Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive form of cancer affecting the thin layers of tissue that cover your internal organs. Asbestos exposure is the primary known cause of mesothelioma. However, most people never develop mesothelioma after asbestos exposure which indicates the involvement of other factors. Some factors like family history of mesothelioma, living with someone who works with asbestos, and radiation therapy to the chest may increase your risk of developing the disease. The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath, chest pain, persistent coughing, and chest pain. If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your general physician right away.
Various treatment options are available for mesothelioma patients. However, this treatment can be expensive— costing hundreds and thousands of dollars. If workplace asbestos exposure is proven, you can qualify for financial compensation. Competent lawyers working at any mesothelioma law firm around you can assist you through this process.
A cancer diagnosis can be confusing and stressful for anyone. Knowing the legal and medical aspects to consider for its treatment might make your journey through this illness somewhat bearable. So let us discuss these considerations.
After a mesothelioma diagnosis, you can pursue legal compensation through a mesothelioma lawsuit. It can help you secure adequate monetary assistance for your treatment and other needs. You must have proof that your condition resulted from asbestos exposure to be eligible to file a lawsuit against asbestos-containing product makers. Filing a lawsuit can help you cover your financial expenses, provide financial security for your family, and hold manufacturers accountable. Consult a qualified mesothelioma attorney to determine your eligibility for filing an asbestos claim.
How to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
Most lawsuits involving mesothelioma follow a similar legal process. Slight differences can occur from case to case. The steps by step process of a lawsuit may include;
· Evaluation of your case
Your legal team may carry out a free case review for you. This review can help determine the time, location, and cause of asbestos exposure. Further, it shortlists the manufacturers that may be responsible. Your legal team may include a qualified mesothelioma lawyer, paralegals, nurse, and other support staff.
· Filing the lawsuit
After your case evaluation, your lawyer will file a mesothelioma lawsuit for you. Some courts may be more favorable for mesothelioma lawsuits than others. Your legal team can help you file your lawsuit in the best court system.
· Response of defendant
Once the court processes the lawsuit, defendants are notified. Defendants may agree or disagree with your request for compensation within 30 days.
· Discovery phase
Your legal team collects photos, documents, and other records to prove the negligent use of asbestos by the defendants. Evidence accumulated during the discovery phase can include;
- Your employment history
- Statements of witnesses
- Military service records
- Medical documents that prove your mesothelioma diagnosis
- Documents enlisting the asbestos-containing products you used
· Settlement or trial?
Settlements are a low-risk option with no added costs for trial. Your lawyer handles the whole settlement process.
However, trials are a high-risk option with additional fees. You may also be involved in the process and, your presence may be requested at court.
The defendant’s lawyer and your attorney work together to settle at any stage of the lawsuit process. Mesothelioma lawsuits that are settled out-of-court can get you a $1 million to $1.4 million in compensation. Cases that go to the trial can help you win around $2.4 million. However, there is no guarantee of you winning through a trial.
That is why most attorneys recommend settlement. However, every case is different and, your attorney can help you choose the best way to get the compensation that you deserve.
Several traditional and unconventional mesothelioma treatment options exist. You can research and, along with your doctor, choose the best treatment option for yourself. Treatment options help control the further growth of tumors, relieve symptoms, and prolong life. Your doctor can design a treatment plan for you involving different procedures based on the type and stage of mesothelioma. The effectiveness of the treatment varies and can depend on the following factors;
- Your age and overall health
- Cancer stage
- Probability of a treatment to improve your condition
The various treatment options for mesothelioma may include;
Traditional Mesothelioma Treatment Options
This treatment uses strong drugs that destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy can include the administration of several cycles of a drug over some time with specific intervals. Popularly used chemotherapy drugs are cisplatin and pemetrexed, often combined with bevacizumab.
It is the most effective option for mesothelioma treatment. Your doctor can remove localized tumors through surgery. However, surgery is recommended after assessing your overall health and mesothelioma type and stage.
This treatment option involves the use of X-rays and other radiations to kill cancer cells. These powerful radiations disrupt the DNA of cancer cells, stopping them from further proliferation. However, radiation can also affect healthy cells, resulting in side effects like hair loss, vomiting, and diarrhea. Therefore, radiation is rarely employed. It is used as an additional treatment along with some other treatment options.
Immunotherapy involves using medications that help boost your body’s immune system. A healthy immune system will strongly respond to cancer cells. Only FDA-approved immune boosters must be administered.
New Mesothelioma Treatment Options
Researchers are studying newer types of treatment options to cure mesothelioma. If conventional treatments don’t help, you might benefit from these new techniques. Some of these new treatments include;
· Optune Lua
It is a device that uses electric current pulses to prevent the proliferation of cancer cells. The manufacturer of this device, Novocure, reports that 97% of patients that used this device along with chemotherapy see a reduction in tumor growth.
· Gene Therapy
This treatment genetically modifies the cancer cells so they can effectively respond to existing treatments.
It freezes the cancer cells and ultimately kills them.
· Virus Therapy
This therapy employs viruses to infect cancer cells with specific genes that cause the death of these cells.
· Photodynamic Therapy
It includes the use of light-sensitive drugs to kill cancer cells.
Palliative Mesothelioma Treatment Options
Advanced cancer patients may be recommended palliative treatment options. These treatments are more focused on easing your symptoms and making your day-to-day life comfortable instead of prolonging your life and curing disease altogether. Some palliative care options include;
It is a process to drain fluid from your lung lining. This fluid build-up can result in symptoms like dry cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
· Partial Pleurectomy
It is a surgery done to remove cancerous tumors and some part of the lung lining and helps manage pleural effusion and its symptoms.
· Natural Treatments
These may include yoga, nutritional supplements, and meditation to help ease symptoms. These treatments can help to deal with anxiety and depression. However, these treatments can’t be substituted with professional medical care.
A mesothelioma diagnosis can take a physical, emotional, and financial toll. Not knowing what to do after diagnosis can result in even more stress. This article can help you consider the legal and medical aspects of mesothelioma treatment.
Research the pros and cons of all legal and medical procedures. Consult your concerned attorney and doctor. Then make an informed decision and receive the best possible amount of financial compensation and choose the best treatment option for yourself. Hopefully, this article can help you in this journey.