As you worked many hard years in the shipyard, you likely understood that your hard work allowed you to provide for yourself and your family. As a result, you may have appreciated the opportunity to have employment that allowed you to meet this important goal. Because of the loyalty you felt to your profession, you may have felt betrayed when you found out that asbestos exposure has resulted in your developing mesothelioma.
While different types of mesothelioma exist, pleural mesothelioma remains the most common as it accounts for 75 percent of these cases. With this type, a tumor has developed in the lining of your lungs, and inhalation of asbestos fibers typically contribute to its development in this area of the body. Now, you may wonder what doctors can do to treat your condition.
Stages of pleural mesothelioma
Unfortunately, no cure exists for this type of cancer. However, depending on the stage at which doctors categorize your condition, you may have more or fewer treatment options. Like many forms of cancer, medical professionals usually use four stages to describe the severity of pleural mesothelioma. Those stages include:
- Stage one: If your cancer falls into the stage one category, the lining of only one lung has been affected. The outer lining and inner lining of your lung could both suffer effects from the cancer at this stage. Mesothelioma at stage one also allows for more treatment options and potential tumor removal.
- Stage two: This stage of pleural mesothelioma still only affects one lung, but it has a greater severity than stage one as it likely has also spread to areas of the chest wall, surrounding lymph nodes, diaphragm and to the lung itself rather than just the lining. Additionally, this stage also has various treatment options.
- Stage three: With stage three, the spreading of the cancer has become more extensive. One side of the body has become greatly affected, and as with stage two, your lung, lymph nodes and diaphragm may be affected as well as the lining of your heart. With this stage, treatment options may depend on personal factors, such as your age and overall health.
- Stage four: Stage four pleural mesothelioma is the most severe. At this point, the cancer has spread extensively to various areas of the chest as well as lymph nodes farther away from the lining of the lungs. Unfortunately, at this stage, curative treatment options are few, and patients typically have a life expectancy of less than one year. However, palliative treatment options may be available to help address pain.
If asbestos exposure in relation to your years in the shipyard caused your pleural mesothelioma, you may have reason to seek compensation from liable parties. Awards for damages allowable under Pennsylvania state law could help you pay for medical treatment, palliative care and other expenses relating to your condition.