What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare cancerous tumor that involves the mesothelioma cells of an organ, usually the lungs, heart or abdominal organs. The most common type of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma. The pleura is a thin membrane between the lungs and the chest cavity. It provides a lubricated surface so that the lungs do not chafe against the chest walls. Thus, pleural mesothelioma is often referred to as lung cancer.

Another form of mesothelioma is peritoneal mesothelioma. The peritoneum is the membrane that encloses the organs of the abdomen. While peritoneal mesothelioma is less common than pleural mesothelioma, it tends to be more invasive and thus results in a shorter life expectancy for the patient. Mesothelioma has also been found in the stomach and other abdominal organs.

Mesothelioma, like other types of cancer (e.g., adenocarcinoma), typically consists of two general types — benign and malignant. By far the most common mesothelioma is the diffuse malignant pleural mesothelioma. This type of tumor is invasive and very aggressive. It spreads quickly over the surface of the lungs, abdominal organs or heart. Life expectancy for victims of this disease typically ranges between four and 24 months, depending on the stage at which the disease is detected, the relative health and strength of the patient, and a variety of other factors. The average patient with diffuse malignant pleural mesothelioma survives for between four and 12 months from the onset of symptoms. With proper care, some victims have survived for several years.

Exposure to asbestos is known to cause other types of cancer, not just mesothelioma. If you were exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with lung cancer, laryngeal cancer, esophageal cancer, colon cancer or rectal cancer, you may have a claim against the companies that manufactured the asbestos or product containing asbestos that caused your illness.

For legal advice regarding mesothelioma or other asbestos-related cancers, contact the trial lawyers at Kelley & Ferraro, LLP.