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What is Mesothelioma?

MesotheliomaMesothelioma is a type of lung cancer that is usually found in individuals who have been exposed to high levels of asbestos. In many cases, these individuals worked in the construction or manufacturing industries. Asbestos is a class of minerals most recognized for their long, fibrous structure and their ability to resist high temperatures. Because of this second characteristic, asbestos was used throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as an insulator in a variety of materials and household products.

Individuals who suffer from mesothelioma may be entitled to compensation for their expenses through a workplace injury claim. This is because in many cases, the asbestos exposure occurred at work and could potentially have been minimized if the victim's employer had taken greater precautions to protect him or her. Mesothelioma can have a latency period of up to 50 years, which means that an individual might not see symptoms of the disease until 50 years after his or her exposure to asbestos.

Mesothelioma Affects the Mesothelium

The mesothelium is the lining around the body's internal organs that protect them from impact. Mesothelioma can affect four distinct areas of the mesothelium: the pericardium, which is the lining around the heart, the pleura, which is the lining that encases the lungs, the peritoneum, which is the lining of the abdominal cavity, and in some rare cases, the lining around the testicles. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma reported in the United States, accounting for approximately 70 percent of cases.

Treating Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma can be treated through a few different methods. The method that is most appropriate for an individual depends on his or her type of mesothelioma and the stage to which it has progressed. When mesothelioma has progressed to a point beyond being curable, a doctor may recommend palliative treatment to a patient. Palliative treatment might include moving the patient into a hospice program or having a hospice nurse come to the patient's home to help him or her through his or her final days. Hospice care often includes emotional and spiritual guidance from a licensed counselor for the patient and his or her family.

Methods for treating mesothelioma include surgery to remove a tumor, chemotherapy to kill the cancer cells, and radiation therapy to shrink a tumor. Some patients respond well to a combination of radiation and chemotherapy. Other treatment methods, like gene therapy and treatment with intense light, are in clinical trials.

Management plans for individual patients might include massages, acupuncture, and meditation. These work primarily to relieve the stress that comes with managing a condition like mesothelioma, both mentally and physically.

Work With a San Jose Workplace Injury Attorney

If you are suffering from mesothelioma after a career of asbestos exposure, contact our team of San Jose workplace injury attorneys at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, LLP to schedule your free legal consultation with us today. We proudly serve clients throughout the Bay Area, San Mateo County, Alameda County, San Benito County, Monterey County, and Santa Clara County and can help you seek the compensation you deserve.

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