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Mesothelioma Information


nurse-thumbnailThis page was written by experienced mesothelioma nurses, Eleanor B. Ericson, RN, BSN and Lisa Hyde-Barrett, RN, who have decades of experience working with mesothelioma patients and their families. Patients and families affected by mesothelioma who contact MesoLawyersCare can be now be put in contact with Ellie and Lisa to address their medical questions and needs.
Click here to learn more about Ellie and Lisa.

 

Mesothelioma: Definition, Types and Symptoms

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare cancer with no known cure. It starts in the cells lining the organs in chest, abdomen, and rarely in the heart, and the testicles, called mesothelial cells. Mesothelial cells also cover the outer surface of most of your internal organs, forming a lining known as the mesothelium. The mesothelium produces a fluid that acts as a lubricating agent to help the organs move against each other smoothly. Cancer begins when the cells for whatever reason start to grow out of control.

The lining of mesothelium cells around the heart is called the pericardium, it creates the space that holds the heart in the chest. This condition called pericardial mesothelioma is extremely rare. The pleura covers the lung and the space in the chest containing the lung. This cancer is called pleural mesothelioma. The peritoneum is the mesothelium lining the inside of the abdomen and, many of the organs in the peritoneum. This is called peritoneal mesothelioma. Lining the testicles is the mesothelium layer known as tunica vaginalis. This is testicular mesothelioma.   Mesothelioma can develop in any of these linings.

TYPESLOCATIONPERCENT OF CASES
PleuralLining of the lungs80-85%
PeritonealLining of the peritoneum (abdominal)15-20%
PericardialLining of the heart1%
TesticularLining of the testicles1%
 

Cell Types of Mesothelioma

Epithelial cell type is the most common type of mesothelioma. This specific type accounts 50-70 percent of all cases. This type of mesothelioma has the most favorable outcome.

Biphasic Mesothelioma contains 2 different types of mesothelioma. It contains epithelial and sarcomatoid cells. This is the second best mesothelioma to have. This specific type is about 20-35 percent of the 3000 cases diagnosed each year. Depending on the ratio from epithelial to sarcomatoid, cells will depend on the prognosis.

Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma would be the challenging type of mesothelioma for prognosis. It accounts for the smallest percentage of mesothelioma diagnosis. It is accountable for 5-10 percent of the cases.
 

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

The symptoms of mesothelioma are the same symptoms of other common illnesses. The diagnosis is difficult to make. Often it is made after other diseases have been ruled out. It is estimated that symptoms can occur after an exposure to asbestos as long as 20 to 50 years previously.

The common symptoms for pleural mesothelioma are pain in the side of the chest or lower back, shortness of breath, pleural effusions, dry cough, fever, excessive sweating, fatigue, weight loss, trouble swallowing and hoarseness.

Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms can include abdominal belly pain, swelling or fluid in the abdomen, weight loss, nausea and vomiting and constipation.

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer. It occurs in less than 1% of all cancers in the United States, based on the latest data from the SEER registry. The total incidence in the year 2012, the last year that statistics have been released, states a total of 3,247 patients diagnosed with mesothelioma. Males account for 2,341 of that number and females 906 of the total. The overwhelming majority being male age 60 to 80 plus. Race also is a factor with African-American and Asian mesothelioma victims accounting for 109 and 56 patients, respectfully of the total. The one year survival rate of patients diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2011, and surviving until 2012 is 52.3%.
 

Learn More About Mesothelioma

 

Did You Know?

  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    The highest award of compensatory damages ever upheld on appeal in a mesothelioma case is $30.3 million.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    The largest punitive damages verdict ever upheld on appeal in a mesothelioma case is $18 million.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    There are over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds to compensate victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    There are more than 50 bankruptcy trusts accepting claims to compensate victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    There are many “asbestos dockets” that permit living mesothelioma patients to obtain a jury verdict in less than 1 year.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    In 2015, more than 2000 mesothelioma cases were filed in the United States.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    In some mesothelioma cases, settlements can be obtained in less than 1 year.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    Thousands of different companies have been defendants in mesothelioma cases over the past 40 years.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    According to a 2015 study of 77 peritoneal mesothelioma cases, the average life expectancy (median survival period) was 75.7 months, or over 6 years.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    According to a 2015 study of 77 peritoneal mesothelioma patients, 73.8% were living after 3 years, and 65.3% were living after 5 years.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    According to a 2015 study of 77 peritoneal mesothelioma patients, 64% were treated with HIPEC and cytoreductive surgery.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    According to a 2015 study of 303 pleural mesothelioma patients, the average life expectancy (median survival period) was 18.4 months.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    According to a 2015 study of pleural mesothelioma patients, 73.1% were still living after 1 year, and 22.9% were still living after 3 years.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    In 2015, the largest number of mesothelioma cases were filed in the following 10 courts: (1) Madison County, IL; (2) Cook County, IL; (3) St. Louis, MO; (4) Los Angeles, CA; (5) New York, NY; (6) Philadelphia, PA; (7) New Castle County, DE; (8) Middlesex County, MA; (9)Middlesex County, NJ; (10) Kanawha County, WV.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    The states with the largest number of diagnosed mesothelioma cases are: New York, New Jersey, California, Washington, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Virginia, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    There are about 3000 mesothelioma cases diagnosed in the United States each year.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    About 1 in 100,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with mesothelioma each year in the United States.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    More than 80% of all mesothelioma cases occur in the pleura (pleural mesothelioma).
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    Less than 20% of all mesothelioma cases occur in the peritoneum (peritoneal mesothelioma).
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    About 22% of all mesothelioma cases occur in women.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    A history of asbestos exposure can be found in more than 80% of mesothelioma cases.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    More than 30% of all mesothelioma patients in the United States were exposed to asbestos in the military.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma can be caused by laundering, or other household contact with, work clothing contaminated with asbestos.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma can be caused by work with (direct exposure) or around (bystander exposure) asbestos-containing products.
  • Mesothelioma Facts
    Mesothelioma Facts
    The average time between a person’s first exposure to asbestos and the development of mesothelioma (latency period) is more than 40 years.
 

Get Help from Experienced Mesothelioma Nurses

Learn more about these experienced mesothelioma nurses by watching the video below. Click here to contact a mesothelioma nurse now.

 
 

Learn More About MesoLawyersCare

Watch the video below to learn why MesoLawyersCare is the best choice to represent you and your family after a mesothelioma diagnosis.


 

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If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, please contact us to see if we can help you get the compensation you deserve from the billions of dollars in asbestos trust funds available now for qualified asbestos victims. With just one call, you can put all our experience and success to work for you.

We have represented thousands of victims of mesothelioma and their families in virtually every State in the country and in decades of work have recovered billions of dollars in financial compensation for our clients.

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