Once you recover from the shock of the diagnosis, you have to deal with the issues that come with mesothelioma. It’s not a pretty picture!
Approximately 3,000 men and women are diagnosed yearly with almost as many dying from the difficult disease. And, one of the scariest things has to do with its long incubation period.
According to Asbestos.com, this cancer’s symptoms may not show up for 50 years after the first exposure to asbestos at work, in the environment, during military service, or from common products.
Recovering after a harsh diagnosis
More men than women find they are afflicted earlier than women. And, when diagnosed, they must face the chances of survival. Only 40% survive the first year, and by 5 years, that drops to 8%.
The American Cancer Society says, “After the cancer is found and staged, your cancer care team will discuss your treatment options with you. The main factors in selecting treatment for mesotheliomas are the location and extent of the tumor, whether it has spread to lymph nodes or other organs, and your health and personal preferences.” Your options amount to surgery, radiation treatments, or chemotherapy, none of which is attractive.
What can you expect from your mesothelioma treatment?
The prognosis is not food for patients with mesothelioma. The earlier it is diagnosed, the more helpful the treatment. But, early detection is difficult given the long incubation period and uncertainty of the source.
Obviously, men and women who worked with asbestos for long periods of time should watch for early symptoms, but most victims have a real uphill battle.
The cancer usually appears in the pleura, the serous membranes that line the thorax and envelop the lungs.
- Stage I: Mesothelioma shows up in the right or left pleura.
- Stage II: Mesothelioma invades the chest wall to affect the esophagus, heart, pleura and/or lymph nodes.
- Stage III: Mesothelioma enters the abdominal cavity through the diaphragm.
- Stage IV: It spreads to other organs through the bloodstream
Each stage ups the ante on treatment, the pain and suffering attached, and the financial cost of care.
Depending on your location and the quality of the care, pleural therapy will run well in excess of $40,000. Radiation treatment will cost you more than $2,000 a month. And, chemo will mean $30,000 over a period of eight weeks.
Lawyers for victims of mesothelioma are committed to making victims as whole as possible in the face of this deadly diagnosis. Someone is at fault for the conditions that created your problems. Employers, manufacturers, and hazardous environments owe victims compensation, restoration, and punitive damages.
In Louisiana, alone, people have been exposed to asbestos while employed in shipbuilding. Others have been involved in ship repair and decommissioning. Thousands of citizens have worked in oil refineries and power plants. Thousands more have been directly and indirectly exposed during Hurricane Katrina clean-up. And, sadly enough, spouses and children have suffered secondary exposure when asbestos workers returned home.
You can’t predict
You can’t predict the costs of treating mesothelioma when treatment varies in so many ways. In addition to the medical costs, patients lose wages, incur in-home care, and suffer more financial and emotional problems. And, someone should pay when there is negligence involved.
Financial awards may not cure the mesothelioma, but money can go a long way to bringing comfort, affording quality care, and providing for the family of those diagnosed with mesothelioma — or to those who have survived the loss of someone to this terrible disease.