The historically common use of asbestos-containing products in building materials in the 20th century, causing inadvertent asbestos exposure, led to the development of the rare cancer mesothelioma.
With a reported total of 14,216 asbestos-related deaths between 1999 and 2013, Pennsylvania ranks second among states with the highest asbestos exposure rate nationwide and the highest ratio of deaths per million people. One of the most infamous sources of asbestos exposure in the 20th century was the vermiculite ore processing facilities in New Castle and Ambler, PA, but wrongful exposure also occurred in steel mills, locomotive buildings, and shipyards.
Our mesothelioma lawyers at The Halpern Law Firm are dedicated to helping Pennsylvania mesothelioma victims. Below, we answer some frequently asked questions about mesothelioma.
You’ve probably seen the ads on TV or heard the radio ads about mesothelioma and the link to asbestos. However, what is mesothelioma, how does it affect patients, and what legal ramifications can you pursue as a victim?
Mesothelioma is a rare disease attributable to the inhalation of asbestos fibers. When the fibers get into the lungs, the body’s natural defenses can’t break down the fibers like they can bacteria, viruses, and organic materials. The defensive macrophage cells in the lungs try to mutate to fight the asbestos “infection.” Several cell generations mutating against the invader can lead to chromosomal deterioration that can cause cancer.
The cell mutations that develop into mesothelioma are very hard to detect in their early stages, which makes detection difficult. The prognosis for mesothelioma victims is often a life expectancy of fewer than five years after diagnosis. However, some patients show signs of mesothelioma remission and can live for ten years or more after diagnosis.
Mesothelioma develops in the protective layer of tissues around the organs of the chest and abdomen. Pleural mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs. In contrast, malignant mesothelioma can develop in any area of the mesothelium, which is the protective tissue layer around the pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial cavities in the chest.
One of the most commonly asked questions about mesothelioma is what to do once you have a mesothelioma diagnosis. Your mesothelioma attorney at Halpern Law Firm can help you understand your legal options and rights to pursue justice, including:
Common industries for asbestos exposure that can lead to mesothelioma include construction, mechanics, painting, welding, brick and masonry, insulation, and more.
Many clinical trials focus on researching the disease to understand how it works. Even a clinical trial testing a new treatment for FDA approval is unlikely to find a cure at this point. Currently, participating patients in a clinical trial often won’t see the resulting benefits of the study within their lifetimes.
However, many patients appreciate the opportunity to help researchers learn more about their disease so they can help future victims. Whether you decide to participate in a clinical trial is deeply personal, but you should consider the future benefits versus your costs before participating in a clinical trial.
At The Halpern Law Firm, we have worked with mesothelioma victims in Pennsylvania to pursue justice for their injuries for over 30 years. Attorney David Halpern and his team have helped individual victims and family members recover millions in damages.
Please contact us at the Halpern Law Firm today at (800) 505-6000 or complete our online form if you or a family member has mesothelioma.
Page Reviewed and Edited by
Dave Halpern, Mesothelioma Attorney
Dave Halpern is a Pennsylvania and New Jersey mesothelioma attorney with over 30 years of experience. He has investigated hundreds of cases and won numerous multimillion dollar settlements and verdicts for asbestos victims. Dave prides himself on working tirelessly to help his clients in their time of need.