Malignant mesothelioma is a very rare form of cancer. It is a disease in which malignant cancer cells are found in the sac lining of the Pleural Mesothelioma (chest and lungs ) or Peritoneal Mesothelioma (abdomen).The prognosis in this disease is difficult to diagnose, due to the great variability in the time before diagnosis and the rate of disease progression.The first indication of Mesothelioma is often by a simple chest X-Ray. For more clarification or confirmation, a biopsy or removal operation may be needed. Mesothelioma is categorized in Stages I, II, III and IV.
Silicosis is the chronic fibrosing disease of the lungs produced by the prolonged and extensive exposure to free crystalline silica. When workers inhale crystalline silica (dust), the lung tissue reacts by developing fibrotic nodules and scarring around the trapped silica particles. This fibrotic condition of the lung is called silicosis. If the nodules grow too large, breathing becomes difficult and death may result. Silicosis victims are also at high risk of developing active tuberculosis. More than one million U.S. workers are exposed to crystalline silica, and each year hundreds of these workers die from silicosis.Silicosis treatment is very limited as there is no cure for the disease, but it is 100 percent preventable if employers, workers, and health professionals work together to reduce exposures.
Early stages of silicosis may go unnoticed. Continued exposure to silica dust may result in a shortness of breath on exercising, possible fever and occasionally bluish skin at the ear lobes or lips. Silicosis makes a person more susceptible to infectious diseases of the lungs, such as tuberculosis. Progression of silicosis leads to fatigue, extreme shortness of breath, loss of appetite, pains in the chest, and respiratory failure, which may cause death.
Medical evaluations of silicosis victims usually show the lungs to be filled with silica crystals and a protein material. Pulmonary fibrosis (fibrous tissue in the lung) may or may not develop in acute cases of silicosis depending on the time between the exposure and the onset of symptoms. Furthermore, evidence indicates that crystalline silica is a potential occupational carcinogen
Patients in Stage I of the Disease have a significantly better prognosis than those with more advanced stage. However, due to the relative rarity of this disease, exact survival information based upon stage is limited. A proposed staging system based upon thoracic surgery principals and clinical data is shown below.
STAGE I :(LOCALIZED) Disease is confined within the capsule of the parietal pleura(ipsilateral pleura, lung, pericardium, and the diaphragm.
STAGE II :(ADVANCED) All of Stage I with the addition of intrathoracic(N1 or N2)lymph nodes.
STAGE III :(ADVANCED) Local extension of the disease into the following: chest wall or mediastinum, heart or through the diaphragm, peritoneum: ( with or without extrathoracic or contralateral (N3)lymph node involvement.
STAGE IV. (ADVANCED )Distant metastatic disease process.
Localized Malignant Mesothelioma --see Stage I
Advanced Malignant Mesothelioma --see Stages II, II,& IV
Mesothelioma- Treatment Options:
Standard treatment for all but localized mesothelioma is generally NOT curative. Although some patients will experience long-term with aggressive treatment approaches, it remains unclear if overall survival can be significantly altered by the different treatment methods or by combinations of methods. Extrapleural pneumonectomy in selected patient with very early stage disease may improve recurrence-free survival, but its impact on overall survival is unknown. Pleurectomy and Decortication can provide palliative relief from symptomatic effusions, discomfort caused by tumor burden and pain caused by invasive tumors. The use of radiation therapy in pleural mesothelioma has been shown to alleviate pain in the majority of patients treated. Unfortunately, the duration of symptom control is short-lived. Single agent and combimed chemotherapy have reported higher response rates in STAGE II patients, however the toxicity reported is also higher and there is no evidence that combination treatments result in longer survival or longer control of the symptoms.
How Did I get Mesothelioma & Silica ?
Anyone who has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, has probably already been told that they must have been to asbestos. Many products in years past had extremely high concentrations of asbestos including insulation( pipe, boiler,block & Cement), textiles, fireproofing, spackling, patching compounds, gaskets, packings, asbestos-cement pipe, sheet material, ceiling tiles, wallboard, siding, roofing brakes and clutches.
Asbestos diseases follow a "dose-response" relationship curve, meaning the more asbestos fibers one inhales(doses) AND the higher number of exposures, then the higher the risk of an asbestos related disease. NOTE: neither, either or both MAY lead to one becomes sick from that exposure depends in part as to ones susceptibility to asbestos.The shortest latency period (from the date of first exposure) for asbestosis is roughly 5-10 years, although often it takes 30-40 years or more from the first exposure before the disease is diagnosed. There is no maximum latency period, since asbestos fibers remain in the lungs for life.
Crystalline silica may be of several distinct types.Quartz, a form of silica and the most common mineral on earth, is contained in many types of rocks and is the major component of sand. Concrete and masonry products contain silica and rock and rock containing silica.When workers inhale crystalline silica (dust), the lung tissue reacts by developing fibrotic nodules and scarring around the trapped silica particles
Mesothelioma & Silicosis Lawsuit Information and Legal Help:
If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with Mesothelioma along with silicosis, call our office for a Free Confidential Consultation concerning the very important legal and medical issues. Both disease processes must be addressed and legal issues of both cases analyzed to make sure that the strongest case is presented to a judge and/or a jury.
Due to the SERIOUS NATURE of these diseases it is extremely important to move very quickly to investigate the work history, obtain names of co-workers, try and identify the types and brands of asbestos products in ones past, and document the different locations that the exposed worker came into contact with asbestos and silica dust. While we understand it very difficult to remember each and every place one worked or the types or brands of asbestos or silica products one is exposed to, we have found that once a worker goes through notebooks of asbestos and silica documents, catalogs and advertisements from the 1940's through the 1970's, the proper identification of the products is greatly improved.
PROPER BACKGROUND HISTORY AND INVESTIGATION TAKES TIME, therefore, the sooner one begins the better. It is especially the case when we are dealing with a client whose life has been turned completely upside down due to these diseases, the medical treatments and the knowledge of the finality of the disease.
*** Immediately upon being hired by an injured worker or their family, an complete interview, work history, product ID, and medical background is done. Then with most Mesothelioma patients, suit MUST BE FILED IMMEDIATELY in order to obtain sworn evidence of the exposure, work history and product ID. the clients condition, physical pains, anguish, and evidence are documented in a sworn deposition. Often times these depositions take place at the clients house, hospital or some another convenient and comfortable location for the client. In other cases, due to the advanced stage of this disease, a deposition of the injured worker may be impossible, and other ways of obtaining the necessary information and proof has to be pursued. Silicosis on the other hand does not have as a rapid onset as mesothelioma, and the lawyer has additional time to depose the client and obtain proper product identification (PID). When the client however has bothe silicosis and mesothelioma, then the time table must be moved up and all efforts made to preserve his or her testimony.
If you have any questions, please call for a Free Confidential Consultation - Toll Free 1-800-883-9858