Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that develops from the mesothelium, a thin layer of tissue that covers most of the internal organs. The most commonly affected areas are the linings of the lungs and chest wall, and the most common cause of mesothelioma is occupational exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma is a particularly insidious disease because it may take decades for the symptoms to appear, which severely limits treatment options in most cases. New hope for potential Louisville sufferers, however, is on the horizon.
New research suggests it may soon be possible to detect the presence of malignant mesothelioma with a simple blood test. Currently, a diagnosis is made by a combination of detailed imaging tests and invasive tissue biopsies. Unfortunately, by the time a positive diagnosis is made, the disease has progressed to later stages, which gives the average patient 6 – 18 months to live.
Currently, the blood tests reveal the existence of mesothelioma on average of 8.6 months before the traditional testing does. By further refining the testing, researchers hope to be able to increase the diagnostic period to be able to detect the presence of mesothelioma before any symptoms manifest. This will, in turn, increase patient treatment options and hopefully survival rates.
Asbestos exposure as a result of employment is a serious matter. Asbestos-related injuries or a diagnosis of cancer occurs all too often for the exposed worker. A personal injury lawyer might explain how compensation may be available for the worker, and how affected family members may have the grounds to file a wrongful death suit depending on the facts and circumstances of the specific case.