar to those presented by other diseases and illnesses, diagnosis is unfortunately often made after the cancer has progressed to advanced stages.

The American Cancer Society tracks survival rates for malignant pleural mesothelioma:[3]

  • For stage IA cancers, the 2-year survival rate is about 46%, and the 5-year survival rate is about 16%.
  • For stage IB cancers, the 2-year survival rate is about 41%, and the 5-year survival rate is about 13%.
  • For stage II cancers, the 2-year survival rate is about 38%, and the 5-year survival rate is about 10%.
  • For stage IIIA cancers, the 2-year survival rate is about 30%, and the 5-year survival rate is about 8%.
  • For stage IIIB cancers, the 2-year survival rate is about 26%, and the 5-year survival rate is about 5%.
  • For stage IV cancers, the 2-year survival rate is about 17%, and the 5-year survival rate is less than 1%.

It is important for people diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma to quickly seek the assistance of an asbestos lawyer. RPWB attorneys were some of the first in the country to successfully hold asbestos manufacturers accountable for the mesothelioma they caused. We have been helping asbestos victims for more than 40 years. Because we understand the toll mesothelioma takes on a family, our asbestos attorneys will travel to you to explain the process and begin identifying the products you were exposed to. Contact us today to begin the process of obtaining compensation for this terrible disease.

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