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Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium. Mesothelium is a membrane that covers and protects most of the internal organs of the body. The disease begins when cells of the mesothelium become abnormal and divide without control. Though most cases of mesothelioma begin in the lungs they can metastasize (spread) into other parts of the body.

If you or someone you love has contracted mesothelioma through exposure to asbestos through hazardous materials at home or on the job, you might be entitled to significant compensation. Begin exploring your legal options with a free consultation: (866) 933-6115.

Causes of Mesothelioma

The primary causes of mesothelioma are direct and secondary asbestos exposure. Asbestos exposure usually occurs on the job and is most common in asbestos miners, factory workers, shipyard workers and construction workers. In addition, secondary exposure affects those who come in contact with asbestos on the clothing, tools or body of one who has been exposed to asbestos.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma can be hard to detect. Symptoms may not appear until 30 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. The following list is intended as a basic guide. If you have any of the listed symptoms please be seen by a medical professional.

Symptoms of mesothelioma include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the chest
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Lumps in the abdomen
  • Pain under the rib cage
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Blood clotting abnormalities
  • Anemia
  • Fever
  • Pain
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Swelling of the neck or face

Treatment of Mesothelioma

As in most cancers there are standard, basic treatments and some that are experimental or still in clinical trials. Treatments for mesothelioma include:


Surgery may be necessary to remove the cancer and/or the affected tissue and organs. The following surgical treatments may be used for malignant mesothelioma:

  • Wide local excision: Removes the cancer and some of the healthy tissue around it.
  • Pleurectomy and decortications: Removes part of the covering of the lungs and lining of the chest and part of the outside surface of the lungs.
  • Extrapleural pneumonectomy: Removes one whole lung and part of the lining of the chest, the diaphragm and the lining of the sac around the heart.
  • Pleurodesis: Uses drugs or chemicals to make a scar in the space between the layers of the pleura. Fluid is drained from the area and then the drug or chemical is put in its place. The scarring stops the build-up of fluid.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high energy X-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. The two types of radiation include external radiation therapy and internal radiation therapy.


Chemotherapy uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or stopping them from dividing. Chemotherapy can be taken by mouth, injected, or placed directly into the spinal column, an organ or a body cavity.

Biologic Therapy

Biologic therapy is a treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Substances are use to boost, direct or restore the body’s natural defenses against cancer. The treatment is also called biotherapy or immunotherapy.

If you have been injured or have become ill due to an on the job injury or exposure, contact a New Hampshire mesothelioma lawyer at the Law Offices Van Dorn & Curtiss today. Reach us online or by phone at (866) 933-6115.