Asbestos was widely used in the UK in the 1960’s, 70’s and early 80’s and exposure to this deadly material can cause the onset of diseases including mesothelioma. A diagnosis can bring about a difficult time, both mentally and financially and it’s important to know that we are here to help.
Recent Successful Mesothelioma Claims Include
- £257,000 Awarded To Mr R, A Distribution Fitter For North Eastern Gas Board
- £260,000 Awarded To Mrs H, The Widow Of A Brake Line Fitter
- £200,000 Awarded To Mrs K, The Widow Of A Commercial Electrician
- £175,000 Awarded To Mr H, A Rummage Officer For HM Customs & Excise
- £145,000 Awarded To Mrs P, The Widow Of An Area Salesman For A Construction Company
- £124,000 Awarded To Mr G, A Bricklayer
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which is caused by the exposure and inhalation of asbestos fibres. Malignant cells develop in the mesothelium, which is a protective lining that covers some of the body’s internal organs. It most commonly occurs in the pleura (the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall) but can also occur in the heart, the pericardium (the sac surrounding the heart) or in the peritoneum (the abdominal cavity lining).
The majority of people who develop mesothelioma are those who have worked in jobs where they have been exposed to asbestos over a period of time. It can also occur when asbestos dust and fibres are inhaled in other ways, such as handling the clothes of those who have been exposed and being in areas where asbestos is disturbed.
The symptoms of mesothelioma include:
- Shortness of Breath
- Pleural Effusions
- Chest Pain
- A Chronic Cough
- Weight Loss
- Fluid In The Area Around The Lung
- Excessive Sweating
- Swelling Of The Face & Arms
- Trouble Swallowing
Whilst many of these symptoms are regularly associated with other diseases and conditions, most people with mesothelioma will have a number of the above for a few months prior to diagnosis.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and have yet to be diagnosed with mesothelioma, we recommend you visit your GP as soon as possible who will discuss your symptoms with you in greater depth.
The usual process for the diagnosis of mesothelioma includes:
- Medical Consultation
- A Chest X-Ray / CT Scan
- Blood Marker Tests
- A Biopsy
Diagnosis of mesothelioma is made firstly by a chest X-ray or CT scan and further confirmed with a biopsy and examination of the tissue. By undergoing a thoracoscopy (the insertion of a tube with a camera into the chest) a biopsy can be taken. Fluid is drained and pleurodesis is performed which can also allow the introduction to halt the accumulation of fluid which presses against the lung.
The treatment options following a mesothelioma diagnosis depends upon:
- Stage Of The Cancer
- Size Of The Tumour
- Whether Or Not Surgery Is An Option
- The Amount Of Fluid On The Chest
- The Patient’s Age
- The Patient’s General Health
- The Patient’s Activity Levels
- The Type Of Mesothelioma
- The Number Of White Blood Cells
- First Diagnosis Or Recurrence
- The Patient’s Gender
Common treatments for mesothelioma include:
- Clinical Trials
Despite these treatments being available, dependent upon individual circumstances, mesothelioma still caries a poor prognosis. Research into screening tests for early detection is ongoing to try and catch the disease earlier.