What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that forms in the lining of the lungs at any time from 10 to 60 years after first exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma cancer develops from the mesothelial cells of the pleura and can also occur in the peritoneum.
The average mesothelioma life expectancy following diagnosis is about 1-2 years, although significant variations of malignant mesothelioma do occur. It is much more common amongst men then in women and in most instances malignant mesothelioma develops after anywhere from 20-50 years after asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma is curable but this is very unlikely. It can be combated by surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy and much like other cancers, the later it is diagnosed, the harder it is to fight.
Mesothelioma is a disease that has traditionally been regarded as incurable. However, new techniques and drugs have improved the life of some sufferers; both in terms of their quality and length of life. So it’s important that your doctor is aware of all the latest mesothelioma treatment and care options available.
Your medical advice should encompass surgical and chemotherapy options available to you. It should also discuss techniques such as photodynamic therapy, and include discussion of new drugs, such as Alimta.
Many doctors now believe that if mesothelioma is detected early and treated appropriately, significant gains may be made.
It is important for you to seek as much information as possible from your doctors.
The science of palliative care (pain relief) has also greatly developed in the past several years. There are now many options of palliative care available, of which your local asbestos support group can provide you with more information.
The vast majority of mesothelioma victims in Australia have valuable rights to compensation. Indeed, many have a statutory right to lump sum mesothelioma compensation and other benefits under workers compensation laws. Most can also access common law damages.