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Peritoneal Mesothelioma Compensation Solicitors - Personal Injury Claims - Australia

LAWYER HELPLINE: 1800 339 958

Asbestos related diseases have been recognised for more than a century however it is only since 1991 that the use of asbestos and asbestos products has been outlawed in Australia. Due to the long period of time passing (the latency period) between exposure to asbestos fibres and development of obvious symptoms, which can be as long as 50 years after exposure, it is anticipated that new diagnoses of asbestos related diseases will continue to rise until about the year 2020. Our specialist solicitors deal with all types of asbestos related disease including compensation for asbestosis, pleural disease and asbestos lung cancer with a particular specialism in mesothelioma claim settlements. If you believe that you are suffering from an asbestos related disease we are able to arrange for you to be urgently examined by a medical consultant. We are able to provide detailed legal advice and pursue lung cancer, asbestosis, pleural disease and mesothelioma claims on a no win no fee basis. We offer free advice from a peritoneal mesothelioma compensation solicitor with no further obligation.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal mesothelioma is actually a rare cancer unless you have been exposed to asbestos sometime in your life. It stems from the body’s exposure to asbestos, a mineral that breaks down into microscopic needle-like fibres that collect onto the lining of the lung, the heart or the peritoneum.

When the asbestos fibres settle in the peritoneum, which is lining of most of the abdominal structures such as the liver, fatty tissue of the abdomen and the gastrointestinal tract, a cancer can form on the lining tissue. This is what is referred to as peritoneal mesothelioma. The cancer is so rare that it affects only about five hundred people in the US each year.

Overall pleural mesothelioma is more common. It affects the lining of the lungs. Pericardial mesothelioma is also more common than peritoneal mesothelioma. Of all types of mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma makes up about 20 percent of all cases of the cancer.

So how do asbestos fibres, normally breathed in by workers, get into the lining of the abdominal wall? It is believed that these fibres get to the abdominal wall by one of two ways. Asbestos may be ingested and may go through the digestive tract, ending up through the tissues until the fibres end up on the lining of the stomach or other abdominal tissues. On the other hand, malignant pleural mesothelioma has a tendency to end up on the lining of other tissues, including the peritoneum through the process of metastasis.

Asbestos is not a problem everyone has to worry about. It was primarily used in the construction industry, the boatyard industry, steel mills, naval shipyards and power plants. Men and women who came in contact with asbestos, which has been banned for many uses since 1975, are at the highest risk for all types of mesothelioma, including peritoneal mesothelioma.

It takes several years post-exposure to get peritoneal mesothelioma. Depending on the degree of exposure, the cancer can occur as little as 10 years or as much as 40 years post-exposure. This means that, since the ban occurred 35 or more years ago, there should be a reduction in the risk of the disease.

Peritoneal mesothelioma is very difficult to diagnose. The symptoms include weight loss and abdominal pain or an increase in fluid in the abdominal cavity. A CT scan or MRI scan can be done to show tumour mass or peritoneal effusion and a biopsy of the tumour can prove the existence of peritoneal mesothelioma.

While there is treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma, the prognosis is poor and many die of the disease. Even so, doctors attempt chemotherapy and radiation, often as palliative therapy to prolong the lives of those who have the disease. A few patients who have localized disease are candidates for surgery; however, most patients do not actually get better from surgery alone. Some surgical choices are to remove large parts of the peritoneum, including the tumour. Those with stage I disease can have a prolongation of their life; few would have a cure.

Chemotherapy for peritoneal mesothelioma includes Alimta and Cisplatin, although many clinical trials are under way to find better treatments for these types of patients.

LAWYER HELPLINE: 1800 339 958