Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Lawyers in Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, NY

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is diagnosed in roughly 200 New Yorkers each year. This form of cancer is caused by asbestos exposure, which commonly happens in certain types of workplaces, housing, and locations. Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second-most common form of mesothelioma cancer, accounting for approximately 15-20% of all mesothelioma diagnoses.

Mesothelioma is quite deadly, with less than 18% of people living more than five years after receiving their diagnosis. One of the biggest reasons for this is that cancer symptoms may not show for 20-40 years after being exposed to the toxic mineral.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure in your workplace, home, or environment, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and more.

At Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC, our experienced peritoneal mesothelioma lawyers have helped countless clients in Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, and across New York State, receive the compassionate care and legal expertise that they need after a diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma.

What Is Peritoneal Mesothelioma?

Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs when cancer from asbestos exposure develops in the lining of the abdomen wall. This is the second most common type of mesothelioma, affecting nearly 300 Americans each year.

The abdomen holds most of a person’s major organs, including the intestines, liver, gallbladder, and stomach. These organs are at risk of becoming cancerous when the disease progresses into later stages.

What Causes Peritoneal Mesothelioma?

The only known cause for any form of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, a toxic substance that the human body cannot absorb.

Asbestos is a natural mineral with a fibrous texture. This mineral creates a fine particle dust that carries easily in the air. When people handle products made from this material or when they live around industrial areas where asbestos-containing products are manufactured, the asbestos can settle in and around their home, clothing, and hair.

Who Is Most At Risk?

The largest group of people who are diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma are blue-collar workers, military veterans, and civilians who worked in naval shipyards. This includes:

  • Navy veterans who lived aboard ships or worked in shipyards before 1980
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Roofers
  • Carpenters
  • Drywall hangers
  • Renovators
  • Concrete laborers
  • Bricklayers
  • General laborers
  • Landscapers

Secondary exposure effects have been recorded in family members of these primary groups, as well. This type of exposure happens when someone works around asbestos and gets fibers on themselves and in their clothing. When they come home to a spouse and children, the asbestos dust is carried into the home environment with them.

In fact, many family members in the ‘60s and ‘70s were routinely exposed to asbestos fibers simply by washing the family’s clothing each week.

Other documented cases show that large neighborhoods of people were exposed due to living near a manufacturing facility that used asbestos liberally, such as the Durez manufacturing plant in New York. Others were affected by living near mining operations, such as the Basalt mines in Jefferson County.

In some cases, the asbestos dust from these facilities carried for miles on the wind and settled inside houses.

What Are the Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma?

The primary symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are abdominal distention and pain. Several other symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach swelling
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Night sweats and chills
  • Nausea
  • Fever

These symptoms are similar to those of several other diseases and disorders, which can make the cancer difficult to identify and treat in a timely manner.

How Is Peritoneal Mesothelioma Diagnosed?

Since peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms may not begin to appear until 20 years after the asbestos poisoning, the disease can be misdiagnosed for quite some time.

When a patient feels that they may be at risk from asbestos exposure, they can insist on multiple medical opinions and have several tests run.

The two primary types of tests that a doctor may use are scans and biopsies. A CT scan or X-ray may help doctors to see tumor growth on the abdomen wall or on any major organs.

The results from scans are not always conclusive. A biopsy is the only definitive way to detect this condition. This means the doctor must extract tissue or fluid from the abdomen lining and have it tested in a lab.

Your best option is to consult with a mesothelioma specialist in the Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester, NY, areas. A specialist is more experienced in dealing with this disease and is less likely to misdiagnose it.

What Are the Chances of Survival for Peritoneal Mesothelioma?

There are four stages of peritoneal mesothelioma. The stage of the condition at the time of diagnosis plays a big role in determining which treatment options are available, and how much longer the patient may live.

Stage 1 is the earliest stage, and it has the best potential outcome. When peritoneal mesothelioma is detected this early, there’s a good chance that surgery may be successful.

Patients generally only qualify for surgery when they’re in the earliest stages if they’re also relatively healthy. People with Stage 1 peritoneal mesothelioma might live another two to five years; however, only 18% of people with this disease live longer than five years after diagnosis.

Stage 2 of peritoneal mesothelioma means that the cancer has begun to spread, but it may still be operable. Again, the patient must be relatively healthy to qualify for surgery, and the doctor may also use chemotherapy in combination with the surgical procedure. Patients with Stage 2 live approximately 18 months after diagnosis with successful treatment.

Stage 3 is when most people discover they have peritoneal mesothelioma, as most symptoms begin appearing at this stage. This stage is more advanced which means that surgery cannot always be performed as a treatment. The doctor may elect to use a combination of chemo and radiation.

When diagnosed at this stage, the life expectancy may only be another 16 months.

Stage 4 is the most advanced stage of peritoneal mesothelioma. At this stage, the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Depending on the specific patient, radiation may be an option, but most patients at this stage simply receive care to manage pain and keep them comfortable. People with Stage 4 peritoneal mesothelioma usually live less than 12 months after diagnosis.

What Are The Treatment Options for Peritoneal Mesothelioma?

The primary treatment options for peritoneal mesothelioma are surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. There are also some treatments currently undergoing trials.

Surgery is currently the best-known treatment approach, but it is only viable for Stage 1 and Stage 2 patients.

When surgery is an option, the doctor may remove all tumors seen during surgery. They may also opt to implement more drastic measures, including removing organs or removing the abdominal lining itself.

Chemotherapy is another common treatment approach. This one is often used in combination with surgery.

Chemo uses one or more cancer-inhibiting drugs. These drugs don’t cure peritoneal mesothelioma but they can help slow the growth or reduce the size of existing tumors.

Radiation is the third most common treatment approach for this disease. This treatment involves using targeted, painless laser beams into the patient’s body. These beams destroy cancer cells. However, they can also kill healthy cells.

The last approach is less of a treatment and more of a caring approach. Palliative care is synonymous with end-of-life care or hospice. It is also sometimes called supportive care.

Patients who are in Stage 4 often receive this type of care. The goal of the care is to simply limit suffering and optimize the remaining quality of life.

How Can Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford Help?

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, you have legal and financial recourse.

In the state of New York, you must take steps quickly, however, because you only have three years to make a claim once you know about the illness. And since this disease progresses so quickly, some victims must leave the final steps of the process to their surviving family members.

The experienced peritoneal mesothelioma attorneys at Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford specialize in cases like yours. When you partner with our team, we’ll provide you with a free consultation in which we can discuss the facts of your case and help you to understand your legal options.

Some clients opt to file for workers’ compensation or file a liability lawsuit against the company or companies who made the products that caused your illness, depending on the circumstances of their exposure.

Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford, LLC is one of the few law firms in New York State operating in the area of mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer to have a Workers’ Compensation Attorney on staff ready to assist in the filing of a claim for disability benefits or death.

Workers’ compensation pays for medical expenses associated with your disease if you were exposed to the toxic substance at your workplace. It also pays an ongoing weekly stipend to employees who are no longer able to work because of the disease.

If you are a surviving family member of someone who has died from peritoneal mesothelioma, then you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim, as well.

Some people choose to join a class-action lawsuit against large companies responsible for asbestos exposure. While this is a good way to get laws and regulations changed, it doesn’t necessarily help the victims or the families immediately.

Filing a lawsuit directly can help to ease the financial burden incurred by care. Liability lawsuits are generally filed against companies that are currently active, but there are options for receiving compensation from a bankrupt company, as well.

Asbestos Exposure Attorneys You Can Count On

Cases related to asbestos exposure can be complex. That’s why you need legal specialists like the skilled peritoneal mesothelioma lawyers at Lipsitz, Ponterio & Comerford.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma as a result of working with asbestos in Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, or any other area in New York State, please contact us for a free and confidential evaluation.

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