Thursday, December 30, 2010

California Man Awarded $7.5M In Mesothelioma Case

A man diagnosed with mesothelioma earlier this year will receive a $7.5 million settlement against 11 defendants that reportedly made, supplied or distributed the asbestos-containing products he handled and was exposed to in the workplace, according to a story in the Times-Herald. Robert Hilt of Vallejo, Calif., is 64. It is believed he developed mesothelioma during his work as a marine machinist.

The case was heard in San Francisco Superior Court last month. The Times-Herald reports that two weeks into the case, the last of the defendants settled out of court. It is believed the settlement is the richest in California history, particularly for a person of Hilt’s age, the paper reports.

According to the Times-Herald, it is believed that Hilt was exposed to asbestos at a series of jobs in the San Francisco area beginning in 1963 and continuing through 1972, during which he was employed as a janitor and later as a machinist in two shipyards, where he worked on submarines. Following his stint in the shipyards, Hilt worked for the U.S. Mint in San Francisco until 2004. He and his wife, Geraldine, have lived in Vallejo for about 20 years.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Survival Rates For Mesothelioma Patients

When a patient learns of a mesothelioma diagnosis, the questions that often follow may concern typical survival rates for mesothelioma patients. In general, approximately 10 percent of mesothelioma patients will live for at least five years after they are diagnosed with the cancer. According to medical research, the average survival for a mesothelioma patient is approximately four to 18 months after diagnosis.

How Do You Get Malignant Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos, once regarded as a miracle mineral, was popular due its lightweight but tough characteristics as well as for its heat-resistant properties. This naturally occurring mineral was used in many commercial and consumer products, from construction materials such as cement, roofing shingles and insulation, to consumer and industrial applications such as hair dryers, automobile brake pads and pipe insulation.

What Is The Difference Between Pleural Mesothelioma And Peritoneal Mesothelioma?

Malignant mesothelioma is a disease in which a cancerous tumor grows on the mesothelium - the sac lining the internal body cavities. The specific type of mesothelioma is named for the tissue where the cancer started. Pleural mesothelioma starts in the chest, in the pleura that surrounds the lungs (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall). It makes up about 70% of mesothelioma cases. Peritoneal mesothelioma starts in the lining of the abdominal cavity.

The Treatment Of Mesothelioma Patients

The prognosis for malignant mesothelioma remains disappointing, although there have been some modest improvements in prognosis from newer chemotherapies and multimodality treatments. Treatment of malignant mesothelioma at earlier stages has a better prognosis, but cures are exceedingly rare. Clinical behavior of the malignancy is affected by several factors including the continuous mesothelial surface of the pleural cavity which favors local metastasis via exfoliated cells, invasion to underlying tissue and other organs within the pleural cavity, and the extremely long latency period between asbestos exposure and development of the disease. The histological subtype and the patient's age and health status also help predict prognosis.

How To Diagnose The Mesothelioma's Patients

How to diagnose the mesothelioma's patients,Diagnosing mesothelioma is often difficult, because the symptoms are similar to those of a number of other conditions. Diagnosis begins with a review of the patient's medical history. A history of exposure to asbestos may increase clinical suspicion for mesothelioma. A physical examination is performed, followed by chest X-ray and often lung function tests. The X-ray may reveal pleural thickening commonly seen after asbestos exposure and increases suspicion of mesothelioma. A CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI is usually performed. If a large amount of fluid is present, abnormal cells may be detected by cytopathology if this fluid is aspirated with a syringe. For pleural fluid, this is done by thoracentesis or tube thoracostomy (chest tube); for ascites, with paracentesis or ascitic drain; and for pericardial effusion with pericardiocentesis. While absence of malignant cells on cytology does not completely exclude mesothelioma, it makes it much more unlikely, especially if an alternative diagnosis can be made (e.g. tuberculosis, heart failure). Unfortunately, the diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma by cytology alone is difficult, even with expert pathologists.

The Major Cause Of Malignant Mesothelioma

Working with asbestos is the major risk factor for mesothelioma. In the United States, asbestos is the major cause of malignant mesothelioma and has been considered "indisputably" associated with the development of mesothelioma. Indeed, the relationship between asbestos and mesothelioma is so strong that many consider mesothelioma a “signal” or “sentinel” tumor. A history of asbestos exposure exists in most cases. However, mesothelioma has been reported in some individuals without any known exposure to asbestos. In rare cases, mesothelioma has also been associated with irradiation, intrapleural thorium dioxide (Thorotrast), and inhalation of other fibrous silicates, such as erionite. Some studies suggest that simian virus 40 (SV40) may act as a cofactor in the development of mesothelioma.

Symptoms Or Signs Of Mesothelioma Cancer

Symptoms or signs of mesothelioma may not appear until 20 to 50 years (or more) after exposure to asbestos. Shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space (pleural effusion) are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma.

Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and cachexia, abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites (a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity). Other symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.

What Is Mesothelioma???

What is Mesothelioma?? Mesothelioma, more precisely malignant mesothelioma, is a rare form of cancer that develops from the protective lining that covers many of the body's internal organs, the mesothelium. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos.

Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the heart, the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart) or tunica vaginalis.