Mesothelioma Lawyer in Indianapolis

I've Been Diagnosed with Mesothelioma

George & Farinas is a compassionate, experienced law firm of fierce advocates dedicated to protecting workers rights and dignity of those diagnosed with mesothelioma. We have decades of experience and a proven track record of helping injured clients and their families obtain recoveries for their losses, whether they were directly exposed to asbestos on the job site, in the military, or indirectly such as by cleaning a loved one's asbestos clothing.

Contact George & Farinas, LLP today to learn more about what we can do on your behalf to protect your rights.

What is Mesothelioma?

Malignant mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells lining the body's internal organs, known as the mesothelioma. There are three recognized types of mesothelioma:

  • Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease, accounting for roughly seventy percent (70%) of cases, and occurs in the lining of the lung known as the pleura.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneum.
  • Pericardial mesothelioma originates in the pericardium, which lines the heart.

Main Risk Factor for Mesothelioma: Asbestos

Working with asbestos is the main risk factor for mesothelioma. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral which was widely used in the manufacture of many products beginning in the late 1800s. Asbestos became increasingly popular with manufacturers and builders in at that time because of its absorption, strength, resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical damage, and affordability. The heaviest uses of, and exposures to, asbestos occurred between 1940 and 1980, in occupations such as construction, power plants, shipyards, railroads, insulation, sheet metal, automobile repair, and other related fields. Much of that asbestos is still present in buildings constructed before the 1980s, which caused considerable exposure in the 1970s and 1980s during poorly planned removal of products [called "abatement"].

When asbestos fibers are released into the air they may be inhaled by workers and remain in the lungs where they can cause disease. Evidence shows many of the companies which manufactured, distributed or installed asbestos containing products knew as early as the 1930's and 1940's that people would be injured or die from this exposure. Companies conspired to hide this information so these dangerous products would be sold and workers would not be afraid of exposure to the dust.

Asbestos was widely used in many industrial products including: insulation, cement, brake linings, roof shingles, flooring products, and textiles. At an increased risk of developing mesothelioma are: shipyard workers, people who work in asbestos mines and mills, producers of asbestos products, workers in the heating and construction industries, and other tradesmen. When tiny asbestos particles were disturbed in these industries, they would float in the air and be inhaled, swallowed, or left on the hair, skin or clothes. In addition to mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos increases the risk of lung cancer, asbestosis, and other cancers, such as those of the colon and bladder and kidney.

Symptoms & Treatment:

Symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on where the cancer occurs. Typically for a pleural mesothelioma, where the cancer affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Chest pain under the rib cage
  • Painful coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual lumps of tissue under the skin on your chest
  • Unexplained weight loss

For a peritoneal mesothelioma, which occurs in the abdomen, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Lumps of tissue in the abdomen
  • Unexplained weight loss

For a pericardial mesothelioma, which affects tissue that surrounds the heart, signs and symptoms include breathing difficulty and chest pain.

If you have signs and symptoms that might indicate mesothelioma, your doctor will conduct a physical exam to check for any lumps or other unusual signs. Your doctor may order imaging scans, such as a chest X-ray and a computerized tomography (CT) scan of your chest or abdomen, to look for abnormalities.

Based on the findings, you may undergo further testing to determine whether mesothelioma or another disease is causing your signs and symptoms. Biopsy, a procedure to remove a small portion of tissue for laboratory examination, is the only way to determine whether you have mesothelioma. Depending on what area of your body is affected, your doctor selects the right biopsy procedure for you. Options include:

  • Fine-needle aspiration. The doctor removes fluid or a piece of tissue with a small needle inserted into your chest or abdomen.
  • Thoracoscopy. Thoracoscopy allows the surgeon to see inside your chest. In this procedure, the surgeon makes one or more small incisions between your ribs. A tube with a tiny video camera is then inserted into your chest cavity — a procedure sometimes called video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). Special surgical tools allow your surgeon to cut away tissue for testing.
  • Laparoscopy. Laparoscopy allows the surgeon to see inside your abdomen. Using one or more small incisions into your abdomen, the surgeon inserts a tiny camera and special surgical tools to obtain a small piece of tissue for examination.
  • Thoracotomy. Thoracotomy is surgery to open your chest between the ribs to allow a surgeon to check for signs of disease. A sample of tissue may be removed for testing.
  • Laparotomy. Laparotomy is surgery to open your abdomen to allow a surgeon to check for signs of disease. A sample of tissue may be removed for testing.

What treatment you undergo for mesothelioma depends on a number of factors including, age health, and certain aspects of your cancer, such as its stage and location. Unfortunately, mesothelioma often is an aggressive disease and for most people a cure isn't possible. Mesothelioma is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage — when it isn't always possible to remove the cancer through an operation. Instead, your doctor may work to control your cancer to make you more comfortable.

If you or a loved one were told you suffer from Mesothelioma, we are here to provide information, advice and assistance. Contact our Indiana mesothelioma attorneys today. Consider calling George & Farinas, LLP for a FREE, NO HASSLE initial consultation by calling (888) 277-0500 or by filing out our online contact form.

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