Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer caused by asbestos that gets inside the body. Airborne or ingested asbestos fibers become embedded in the linings of the lungs, abdomen, heart and testes. Symptoms don’t usually develop until many years after exposure. Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma are usually given up to 2 years to live depending on how widespread the cancer has become. Important statistics on mesothelioma include:
- There are 3,000 mesothelioma cases in the United States each year.
- Mesothelioma usually develops in the lungs.
- Men are more likely to develop mesothelioma.
- 69 is the average age at diagnosis.
- Life expectancy is 12 – 21 months after diagnosis.
People in West Virginia are more likely to develop mesothelioma due to the asbestos exposures from the state’s mining and other industrial operations. The Charleston mesothelioma lawyers at Salango Law, PLLC know that the incidence of mesothelioma in Kanawha County is the highest in the state. Between 1999 and 2017, Kanawha County averaged 29 asbestos-related deaths each year – more than 2.5 times as many as any other county.
Salango Law, PLLC Is the Firm to Handle Your Mesothelioma Case
We are the friends and neighbors who share your concern about toxic exposures and the health of our community.
- Our experienced Charleston personal injury attorneys understand the asbestos exposure, the devastating diagnosis and how to get you the maximum recovery as quickly as possible.
- As a trusted business within the community, we are committed to providing the highest quality legal representation.
- We work to get you the best results and have been able to secure over $100,000,000 on behalf of our clients.
Why You Need an Experienced Charleston Mesothelioma Attorney
Asbestos exposures that result in mesothelioma give you a number of possible sources from which to be compensated. You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the company responsible for your asbestos exposure. If that company has gone out of business, there may be a trust fund that you can receive compensation from. You may be eligible for expedited Social Security benefits, or perhaps workers’ compensation benefits are the better option. A mesothelioma attorney will be able to determine where and when your exposure occurred and along with your medical history put together a claim that will get you the maximum amount of compensation in the shortest amount of time.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral with microscopic fibers that are light enough so that when released from the ground they become airborne. Once the fibers become airborne, they can be inhaled or ingested. Inside the body, the fibers become embedded in the mesothelium – which is the protective membrane covering the lungs, abdomen, heart, and testes. The fibers cause inflammation in the mesothelium and over time, tumors can develop.
Who Is at Risk to Develop Mesothelioma?
Anyone who regularly comes into contact (or did) with asbestos is at risk to develop mesothelioma. Although heavy regulation has decreased exposures in many industries, asbestos is still used in a number of products in the U.S., and the long duration between exposure and development of the disease means that new cases are still arising from very old exposures.
Miners are especially likely to get mesothelioma. Even though miners are not mining for asbestos any longer, they still may come into contact with it because asbestos is often present where other minerals are being mined. Asbestos is released when coal is being mined and processed. Once asbestos is released, it can be transported on clothing or just through the air so areas near mining operations can also be affected.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
The very early symptoms of mesothelioma are quite mild and may not be taken to be anything out of the ordinary. However, if you have a history of asbestos exposure, you need to be especially alert to any symptoms that persist for any period of time. The earlier that mesothelioma is diagnosed, the more effective the treatment will be. Symptoms may include:
- persistent dry cough
- weight loss
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- fatigue or weakness
Getting a Diagnosis of Mesothelioma in Charleston
A biopsy is the only way to accurately diagnose mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is often initially misdiagnosed as some other form of cancer or disease. Because mesothelioma is a rare cancer and symptoms can take between 20 to 50 years to develop, patients may forget about their exposure to asbestos. Doctors are unlikely to suspect mesothelioma without information from a patient. A misdiagnosis can delay the beginning of appropriate treatment and allow the cancer to spread.
The most commonly diagnosed form of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, which is cancer in the lining of the lungs. About 75% of the patients diagnosed have pleural mesothelioma. A further diagnosis is made as to how far the cancer has progressed. There are 4 stages of progression.
- Stage 1 – cancer has not migrated to surrounding tissue
- Stage 2 – cancer has moved to nearby lymph nodes
- Stage 3 – cancer has spread to distant lymph nodes and other cells
- Stage 4 – cancer has spread to other organs
Treatment options involve some combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation depending on which stage the cancer is in. There is no cure for mesothelioma and the prognosis is generally not good. Of those diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, 73% live at least another year but only 23% live beyond 3 years.
How to Make a Claim for Mesothelioma
Those who were exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma or their personal representatives may file a lawsuit against the company responsible for the exposure. If that company is no longer in business, recovery may be possible through special trust funds set up to compensate mesothelioma victims.
West Virginia has established certain rules and procedures to handle the large number of asbestos-related claims filed in the state. A mesothelioma lawyer can advise you of your options for recovery and the best way to proceed.
Contact Salango Law, PLLC Today
At Salango Law, PLLC, our Charleston mesothelioma attorneys are familiar with all of the Charleston companies known to have had asbestos exposures. We can help you get your claim filed in a timely manner, so you can receive the compensation you are entitled to. Call our office at 304-342-0512 to schedule a free consultation with a mesothelioma lawyer or contact us here; we can help you and your family obtain the financial recovery you deserve.