There’s only a small number of mesothelioma cases, so its history is very limited. The first time tumours were recorded on the inside wall of the lungs was in 1767. However, in 1909, J.G. Adami introduced “mesothelioma” as a term that categorized this rare cancer that was seen to have a link with exposure to asbestos in the 1940s.
A rare kind of cancer that originates from the thin tissue layer that is found above several internal organs, it is better known as the mesothelium. Usually, the areas most affected are the inner lining of the chest and lungs. Rarely are the abdominal lining and that around the heart affected by this.
Signs and Symptoms
The fluid that develops around the lungs causes shortness of breath, distended abdomen, pain in the chest wall, exhaustion, cough, and weight loss.
Stages of Mesothelioma Development
There are four pleural mesothelioma stages. While the early stages offer the most hopeful scenario, as cancer develops, mesothelioma life expectancy is reduced.
Stage 1: Cancer does not spread to the lymph nodes now but remains on one side of the body. At this stage, patients have the maximum number of treatment options.
Stage 2: Though mesothelioma still remains on the same side of the body, but the lymph nodes show signs of metastasis. The patient can be given aggressive treatment.
Stage 3: Metastasis is seen prominently now, with mesothelioma spreading to the lymph nodes and its surrounding organs. Surgery as a treatment option is limited in scope.
Stage 4: In this stage, the cancer is seen to have spread to the other side of the patient’s body. The patient can only be given palliative care and chemotherapy.
Specialists believe that there is no cure for mesothelioma, but treatment can be a combination of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery.
In the past, there have been many Mesothelioma settlements or legal agreements that provide the individual with compensation for his cancer treatment without getting into a trial. On average, the amount of settlement pay-out ranges between $1 million and $1.4 million and involve the best mesothelioma lawyers.
Some notable settlements have been US Steel, Illinois. In 2005, the company paid $250 million to an ex-steel worker’s wife after he died with mesothelioma.
In New Jersey, Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America paid Stephen Lanzo III and his wife damages worth $117 million. The jury found that the company had sold talcum powder that contained asbestos which caused Lanzo to suffer from mesothelioma.
With early detection and timely medical care, mesothelioma’s signs and symptoms can be reduced and palliative care can help to cope with it better.