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What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is cancer arising from the mesothelial cells, which are a type of epithelial cell that line body cavities and organs. Mesothelioma is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos.
Mesothelioma generally manifests itself in the form of pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma, depending on the site of the primary tumor. Pleural mesothelioma is characterized by tumors that may grow around the lungs while peritoneal mesothelioma affects cells lining the abdomen. Mesothelioma may also present itself as pericardial, which involves the lining of the heart.
Mesothelioma can develop decades after first-time contact with asbestos. The latency between first contact and diagnostic confirmation is usually around 20 years, making it difficult for patients to know when they were actually exposed.
The prognosis for mesothelioma is extremely poor. The disease progresses painfully over an extended period of time, resulting in death. While there are treatments available for mesothelioma, none have been shown to prolong the life expectancy of a patient, and they often cause side effects that can outweigh any potential benefits. In some cases, surgical removal is the only option.
Diagnosis of Asbestos Lung Cancer
Although mesothelioma and asbestos lung cancer are closely related, mesothelioma cancer cells are found in the lining of the lungs while asbestos lung cancer generally consists of a tumor in the lung itself. Asbestos lung cancer is categorized as either non-small cell lung cancer or small cell lung cancer.
Non-small cell lung cancer accounts for 85% of all cases. Small cell lung cancer is the more aggressive variety of lung cancer and accounts for 10% to 15% of all cases. This cancer originates from neuroendocrine cells, which are similar to mesothelioma cells.
Both types of asbestos-related cancer are typically diagnosed through chest x-rays or CT scans. Both of these cancers also present the same general symptoms:
- Dyspnea, Or Difficulty Breathing
- Hemoptysis, Or Coughing Up Blood
- Weight Loss
- Chest Pain
- Shortness Of Breath (With Or Without Exertion)
- Persistent Coughing
For an accurate diagnosis of asbestos lung cancer, the doctor will review your history for possible asbestos exposure and perform several physical examinations. Blood tests may be ordered, as well as a procedure called a bronchoscopy, in which a small tube with a camera is inserted into the lungs through the nose or mouth.
If there is any suspicion that asbestos lung cancer may be present, a tissue sample will be taken to confirm the diagnosis. An analysis of the tissue will confirm the type of cancer, whether it is mesothelioma, lung cancer, or another form.
If the diagnosis is confirmed as asbestos lung cancer, the doctor will move on to determine the stage of the disease. A CT scan with contrast is the most common tool used to determine stage. The next step in diagnosis is a biopsy, after which a treatment plan will be created.
The prognosis of asbestos lung cancer is generally poor, primarily because most cases are not diagnosed until the disease has progressed to an advanced state. Treatment for asbestos lung cancer varies depending on the stage of the disease, but generally includes chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
SSI for Mesothelioma Patients
To receive SSI benefits for mesothelioma in Texas, the patient must submit as much medical evidence as possible to prove that mesothelioma is the cause of their disability. For example, the patient must provide a chest x-ray and CT scan as evidence. The doctor can then testify as to what type of mesothelioma the patient has and whether it is likely to be fatal.
Because mesothelioma causes a significant disability, the Social Security Administration’s Compassionate Allowance Program allows sufferers to receive disability pay right away rather than waiting six to twelve months for their application to be processed. Four types of mesothelioma now qualify as Compassionate Allowances Conditions:
- Desmoplastic Mesothelioma
- Pericardial Mesothelioma
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma
- Pleural Mesothelioma
The two types of asbestos lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer, also qualify as Compassionate Allowance conditions.
SSI disability can save lives by covering medical expenses not covered by private insurance or other government programs like Medicare. Mesothelioma patients in TX should work with a mesothelioma cancer attorney to help them file an application that will be accepted by the Social Security Administration.
How Can A Lawyer Help You for Seeking Mesothelioma Disability Benefits?
When you hire a lawyer for mesothelioma, you will have someone on your side who understands how this disease works, including what is covered by insurance and what you can recover from third parties liable for your asbestos exposure. If you would like to receive SSI compensation for a mesothelioma-related disability, please contact our firm. An asbestos lung cancer lawyer or mesothelioma cancer lawyer can also assist with claims resulting from an erroneous and untimely diagnosis of cancer.
We can help you file a claim as soon as possible so that you can begin receiving compensation for your asbestos disease. We know how important it is to get started on your claim as quickly as possible, and we are equipped to begin preparing your case immediately.
You can trust that an asbestos lung cancer attorney will be there every step of the way – from diagnosis to treatment and beyond – to help ease the burden of this serious disease.
Connect With An Experienced Law Firm For A Free Consultation
Our law firm represents clients throughout Texas who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestos lung cancer. We understand how devastating a cancer diagnosis is. It can be overwhelming to deal with the uncertainty caused by mesothelioma and its treatment options.
We are here to answer your questions about asbestos exposure, asbestos lung cancer, mesothelioma treatment options, asbestos trusts and more. If you are suffering from asbestos-related cancer, contact a disability lawyer today.