Medical Study Improves Staging for Clearwater Mesothelioma
A recent study published in the European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, indicates that a new physician staging process by weight and volume of mesothelioma tumors may be helpful in predicting outcomes. This may help mesothelioma patients live a longer life after they receive a diagnosis.
Mesothelioma is a fatal rare tumor and almost always associated with exposure to asbestos fibers. The development of mesothelioma commonly is diagnosed decades after the initial exposure to asbestos fiber. The current scoring system incorporates such factors as the size of the tumor and whether it has spread to other parts of the body. The study’s findings suggest that, in addition, tumor weight and volume “may be valuable components for staging malignant pleural mesothelioma.”
Lead author Wickii Vigneswaran, MD, MBA, who now is at Loyola University Medical Center and Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, said that an improved scoring system could provide a more accurate prognosis and help guide treatment. Dr. Vigneswaran has performed nearly 200 mesothelioma surgeries and is among only a handful of surgeons nationwide who treat mesothelioma surgically.
What is Clearwater Mesothelioma?
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive cancer that develops in the thin layer of tissue surrounding the lungs known as the pleura. The disease is caused primarily by the inhalation of microscopic asbestos fibers. Once these fibers are inhaled, they can become lodged in the lining around the lungs. The fibers accumulate in the body and cause cellular and genetic damage that can ultimately lead to cancer.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma in Clearwater
Early Stages of Mesothelioma
Many symptoms of pleural mesothelioma involve the respiratory system and often times are misdiagnosed. Initial symptoms of pleural mesothelioma often are confused with pneumonia or asthma or another respiratory ailment and the disease requires complex tests to provide a definitive diagnosis. In the early stages of the work-related disease, there are many different symptoms including:
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- chronic cough
- excess fluid around the lungs
- significant weight loss
If an individual these symptoms along with a history of asbestos exposure, it is important to see a medical professional as soon as possible.
Later Stages of Clearwater Mesothelioma
In stage II, as tumors spread beyond the pleural lung lining and into the lung and diaphragm, pain may increase and may be felt in the shoulder or upper abdomen in addition to the chest. Difficulty breathing and coughing may arise or worse at this stage.
During stage III, tumors spread more thoroughly throughout the chest, placing pressure on the lungs and chest wall. These physical changes can lead to an increase in pain and difficulty breathing, dry cough, tightness in the chest, fatigue, and weight loss.
By stage IV, tumors have spread throughout the chest and rarely spread to distant locations. The degree of tumor burden in the chest can severely worsen pulmonary symptoms like shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include lumps of tissue under the skin on the chest, pain in the lower back, fever, and night sweats. Some patients experience a hoarse voice and difficulty swallowing. At this stage, patients often need help breathing and require continuous oxygen.
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Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Clearwater Workers with Mesothelioma
In Clearwater and throughout Florida, workers suffered exposure to deadly asbestos fibers without their knowledge. Some of the most high-risk jobs in Florida include:
- Shipyard workers
- Construction workers
- Power plant workers
- Mill workers
- Railroad workers
Workers in these jobs are at higher risk than the general population for being diagnosed with mesothelioma or an asbestos-related disease in their lifetime. According to the United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Florida ranks 2nd in the United States for deaths from malignant mesothelioma with 4,481 asbestos-related deaths reported in Florida since 1979.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma you will likely have many questions about living with mesothelioma and what legal claims you have against asbestos manufacturers and asbestos companies for your asbestos exposure. It is also possible that you can file a workers’ compensation claim for your work-related injury. Workers’ Compensation is a viable option for financial recovery for victims of asbestos-related illnesses. Worker’s Compensation payments may result in the form of a lump sum or weekly payments. These payments are not taxable. While Workers’ Compensation payments typically will not be equal to salary while employed, these payments can help alleviate some financial burdens.
Contact a Clearwater Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Because of the complexity of the laws applicable to workmen’s compensation, if you or someone that you know is diagnosed with mesothelioma after working with or around asbestos, it is important to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your rights and legal remedies. At the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA in Clearwater, Florida, our team of highly skilled workers’ compensation attorneys can assist you to receive all of the benefits to which you are entitled. Contact our mesothelioma workers’ compensation attorneys to discuss your legal options and to receive your rightful compensation. Please call our office at (727) 451-6900 or fill out a contact form online today.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375