Welcome to Mesothelioma Aid

Welcome to Mesothelioma Aid, a site for practical living with malignant mesothelioma. This site, and our staff provide you with the latest, leading medical information and provide mesothelioma patients, families and caregivers with support with real life and mesothelioma caregiving issues. Mesothelioma Aid focuses on providing answers to your questions and helping you best cope with what is ahead.

Mesothelioma is an industrial disease caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. Malignant cells develop in the mesothelium, a membrane that covers and protects most of the body's internal organs. The mesothelium has different names depending on where it is located in the body. The two most common sites where mesothelioma develops are the pleura, the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall, and the peritoneum, which is the lining of the abdominal cavity. Thus when the disease develops in these areas, it is called pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma respectively.

This site is organized into sections designed to address the concerns of mesothelioma patients and their families.

Mesothelioma Information - About malignant mesothelioma and its relationship to asbestos.

Mesothelioma Symptoms - The most common symptoms of the disease are shortness of breath, chest pains, weight loss, and loss of energy. Learn more.

Mesothelioma Diagnosis – How doctors determine if a person has malignant mesothelioma. Common questions and answers and a path to follow when you have been told you have mesothelioma.

Treatment of mesothelioma – Oncologists have a set of techniques they can use to treat mesothelioma. These include surgical debulking of the cancerous tissue, radiation treatment, chemotherapy, and new innovative procedures. Learn more about mesothelioma treatments.

Caregiving – Both in health care facilities and at home, caregiving is very important for the friends and family of mesothelioma patients. This section includes suggestions for those who care for mesothelioma patients, from building caregiving skills and delegating responsibilities to providing healthy nutrition.

Coping – Coping emotionally, physically, and financially with malignant mesothelioma and your treatment regimen. This site provides tips for interacting with the doctors and nurses and your keeping yourself on an even keel.

Financial Planning – Insurance considerations, medicare, and financial planning for mesothelioma patients and their families. We provide recommendations on how to manage your costs and billing.

Support - Support services available at major cancer centers and links to special travel resources for mesothelioma patients. There are many resources available to people with mesothelioma; this section provides information on a variety of sources of support including support groups for mesothelioma patients and their families.

When You Get Mesothelioma

Because mesothelioma shares symptoms with many other illnesses, patients are sometimes misdiagnosed. Doctors use a biopsy and microscopic tissue examination to definitively diagnose mesothelioma. Epithelial mesothelioma is the most common histology, followed by mixed/biphasic, and sarcomatous. Even oncologists (patients who specialize in cancer) might see only a few cases during their careers. A few doctors have enough experience with mesothelioma to be recognized as experts. We can help you find specialists and cancer treatment centers for your case.

Treatments of the disease can significantly extend the amount of time someone with mesothelioma has to live. Proven methods of treatment include surgery (such as pleurectomy and extrapleural pneumonectomy), radiation therapy (including complex Hemithoracic treatment), and chemotherapy. A chemotherapy combination of Alimta and cisplatin has become the standard of care, although each case is different and your medical team will craft a special treatment plan for you, taking into account your situation. Research is underway to address this disease and develop new treatments. We hope for a cure some day.

Mesothelioma and the Legacy of Asbestos

The risk of mesothelioma increases with cumulative exposure and also with the length of time since the first exposure. Asbestos has been declared a proven human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization. Because there is no safe threshold of exposure to asbestos, any degree of contact will involve some risk. Although a rare cancer, mesothelioma rates have increased since the 1970s as the long latency period of the asbestos-related cancer has played out.

Experts expect the incidence of mesothelioma to increase in coming years. The International Labour Organization and World Health Organization have declared that the most efficient way to eliminate asbestos-related diseases is to stop using all types of asbestos. Contrary to widespread belief, asbestos is NOT banned in the United States. It is still imported from Canada and is used in some consumer products. Further, the legacy of asbestos from decades past is all around us – in roofing shingles, old drywall, cement, and more.

Our goal is to provide mesothelioma patients and their families with the help they need to understand their situation, the impact on their lives, how to get the information they need from their caregivers and determine the best treatment options.


Free Information Packet on Mesothelioma

If you would like to receive a FREE information packet on mesothelioma**, or if you have a comment or question, please complete the following:

**(Packet includes information on treatment, clinical trials, cancer links, how to access legal and financial resources, and frequently asked legal questions with answers provided by Cooper, Hart, Leggiero & Whitehead, PLLC.). By filling out the above form you consent to being contacted by Cooper, Hart, Leggiero & Whitehead regarding potentially retaining legal services.