PLEURAL MESOTHELIOMA, ALSO REFERRED TO AS MALIGNANT PLEURAL MESOTHELIOMA, ACCOUNTS FOR APPROXIMATELY SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF ALL MESOTHELIOMA DIAGNOSES IN THE UNITED STATES. JUST AS THE OTHER TYPES OF MESOTHELIOMA, PLEURAL MESOTHELIOMA IS A CANCER CAUSED BY ASBESTOS EXPOSURE.
When asbestos is breathed in, the small fibers enter the deep recesses of the lung. Some asbestos fibers remain in the lung tissue where they can cause asbestosis or lung cancer. However, many asbestos fibers move from the lung to other areas of the body, including the pleura.
The pleura is a very thin layer of tissue that lines the lungs. In a healthy person, the pleura facilitates the movement of the lungs as we inhale and exhale air. Asbestos exposure causes the pleura to thicken (pleural thickening) and it also causes cancerous tumors known as malignant pleural mesothelioma, which may arise in either the parietal or visceral pleura. The parietal pleura is the inside linings of the lungs and the visceral pleura is the outside linings.
Pleural mesothelioma is difficult to contain, and it often spreads throughout the pleural surface. Mesothelioma of the pleura impairs the normal functioning of the lungs and can ultimately completely disable one or both lungs.
Mesothelioma surgeons have performed different types of surgeries on patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. One of the most common types of such mesothelioma treatments is an Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP). The EPP involves the following steps1:
- Incision and exposure of the parietal pleura;
- Dissection of the tumor and parietal pleura from the chest wall, diaphragm, and mediastinum;
- Division and control of the pulmonary vessels and bronchus followed by lymph node dissection;
- En bloc resection of the lung, pleura, pericardium, and diaphragm;
- Reconstruction of the diaphragm and pericardium.
Another widely utilized surgical option for pleural mesothelioma is a radical pleurectomy and decortification (P/D). In this procedure, the diseased pleural tissue is removed from the surface of the lung. There is a medical debate about whether a P/D is more beneficial for patients as compared to an EPP2.
ATTENTION: Pleural mesothelioma has no known cure and often causes severe pain, suffering, and other types of damage, such as loss of consortium, and loss of income. Additionally, due to the exceedingly high cost of mesothelioma treatments, many families exhaust savings and accumulate financial debt in order to pay for the medical expenses of their family member.
Under the law of most states, pain and suffering from pleural mesothelioma may be compensated through the award of money damages, usually obtained with the help of experienced mesothelioma attorneys. In some states other types of damages may also be recovered.
Asbestos litigation affords mesothelioma victims the opportunity to receive financial compensation and hold accountable the companies that caused their asbestos exposure.
IMPORTANT: If you or your family member has been diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, you should get in touch with a mesothelioma lawyer as early as possible to determine if you have a mesothelioma case and to:
- Preserve your rights to bring a legal action against the responsible parties within the limited time frame allowed by law, known as statute of limitations;
Obtain maximum compensation in your case by being able to:
- Preserve evidence and establish facts of the asbestos exposure while the claimant is still alive and able to provide information;
- File and resolve a lawsuit against the responsible parties before they file for bankruptcy or, if they already have, to obtain compensation before their bankruptcy trust funds run out of money;
- Expedite your case, as courts tend to give higher priority to pleural mesothelioma lawsuits where the claimant is still alive.
Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced mesothelioma lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline at (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.
NOTE: We have offices located in New York, New Jersey, California, Georgia, Washington, and Maryland. Many of our mesothelioma lawyers are licensed to practice law in a number of U.S. states and have the capability and extensive experience of representing mesothelioma clients throughout the United States. You are encouraged to contact us with any questions.
1 Argote-Greene et al., Extrapleural Pneumonectomy for Malignant Pleural
Mesothelioma, Multimedia Manual of Cardiothoracic Surgery, June 28, 2005;
2 Robert B. Cameron, Extrapleural Pneumonectomy is the Preferred Surgical Management in the Multimodality Therapy of Pleural Mesothelioma: Con Argument, Annals of Surgical Oncology, 2006.
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