Asbestos is a common building material that was highly praised for its resistance to heat, electricity and corrosion. However, research has shown that the fibers are also highly toxic. Over time, these silicate minerals can lodge themselves in the tissues of the body, most often in the lungs, causing serious illnesses and cancers. One of the most common is an aggressive and deadly cancer known as mesothelioma. Sadly, construction workers, employees, families and students in the 20th century were often exposed to asbestos without their knowledge.
Mesothelioma Over the Decade
Unfortunately, mesothelioma is not on the decline. Research shows that there are still lingering effects due to the rampant asbestos use in the 20th century. Since this deadly disease takes between 20 and 50 years to develop, the effects of chronic asbestos use in construction is still being felt.
In 2004, 1,783 new cases of asbestos-related mesothelioma were reported. In 2014, 1,961 cases were reported. This indicates that workers and families who were exposed to asbestos in the 70s, 80s, and 90s are still being diagnosed.
While the number of reported cases of pleural mesothelioma have not decreased in the last decade, there is hope on the horizon for mesothelioma patients.
Over the last few years, survival times have increased.
According to the World Journal of Surgery, the one year survival rate for patients increased from 37 percent to 47 percent over the last decade. This is good news for those individuals suffering from mesothelioma.
Improved Long-Term Survival Rates
Improved awareness and diagnostic options over the last decade mean that more patients are receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis early. Early diagnosis can lead to early treatment which has a significant impact on long-term survival rates. While there is no cure, patients who undergo treatments often live longer than those that do not.
Some of the factors contributing to longer survival times include:
- Receiving multimodal treatment
- Younger age at diagnosis
- Female gender
- Epithelioid cell type
- Health insurance
Not surprisingly, the younger a patient is diagnosed, the better the survival rate. However, the most important factor is receiving multimodal treatment, preferably at an institute that specializes in mesothelioma treatment and care.
What is Multimodal Treatment?
Multimodal treatment combines a variety of mesothelioma treatments to attack the cancer. This often includes surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation. Unfortunately, not every mesothelioma patient is a candidate for multimodal treatment. The stage of the cancer and the patient’s overall health may limit what treatment options are available. Patients with poor liver and kidney functions may not be able to tolerate chemotherapy. Likewise, older patients may not be strong enough to survive and recover from a major surgical procedure.
It is important to speak with your doctor about the best treatment options for you after your diagnosis. There may even be experimental treatments you can qualify for.
Diagnosed with Mesothelioma? Call Us Today!
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to speak to a Louisiana mesothelioma attorney immediately. Without an attorney on your side, you may not receive the money you need to help pay medical bills, therapies and long-term care. At Landry & Swarr, we are here to help.
Landry & Swarr is a New Orleans mesothelioma law firm. Our lawyers understand the complexities surrounding mesothelioma cases in Louisiana. We also know how devastating a mesothelioma diagnosis can be to patients and their families.
If you believe that you may have contracted mesothelioma due to contact with asbestos, call 504-299-1214 and speak to one of our attorneys about your legal options.