Mesothelioma Empowerment - Settlement Claims, Compensation, Lawyers and Lawfirms.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Find Mesothelioma Lawyer

Choosing a mesothelioma lawyer is a very important process. You want to choose a lawyer with experience in mesothelioma law cases, who has a proven track record. The internet provides a vast wealth of information that can help you in your search. Utilize all the tools at your disposal including mesothelioma lawyer directories and search engines such as google and yahoo. When viewing law firm websites it is important to note that this is one of the firm's advertising tools, and it should be treated as such. Don't give the information on it, or the flashyness of it any more importance than you would a television ad, or printed ad.
After you have compiled a short list of mesothelioma lawyers you have done most of the hard work. Narrowing your list down to the lawyer that you choose to represent you shouldn't be difficult at this stage. It is important to call and speak with each of the potential firms / lawyers so that you get a feel for not only their practising style, but also so you can see if you feel comfortable with them. You'll be spending a lot of time with this person and the outcome of your case will depend on them.

Mesothelioma settlements
The value of a mesothelioma settlement can vary quite drastically, anywhere from thousands to hundreds of millions. The average settlement for a mesothelioma case was 1 million US in 2001. If the case went to trial, the average amount awarded to the plaintiff was 6 million. These amounts were 3 times the average that was awarded just 2 years before in 1999. As you can see from the amounts awarded in these types of cases, when looking for a lawyer they should take a great deal of time to discuss their strategy and experience in this area and also answer any questions that you may have.

Mesothelioma Diagnosis

The earlier mesothelioma is detected, the better your chances are for an effective treatment. To determine whether a person has mesothelioma, doctors may use one or more of these diagnostic methods:
• Chest X ray

• CAT scan - CT or Computerized Tomography

• MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging

• PET scan - Positron Emission Tomography

• PFT - Pulmonary Function Test

• Transbronchial biopsy - A flexible, lighted scope is passed down the trachea to the bronchi area of the lungs.

• Thoracotomy - During surgery, the chest is opened and examined, usually between two of the lower ribs on one side.

• Thoracoscopy - A thoracoscope with a video camera is sent through an incision between the ribs.

• Centesis - Pleural, peritoneal, or pericardial fluid is drained and evaluated. This technique is used both for diagnosis and to relieve pressure, pain, and fullness in the chest or abdominal areas.

Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment

There are three treatments for all patients with malignant mesothelioma.

surgery (taking out the cancer)
radiation therapy (using high-dose x-rays or other high-energy rays to kill cancer cells)
chemotherapy (using drugs to fight the cancer)

Surgery is a common treatment of malignant mesothelioma. The doctor may remove part of the lining of the chest or abdomen and some of the tissue around it. Depending on how far the cancer has spread, a lung also may be removed in an operation called a pneumonectomy. Sometimes part of the diaphragm, the muscle below the lungs that helps with breathing, is also removed.

Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation may come from a machine outside the body (external radiation therapy) or from putting materials that produce radiation (radioisotopes) through thin plastic tubes in the area where the cancer cells are found (internal radiation therapy).

If fluid has collected in the chest or abdomen, the doctor may drain the fluid out of the body by putting a needle into the chest or abdomen and using gentle suction to remove the fluid. If fluid is removed from the chest, this is called thoracentesis. If fluid is removed from the abdomen, this is called paracentesis. The doctor may also put drugs through a tube into the chest to prevent more fluid from accumulating.

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be taken by pill, or it may be put into the body by a needle in the vein or muscle. Chemotherapy is called a systemic treatment because the drug enters the bloodstream, travels through the body, and can kill cancer cells throughout the body. In mesothelioma, chemotherapy may be put directly into the chest (intrapleural chemotherapy).

Intraoperative photodynamic therapy is a new type of treatment that uses special drugs and light to kill cancer cells during surgery. A drug that makes cancer cells more sensitive to light is injected into a vein several days before surgery. During surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible, a special light is used to shine on the pleura. This treatment is being studied for early stages of mesothelioma in the chest.