We Connect Clients to Top Specialists in the Field of Asbestos Disease
Sadly, most people with mesothelioma are not diagnosed until the disease has spread beyond medical help. This is especially tragic because of "cures" and life-extending advances in the early-stage treatment of asbestos cancers.
At Gori Julian & Associates, P.C., our entire legal team is committed to giving clients the best odds of surviving asbestos disease and the opportunity to make the most of their remaining time with their loved ones. Our St. Louis law firm represents clients nationwide in asbestos litigation to compensate them for the expensive medical care and for the devastation to victims and families.
Exploring Surgery and Other Mesothelioma Treatments
Mesothelioma and asbestos lung cancer are considered terminal cancers, particularly in stages III and IV. However, an increasing percentage of patients are still alive five or more years after diagnosis through aggressive, cutting-edge treatment in stages I or II. Even for those in latter stages, medical advances are extending life, alleviating painful symptoms and improving quality of life in their waning months.
Our lawyers and support staff can help you connect to doctors in your area who can provide a prompt and accurate diagnosis of asbestos disease to take full advantage of the remaining treatment options. We also help clients connect with leading medical centers in the U.S. known for their cutting-edge methods in mesothelioma treatment.
Treatment in a specific case depends on the patient's age and health, the type of cancer, the progression of the disease and other factors. Below are brief descriptions of treatment options, often used in combinations of two or more approaches:
- Curative surgery — In stages I and II, mesothelioma patients may be candidates for surgical removal of cancerous tissues. Pleurectomy is removal of the pleura, the lining that encases the lungs. Pneumonectomy is removal of all or part of a diseased lung. Extrapleural pneumonectomy removes parts of the lung, pleura and diaphragm. In patients who are healthy enough to withstand these aggressive and invasive procedures, surgery has proven effective at stopping the spread of cancer and keeping it at bay for years.
- Palliative surgery — In advanced stages, surgery is not an option for fighting the cancer, but it can alleviate the considerable pain. Pleurocentesis is a procedure to drain fluid that builds up in the pleural cavity, causing pain and breathing problems. Talc pleurodesis is a companion procedure to fill the drained cavity with inert material so that fluid does not build up again.
- Radiation — Radiation kills cancer cells and slows the progression. It also alleviates some symptoms, so it has value at any stage of mesothelioma. It is commonly used in conjunction with chemotherapy for maximum effect. Advances in radiation therapy have improved the ability to target cancerous cells and spare more healthy cells, thus reducing side effects known as radiation sickness. Radiation can be external (similar to an X-ray machine), or internal (through pills, injections or implanted mechanisms).
- Chemotherapy — The latest drugs are more effective at killing cancer cells and preventing them from reproducing. Chemotherapy is used to shrink tumors prior to surgery and "clean up" remaining cancer cells not removed in surgery. It is also used in later stages to stop or slow the spread of cancer. Chemicals are commonly used in pairs to increase their effectiveness and in conjunction with radiation and other therapies. Chemotherapy can be delivered via pills or intravenously.
- Gene therapy and immunotherapy — These emerging tactics change the genetic structure of cancerous cells, interfering with their ability to divide and spread, or enhance cells' natural immune response to fend off cancer. Clinical trials have shown encouraging results, but genetic therapies are not yet widespread.
- Photodynamic therapy — Another cutting-edge treatment, phototherapy uses light to activate photosensitive drugs that kill cancerous cells. Photodynamic therapy has proven effective, especially for patients who are not candidates for surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, but it is useful only for localized (early stage) tumors.
- Holistic or alternative medicine — Some patients who eschew radiation, chemicals or invasive surgery (or who are not candidates for these therapies), have alleviated symptoms and boosted their immunity through dietary changes and use of supplements, yoga, breathing exercises and other alternatives.
Seeking Diagnosis? Researching Treatment? Nationwide Assistance for
People With Mesothelioma and Asbestos Disease
St. Louis area: 618-307-4085/Toll free in the U.S.: 888-362-6890
Choosing one treatment option over another or deciding on a multimodal combination of these methods is a complex decision that balances medical efficacy, side effects and personal concerns. At Gori Julian & Associates, we know that aggressive treatment is critical to fighting mesothelioma and we understand that living with the disease and enduring these treatments take a tremendous toll.
Our role as attorneys is to guide clients to leading specialists and helpful resources they need to make the best decisions and to fight on their behalf for coverage of the massive costs of medical treatment. Based in Madison County, Illinois, we represent people throughout the United States. For a free case evaluation, please call our law offices directly or contact us online.Click Here for your free evaluation