Peritoneal mesothelioma is a significant threat in the state of Pennsylvania and across the United States. This is a malignant form of cancer that can encroach on the peritoneum, which is the thin membrane layer that lines the human abdomen. The primary cause of mesothelioma is asbestos ingestion.
It can form as a mass on the peritoneum in some instances, and in others, it will blanket the membrane. This is a form of cancer that can metastasize over time and spread to other parts of the body, so early detection is key. If you feel you have any symptoms of mesothelioma, it is critical to go to a medical professional as soon as possible.
Since this disease impacts the abdomen, the symptoms are similar to a number of other conditions, so it can be challenging for a non-specialist to diagnose mesothelioma. One common symptom of peritoneal mesothelioma is pain or tenderness in the abdominal area, and there can be swelling due to fluid retention as well. This is commonly referred to as ascites, which can also be a sign of liver or kidney failure and congestive heart failure.
People with peritoneal mesothelioma will often experience nausea and a loss of appetite, and there can be overall fatigue. Weight loss is another common symptom along with irregular digestion that can come in the form of constipation or diarrhea.
Some individuals that have contracted this disease experience night sweats, and they may run a fever. If you think that you may have peritoneal mesothelioma, you should consult with a specialist that focuses on this particular area because of the many diagnostic challenges.
When a mesothelioma specialist is assessing a patient’s condition, they will do blood work and look for certain characteristics. They will utilize diagnostic imaging to determine if there are tumors present, and biopsies are used to evaluate the exact nature of the cancerous cells. Three-fourths of the cancerous tumors that are associated with peritoneal mesothelioma are epithelioid cells, and the remainder of them are biphasic cells.
Asbestos can be found in rocks and soil, and it is essentially a natural mineral fiber. It is sturdy, and it is very resistant to heat, so it has been widely used in the construction trade as a form of insulation. Asbestos is also fire retardant, and this adds to its usefulness for construction purposes.
In addition to insulation, vinyl floor tiles and roofing and siding shingles can contain asbestos, and it can be found in some paint products and compounds that are used to patch flat surfaces. These are a handful of the practical applications, and there are a number of others.
The utilization of asbestos for building purposes tapered off after the 1970s when the dangers came to light, but it is still out there, and vermiculate is a significant contributing factor. Vermiculite is a lightweight mineral that can be an excellent form of insulation because it is fire resistant and it does not have an odor, but it is not a form of asbestos.
The fibers get into the air that you are breathing if you are in a contaminated environment. These fibers go through your digestive system, and they can gather in the abdominal region. Inflammation develops, fluid accumulates, and cancerous tumors take shape. Ultimately, the cancer will spread to consume the abdominal organs.
There are three stages of peritoneal mesothelioma:
When you think about mining in Pennsylvania, the coal mines in the western part of the state will invariably come to mind, but asbestos mining has been done in other parts of the state as well. There are also naturally occurring asbestos sites.
Additionally, the shipbuilding industry is a source of asbestos contamination in the state, and it can be found in landfills, industrial sites, and power generating facilities.
If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, there is a good chance that you will have legal recourse. Clearly, there is no amount of money that can truly compensate for this type of loss, but negligent parties should be forced to pay a price.
You can potentially sue the manufacturer of a product that contained asbestos, and installation companies can also be held liable. Trust funds have been set up for those exposed to asbestos, and insurance companies can be liable for damages in some instances.
It will take decades for the disease to develop after exposure to asbestos, so the statute of limitations is an important factor. State laws vary in regard to the statute of limitations, and in Pennsylvania, it is only two years from the date of the disease diagnosis.
When a person has been diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma and there is a clear connection to asbestos exposure, the case will probably be settled out of court. This does not necessarily have to be a long and drawn out, contested process that is decided by a judge.
If your lawyer is dealing with an asbestos trust fund that has been established by a company that filed bankruptcy, the claim can be resolved quickly and efficiently. In addition to a personal injury claim that is made by a plaintiff that is suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma, the estate of a deceased individual can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The estate of the deceased has up to two years to make a claim in Pennsylvania.
The settlement that you can receive from a mesothelioma claim will depend on many factors. A lawyer can help build a strong case for their client.
You can rely on our Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler if you have been diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, and we represent families that have wrongful death claims as well. For a free consultation and for more information, call us at 215-569-4000 or contact us online today. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.