Any cancer diagnosis is scary, but some are more devastating than others. How likely someone is to make a full recovery from cancer depends a lot on how early the cancer is detected and where in the body it is located. Cancer research has made the long-term survival rate for many types of cancer much higher, and awareness campaigns and changing guidelines for diagnostic screening have made it much easier for doctors to treat many types of cancer in their earliest, most easily curable phases. No one looks forward to a mammogram or a colonoscopy, but they enable doctors to detect breast cancer and colon cancer, respectively, before these diseases become symptomatic and before they have a chance to spread.
Mesothelioma, by contrast, is one of the more difficult types of cancer to treat. Because of the connection between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, it has been the subject of many lawsuits. If you worked in an industry in which you frequently come into contact with asbestos, you should consult a mesothelioma injury lawyer.
Q: Why is Mesothelioma So Difficult to Cure?
A: Mesothelioma is cancer of the tissue that covers each internal organ and the linings of the chest and abdominal cavities. Most cases of mesothelioma affect the lining of the chest cavity. It is so difficult to treat because it is difficult or impossible to remove the entire tumor; it is not like removing a tumor from the brain, breast, or liver, for example. Surgery and radiation, which can cure some other types of cancer, do little to improve the prognosis in patients with mesothelioma.
Q: Is Working with Asbestos the Only Cause of Mesothelioma?
A: No, but it accounts for 80% of mesothelioma cases. Most people diagnosed with mesothelioma have worked on the construction or renovation of buildings and ships where asbestos was among the construction materials. Even family members of people who work with asbestos have a heightened risk of asbestos exposure because of the presence of asbestos dust on workers’ clothing. Other possible causes of mesothelioma include genetics (specifically, a mutation of the BAP1 gene) and the SV40 virus.
Q: Is Mesothelioma a Death Sentence?
A: Mesothelioma has a poor prognosis; most people die within two years of being diagnosed with mesothelioma, even if they undergo surgery. Only 7.5% of patients survive for five or more years after their mesothelioma diagnosis. When mesothelioma affects the pericardium (the membrane surrounding the heart), the average survival time is less than one year. The younger the person is diagnosed, the better the chances of survival, and women have a better prognosis than men. No known treatments have a great effect on the survival rate.
Contact the Law Office of Patrick Yancey About Mesothelioma Cases
Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for an asbestos exposure lawsuit if you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma.