A mesothelioma diagnosis can place an unexpected financial and emotional burden on the patient and family members. Were you recently diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, or did you lose a loved one from the condition?
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC will fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure you receive maximum financial recovery for your damages. Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) to schedule a free consultation to discuss your compensation claim.
Mesothelioma accounts for less than 0.3% of all cancer diagnoses in the United States. Nearly 3000 individuals are diagnosed with rare cancer every year, primarily men sixty-five years of age and older.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is the most common form, making up more than 75% of all cases.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer affecting internal organs. Approximately four-fifths of all mesothelioma cases affect the lining of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma), which is often misdiagnosed as lung cancer.
Mesothelioma can also affect the tissue around the abdominal area (peritoneal mesothelioma). Approximately 8% of mesothelioma cases involve the peritoneum.
Pericardium mesothelioma typically involves cancerous tumors around the lining of the heart (pericardium). Testicular mesothelioma affects the lining around the testicles (tunica vaginalis).
Diagnosing mesothelioma can be challenging because most symptoms do not appear until decades after the patient was first exposed to asbestos fibers and dust. Treating mesothelioma is limited to chemo and radiation therapy and some surgical procedures, including tumor removal.
Asbestos Statistics and Risk Factors
- Asbestos is a naturally forming heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral.
- There is no safe level of asbestos fiber or dust exposure.
- Asbestos has been used for nearly a century in the United States in thousands of products, including brake pads, insulation, and fire-retardant materials.
- People have been exposed to asbestos during the mining and refining processes, increasing the incidence rates for developing the crippling disease.
- Prolonged asbestos exposure could lead to asbestos disease and mesothelioma.
- In 1973, the United States imported more than 800,000 tons of raw asbestos.
- By 2016, the US imported less than 350 pounds of raw asbestos.
- The EPA closed the last US asbestos mind in 2002.
- In 2015, over 25 million pounds of asbestos fibers were disposed of in regulated landfills.
Mesothelioma Statistics and Facts
- Exposure to asbestos fiber and dust cause mesothelioma.
- Not everyone exposed to asbestos fiber and dust develops mesothelioma.
- Short-term exposure or single incident exposure to asbestos in high concentration is dangerous and could cause mesothelioma development.
- Mesothelioma is not a predisposed (genetic) condition.
- BAP1 gene mutation could increase the potential risk of developing mesothelioma.
- Many patients were exposed to asbestos secondhand from family members who unknowingly brought fiber and dust into the house.
- The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is considering banning all products that use asbestos.
- Cases involving mesothelioma in the United States account for less than 0.3% of all cancer diagnoses.
- Doctors categorize mesothelioma as four different types, including pleural, pericardial, peritoneal, and testicular.
- Common organs affected by asbestos exposure include the lungs, abdomen, heart, and testicles.
- Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type, accounting for three-fourths of all mesothelioma of cases.
- Advanced mesothelioma symptoms typically include fatigue, difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain, chest pain, night sweats, fevers, chest tightness, fluid buildup, unexplained weight loss, and not feeling well.
- Nearly 2,500 individuals die of mesothelioma every year in America.
- Between 1999 and 2017, 47,000 individuals died from mesothelioma in the US.
- Approximately 2% to 10% of all individuals with prolonged, heavy exposure to asbestos fiber and dust develop malignant pleural mesothelioma.
- Mesothelioma in symptoms might not appear until 2 to 5 decades after asbestos use and exposure when tumors begin growing and spreading.
- Individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma have an average life expectancy of 12 to 22 months.
- Typical asbestos disease patients are men 65 years and older who have worked in the military or blue-collar jobs.
- The average age of females diagnosed with mesothelioma is 71 years.
- The average age of males diagnosed with mesothelioma is 75 years.
- Occupations most at risk of developing mesothelioma due to asbestos use include construction, shipbuilding, firefighting, military service, manufacturing, power generation, and chemical refining.
- Over 93% of all mesothelioma diagnosis involve white men and women (93.2%).
- Approximately 5.5% of all cases of mesothelioma affect Hispanics, 4.7% Blacks, and 1.2% Asian/Pacific Islanders.
- People older than 60 years old are ten times more likely to develop mesothelioma than people 40 years or younger.
- The latency period for pleural mesothelioma is between 3 and 6 decades.
- The latency period for peritoneal mesothelioma is between 2 and 4 decades.
- The latency period for female peritoneal mesothelioma patients is longer (5+ decades) than male patients (4+ decades).
- Less than 1% of all diagnosed cancer cases of mesothelioma involve testicular cancer.
- Social Security benefits (compassionate allowances) are typically available for malignant mesothelioma cancer patients, including those with mesothelioma.
- Testicular mesothelioma affects the testicular lining.
- Cancer may metastasize (spread to other organs and lymph nodes) before the first symptoms appear.
- There is no cure for mesothelioma, and the condition is almost always fatal.
Early cancer detection provides more treatment options, a higher chance of mesothelioma survival, and less potential for spreading. Medical science has yet to develop conclusive screening tests for mesothelioma to identify early-stage cancer in people without symptoms.
Mesothelioma diagnostic tests might include:
- A comprehensive physical examination
- A complete medical history
- Blood tests
- Needle and endoscopic biopsies
- Open surgical biopsy
- Imaging tests including x-rays, sonograms, CT scans, echocardiograms, PET (positron emission tomography) scan, and MRIs
- Pulmonary function test
Mesothelioma doctors may recommend routine imaging tests, including CT (computed tomography) scans and chest x-rays, for individuals with a medical history of asbestos exposure. The test may reveal any changes and lung tissue that could indicate early-stage lung cancer or mesothelioma.
Blood tests can identify elevated levels of soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRPs) and the fibulin-3 that might indicate early-stage mesothelioma.
Survival Rate Statistics
- Statistics maintained by the American Cancer Society reveal that more than 45,000 people died from malignant mesothelioma in the United States between 1999 and 2015. Men accounted for approximately 80% of mesothelioma deaths during that time.
- Nearly 37% of mesothelioma deaths affected individuals 75 to 84 years of age.
- The US Midwest, Northeast, Northwest areas had the highest mesothelioma death rates between 1999 and 2015.
- The 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Maine had the highest mesothelioma death rates at more than 16 mesothelioma deaths per million.
- Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Louisiana, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire had the second-highest mesothelioma mortality rates at more than 13.6 mesothelioma deaths per million.
- California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, New York, and Vermont had mesothelioma had the third-highest death rates at more than 11 mesothelioma deaths per million.
- Hawaii, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, South Dakota, Kentucky, North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia had the lowest mesothelioma death rates at less than 11 per million.
Five Year Relative Survival Rates
Five-year pleural mesothelioma relative survival rates are tracked by the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER). The rates are staged in three groups, including localized, regional, and distant.
A mesothelioma diagnosis should include a seer stage that determines the patient’s 5-year survival rate, including:
Localized – 18% of patients diagnosed with localized pleural mesothelioma will survive five years after the diagnosis.
Regional – 11% of patients diagnosed with regional pleural mesothelioma will still be alive five years later.
Distant – 7% of patients diagnosed with distant pleural mesothelioma will survive five years after their diagnosis.
Overall, 9% of patients at all combined stages will still be alive five years after being diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma patients who reject any cancer treatment options have a typical mortality rate of six months after their diagnosis.
Survival Rate by Cell Type
Cancerous cells can form three different malignant mesothelioma tumor types that might spread more quickly or slower throughout the body based on the cell type.
Cell types causing mesothelioma tumors include:
Epithelioid – The slow-growing cancerous cells are highly responsive to treatment. Mesothelioma patients diagnosed with epithelioid cancer cells have a 12.5-month mortality rate on average.
Sarcomatoid – The highly aggressive sarcomatoid cells respond to treatment options poorly, decreasing the patient’s survival time to an average of 9.4 months.
Biphasic – Biopsies can show that the epithelioid and sarcomatoid cell growth make up a biphasic tumor. The mesothelioma patient survival rate will depend on the most dominant cell type in the tumor. On average, mesothelioma patients with biphasic tumors have an average life expectancy of 11 months from diagnosis.
Medical science diagnosed mesothelioma in and four stages, detailing the extent of how far the disease has metastasized (cancer has spread). Doctors will recommend various treatments based on the patient’s mesothelioma stage, determining the medical outcome and mesothelioma prognosis.
According to the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, each diagnosed stage has a different median survival time, including:
- Stage I – 22.2 months
- Stage II – 20.0 months
- Stage III – 17.9 months
- Stage IV – 14.9 months
Common Mesothelioma Symptoms
Most symptoms associated with mesothelioma are hard to identify or detect, making it challenging to diagnose cancer in its early stage accurately. The patient might have mild or nonexistent symptoms while the disease progresses.
Common symptoms associated with parole mesothelioma include:
- Abdominal tenderness and swelling
- Chest Pains
- Coughing up blood
- Persistent cough
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Overall pain
- Night sweats
- Abdominal skin lumps under the skin
- Chest lumps under the skin
- Reduce lung expansion
- Buildup of fluid
- Peritoneal mesothelioma shares many of the same symptoms as pleural mesothelioma, with additional symptoms including:
- Abdominal distention
- Bowel obstruction
- Sensation of fullness
- Pericardial mesothelioma shares most of the symptoms of pleural mesothelioma and:
- Heart failure
- Heart palpitations
- Pressure on the heart
- Heart murmurs
- Irregular heartbeat
The Cost of Mesothelioma
Statistics maintained by the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society estimate that treating mesothelioma patients has skyrocketed in the last few decades. The cost statistics include:
- $60,000 lung cancer treatment costs – Mesothelioma patients require more than $60,000 for the cost of care and treatment during the first year.
- $180,000 mesothelioma claims – A 2019 research report identified the average value of a submitted mesothelioma claim at $180,000 from the more than 2080 mesothelioma lawsuits filed the previous year.
- $30 billion compensation funds – Asbestos bankruptcy trusts have already paid out two-thirds ($20 billion) of the $30 billion trust funds to mesothelioma claimant’s over the last thirty-five years.
- Based on the life expectancy of most mesothelioma patients, the medical costs for treatment, care, and comfort could reach $500,000 or higher. This cost does not include lost wages, and future lost earning capacity.
Mesothelioma Treatment Statistics
Various mesothelioma treatments are available for cancer patients, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Their doctor might recommend enrolling in a clinical trial where scientists offer experimental treatments that have yet to be approved by the FDA.
Mesothelioma treatment statistics include:
- Over 80% of all mesothelioma patients undergo chemotherapy treatments.
- A 2016 National Cancer Institute study revealed chemotherapy treatments tripled the patients’ survival rates after a pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma diagnosis.
- Approximately 50% of all peritoneal mesothelioma patients undergoing a HIPEC (Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy) surgical procedure live past their 5-year survival rate.
- Approximately 20% of patients undergo aggressive tumor-removing (cytoreductive) surgery.
- Tested mesothelioma and immunotherapy medications using clinical trials include Pembrolizumab (Keytruda), Nivolumab (Opdivo), CRS-207, Ipilimumab (Yervoy), and WT1 Vaccine.
- Today, medical science is conducted over 300 global mesothelioma clinical trials.
- Most mesothelioma trials have been conducted in the United States (198), followed by Canada (40), Italy (38), Canada (27), and France (27).
Mesothelioma Surgical Statistics
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, surgical procedures to treat mesothelioma improve the patient’s prognosis. Typically, candidates for mesothelioma surgeries include those diagnosed with the condition before it metastasizes (spreads to other areas of the body).
The doctor may recommend different surgical procedures, including:
Extrapleural Pneumonectomy (EPP) – This surgical procedure effectively treats pleural mesothelioma by removing cancerous tumors and the neighboring lung. The 5-year survival rate for EPP is 14%
Pleurectomy with Decortication (PD) – This surgical procedure is similar to an EPP that removes the cancerous tumors but allows the lung to stay intact. The 5-year survival rate for a PD surgical procedure used concomitantly with chemotherapy is 23%.
Cytoreduction with HIPEC – Surgeons perform cytoreduction by removing cancerous growth while concomitantly treating the body with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. The 5-year mortality rate for survivors undergoing cytoreduction with HIPEC is 41% to 47%.
Not every patient is a candidate for the above surgeries. However, the doctor may recommend palliative treatment, including other surgical procedures, to increase comfort and lessen the symptoms associated with difficulty breathing.
Legal Mesothelioma Facts and Statistics
- Many mesothelioma patients and surviving family members have filed a civil lawsuit against asbestos companies producing materials and products that exposed others to asbestos.
- Tens of thousands of mesothelioma lawsuits and claims have been filed over the last few decades by patients diagnosed with the condition.
- Thousands of wrongful death lawsuits have been filed by surviving family members who lost a loved one from mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure.
- Mesothelioma patients are entitled to receive compensation, including workers’ comp benefits, veterans’ benefits, mesothelioma set of months, and mesothelioma verdicts.
- The average reported cancer settlement ranges between $1 million and $1.5 million.
- Jurors award mesothelioma patients $2.4 million on average in trial verdicts.
- Most cancer claims are resolved within nine months on average.
- Complicated mesothelioma lawsuits take longer to resolve through negotiated settlements or jury trials.
- Every legislature enacts their state’s statute of limitations, restricting the time a mesothelioma patient can file a claim, or families who lost a loved one can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
- The statute of limitations restricts the time of filing a claim between one to three years.
- The Illinois statute of limitations restricts the time to two years to file a mesothelioma claim or lawsuit from the time of the first diagnosis.
Don’t Be a Statistic. Contact an Attorney Today to Handle Your Cancer Case
Even though oncology science and treatments have improved significantly over the last few decades, there is still no cure for mesothelioma. If you or a family member develop mesothelioma from direct exposure or secondhand exposure, you are likely entitled to receive financial compensation for your damages.
Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. Let us work on your behalf to ensure you receive all available compensation and benefits.
All information you share with our law office remains confidential through an attorney-client relationship.