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Mesothelioma Information

Mesothelioma, short for diffuse malignant mesothelioma, is a type of cancer that ravages the linings of vital organs and regions in the body. The word “diffuse” refers to the spread-out quality of mesothelioma which presents as “sheets” of malignant cells.

Types of Mesothelioma

Two main types of mesothelioma are most common:

Pleural mesothelioma attacks the lining of the lungs, called the pleura. The pleura facilitate inhaling and exhaling. Pleural mesothelioma is caused by inhaled asbestos fibers that move outside the lung. It impairs the ability to breathe normally and can eventually completely disable one or both lungs. Pleural mesothelioma accounts for about 75%of all mesothelioma cases in the United States.

Peritoneal mesothelioma destroys the peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity. It is caused by asbestos fibers that are inhaled and then migrate to the peritoneum, which supports and aids the functioning of the abdominal organs. Peritoneal mesothelioma is characterized by excessive buildup of fluid in the abdomen and by tumors that spread out in sheets. It accounts for about 20 percent of all mesothelioma cases.

Less frequently, mesothelioma can develop in other locations including the lining of the heart, or pericardium (pericardial mesothelioma), and in the lining of the ovaries (ovarian mesothelioma) and scrotum (scrotal mesothelioma).

Cause of Mesothelioma

While mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer in the general population, it occurs frequently in people who have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace or through workplace fibers that have been brought into the home or from asbestos-containing products used in a home setting. In fact, in the United States, asbestos is the only confirmed cause of mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma began to be identified among asbestos workers and associated with asbestos exposure in the workplace in the 1940s. By this time, there were large volumes of information establishing that asbestos caused scarring in the lungs known as “asbestosis” and information already linking asbestos to lung cancer. Epidemiology studies conducted in the 1960s definitively established asbestos as the cause of mesothelioma.

Length of development

Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases usually develop years after an initial exposure to asbestos. Indeed, the latency period can range from 10 to more than 50 years before mesothelioma clinical symptoms can be seen. For this reason, people diagnosed with mesothelioma are often shocked to learn that a short-term asbestos exposure that took place years ago is the source of their present-day cancer.

Mesothelioma Statistics

More than 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year in the United States. In contrast, approximately 160,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year in this country.

Mesothelioma Treatment & Cure

Unfortunately most traditional treatments for cancer are less effective in treating mesothelioma. Traditional mesothelioma treatments and experimental ones may work to slow the effects of the cancer, but there is no known cure at this time. When answering the question: “What is Mesothelioma?” most doctors will tell you that the disease is caused by asbestos and there is no known cure. However, mesothelioma doctors are able to use traditional mesothelioma treatments and may suggest enrollment in mesothelioma clinical trials. Traditionally, treatment for the disease involved segregation of the sheets of diseased cells, but new mesothelioma treatments are centered on less obtrusive methods.

Legal Definition

According to the legal definition of mesothelioma, it is a terminal, but yet preventable disease caused by asbestos and by corporations that failed to warn of the dangers of asbestos. Had workers been warned about the hazards of asbestos, by the companies that manufactured asbestos products, then workers could have taken steps to protect themselves from such risks.

IMPORTANT: If you or your family member has been diagnosed with 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 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.



Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline or by submitting an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.

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    - Lisa Ross
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    “I have been beyond pleased how Levy Konigsberg is handling my matter. They answer my questions in a timely matter and when warranted, ease my worries and concerns. They have truly gone above and ...”

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    “Selecting a Law firm to represent me was one of the biggest decisions I've had to make in my life. I put my Faith and Trust into Corey Stern, and he exceeded all my expectations.”

    - Dennis McGowan
  • With this team on my side we came out on top.

    “Levy Konigsberg and team are a group of men and women that give their all, down to the receptionist. I had a case that was almost unbeatable but with this team on my side we came out on top. They keep ...”

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  • Very happy with our settlement.

    “My husband and I were VERY happy with our experience with this firm. They were always caring and really helped us go through this in a very hard time in our lives .We continue to be in touch with the ...”

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  • Wow is all I can say.

    “It has been a few years now but I needed to post this. My dad suffered so much from Mesothelioma. My brother looked into the law and our rights. Unfortunately he died also before anything was done. It ...”

    - Carol N.
  • Their dedication to receive the highest results for their clients was amazing.

    “Working with Levy Koningsberg LLP was a very positive experience. Their professionalism and curiosity was outstanding. I was a pleasure working with this firm. Their dedication to receive the highest ...”

    - Emily DeRogatis
  • Such a great team!

    “The whole team at Levy, Konigsberg LLP have been extremely professional and kind during our most difficult time. They keep you informed during the process, check in often asking if there are any ...”

    - Kevin Kober
  • We definitely got the right law firm!

    “Levy Konigsberg represented my daughter Linda, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma at 16 years old. She endured many surgeries and chemotherapy including HIPEC. She traveled the country seeking ...”

    - Mark Wells
  • Levy Konigsberg continued to help my family fight for the justice my father deserves.

    “Levy Konigsberg was there for my father as soon as he was diagnosed with mesothelioma they helped him get medical treatment in another state that specializes in his condition and even provided housing ...”

    - Stephanie Vitale


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