Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Pennsylvania surgeon's treatment of mesothelioma

There may be hope for patients suffering from mesothelioma. A University of Pennsylvania thoracic surgeon has just released the results of a study about his medical team's treatment of patients suffering from mesothelioma, and it showed a number of patients surviving longer after the diagnosis of the disease due to more aggressive treatment.

Patients generally do not survive more than a year after a diagnosis of mesothelioma has been made. Yet in this doctor's study, 27 out of 38 advanced stage patients had survived for more than two years. Four individuals had now survived for more than five years.

Pleural mesothelioma results primarily due to exposure to asbestos. Though a diagnosis of mesothelioma is often grim, the disease itself may not crop up until years or even decades after the asbestos exposure.

Generally, the exposure has occurred to workers, and their employers may or may not have been aware of the dangers that occur with asbestos exposure. What generally occurs is that cancer cells arise in the mesothelium, which lines the chest cavity and lungs.

Unfortunately, once symptoms such as breathlessness begin to show up, the cancer is already well advanced. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery have often not proved effective.

Attorneys have prosecuted many asbestos related cases in Pennsylvania, and such cases have often resulted in large verdicts. Though such verdicts have seldom benefitted the victims of mesothelioma, the financial awards often have kept families - families that have often paid substantial sums of money for medical care - above water.

Hopefully, with advances in medical care, the victims of mesothelioma will be able to receive some benefit from such settlements as well.

Source: The Inquirer, "Penn surgeon makes headway against a rare lung cancer," by Marie McCullough, June 25, 2012

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