Mesothelioma Medical Malpractice Lawyer Compensation Claims
Hundreds of Canadian citizens are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year however only a very small minority are diagnosed early enough to affect a cure. The key to survival is early diagnosis and treatment which is often delayed due to misdiagnosis or misinterpreted test results. Mesothelioma misdiagnosis is extremely common and failure by a healthcare practitioner that amounts to negligence is a matter of medical malpractice and entitles the victim to claim financial recompense for pain and suffering or the loss of opportunity for a cure. Our specialist medical malpractice lawyers deal with mesothelioma clinical negligence cases against doctors, nurses, technicians and other healthcare providers working in medical practices, clinics, hospitals and all other places where health care is dispensed. If you would like advice about mesothelioma misdiagnosis just contact our offices and a specialist medical malpractice lawyer with call to discuss your potential compensation claim without charge and without further obligation. Our medical malpractice lawyers will give you their opinion on the liability of the negligent healthcare provider and will estimate the amount of the likely award of damages there and then.
Mesothelioma Misdiagnosis Facts
Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer that occurs in the lining of the lungs. It is especially common in those who have been exposed to asbestos, a substance used in insulation and other industrial capacities. Mesothelioma is divided into three types that look different under the microscope, including biphasic, sarcomatoid and epithelial. The rate of mesothelioma is increasing currently but is expected to decrease around 2020 because asbestos is not being used in industry or in insulation as much. There is, in fact, a ban on asbestos in many situations.
While mesothelioma is an uncommon type of lung cancer, it is one of the most deadly. Only five to ten percent of individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma live past five years and the average survival time from the time of diagnosis is only about 4-18 months, depending on treatment and the stage of the disease. It takes about 20-50 years post exposure in order to develop symptoms of this type of cancer. There is a latency period, in which there are cells that have been damaged but have not yet turned into cancerous cells.
The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma include chest pain that occurs around the rib cage, coughing that is painful, shortness of breath, unexplained weight loss and lumps of tissue growing up along the rib cage. If it has affected the peritoneum, you can get abdominal swelling, abdominal pain, and unexplained weight loss. Mesothelioma usually affects the periphery of the lungs which is why the ribcage is so often affected.
The main risk factor for getting mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a fiber that is particularly long and needle-like. The needles damage lung tissue, triggering cancer to form. Other risk factors include living with someone who works with asbestos, having a polio vaccination between 1955 and 1963 (a vaccine that used monkey cells), radiation exposure, such as with thorium dioxide, and having a family history of mesothelioma.
Diagnosing mesothelioma depends on a thorough history and physical examination. A chest x-ray might show evidence of cancer as can a CT scan or MRI scan of the chest and lung area. A biopsy is often done as a needle biopsy through the skin with CT guidance. Thoracoscopy allows the doctor to see the space between the lungs and the chest wall and to biopsy suspicious areas. Laparoscopy can be done to biopsy peritoneal mesothelioma. Following the biopsy, the cells are looked at under the microscope to see if they represent mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma can be staged using a CT scan of the chest and abdomen or by doing an MRI exam of the same areas. PET scans can be done to show areas of increased metabolic activity indicative of cancerous cells. Stage I pleural mesothelioma occurs when the cancer is localized to a specific area of the lining of the chest wall. In stage II mesothelioma, the cancer may have spread to the lung or to the diaphragm of the body. Stage III mesothelioma involves spread to other areas in the chest cavity, including lymph nodes that are close to the cancer. Stage IV mesothelioma is advanced cancer that has spread to distant areas of the body. Stage IV mesothelioma has the worst prognosis of all the stages.
The treatment of mesothelioma begins with surgery to remove part or all of a lobe of the lung. Any lymph nodes suspected of being cancerous are removed as well. Radiation can be used as a means of shrinking the tumor before surgery or to remove tumor cells that were left behind during surgery. Chemotherapy is used for mesothelioma but the overall success rate isn’t that good.