How is mesothelioma different?

While both diseases affect the lungs, mesothelioma and lung cancer are two different diseases, each requiring a specific treatment.

answered by Gregory A. Cade

Mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive disease is only caused by asbestos exposure

Malignant mesothelioma differs from other forms of asbestos-related diseases in several ways:

  • it affects the mesothelium tissue that covers many of the internal organs
  • it is rare and caused solely by exposure to dangerous asbestos fibers
  • it has the most aggressive progress, as well as the least favorable prognosis
  • it is genetically unique

Nevertheless, because the symptoms of mesothelioma often resemble those of other lung diseases, misdiagnosis is a common occurrence, which can lead to the patient receiving inappropriate and ineffective treatment. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to seek a second and even a third opinion if you have a pulmonary disease which is the consequence of occupational or military asbestos exposure.

The main symptoms of pleural mesothelioma, the type which occurs on the lungs, are chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, night sweats, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, and a persistent cough. However, these are also the symptoms of more common pulmonary diseases and conditions, which can also be caused by asbestos exposure, such as the following:

Is malignant mesothelioma the same as lung cancer?

One of the primary differences between mesothelioma and lung cancer is the area of the lungs each develops on. Mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive disease, which affects the lungs, is only caused by asbestos exposure. Unlike lung cancer, which occurs inside of the lungs, it develops on the outer lining of the organs, medically known as the mesothelium, hence the name of the disease.

Another important difference between mesothelioma and lung cancer concerns the cell type which occurs in the cancerous tumors. While in the former, the cancer cells can be epithelioid, sarcomatoid, or biphasic, in the latter, the malignant cells can be squamous, large, or adenoma. Whereas lung cancer is restricted to only one area, mesothelioma can occur in other parts of the body, such as:

  • the outer lining of the heart
  • the abdomen
  • the testicles

Every year, over 220,000 people develop lung cancer in the United States, while mesothelioma is quite rare, occurring in only 3,000 individuals annually. The primary cause of lung cancer is tobacco smoking, whereas mesothelioma is only the consequence of asbestos exposure. However, lung cancer can also be the result of asbestos exposure alone. Smoking increases the risk of developing lung cancer as a result of asbestos exposure by 50 to 84 times, but when it comes to mesothelioma, it does not influence the risk at all.

Consequently, lung cancer and mesothelioma are two different diseases and each of them requires a specific treatment plan. For this reason, the asbestos exposure victim must receive a correct diagnosis, as misdiagnosis occurs very frequently when it comes to diseases caused by asbestos exposure. It is recommended to seek a second and even a third opinion if you have a disease that stems from asbestos exposure.

We offer asbestos screenings free of charge to the victims of asbestos exposure

Misdiagnosis can easily occur when it comes to identifying the asbestos-related disease which is affecting the lungs. Even medical professionals who have vast experience in diagnosing lung diseases that stem from asbestos exposure may have a challenging time assigning a correct diagnosis, as the symptoms of these diseases are very similar. Only by employing a series of tests and exams makes it possible that a disease caused by asbestos exposure be correctly diagnosed, such as a chest X-ray, a CT scan, breathing tests, and blood tests. A biopsy may also be necessary in the case of a tumor which occurs on or inside the lungs to accurately determine what type of cancer the patient suffers from.

Because misdiagnosis is so common when it comes to diseases, which result from asbestos exposure, our medical specialists, who have extensive experience in diagnosing these diseases, provide people with a history of asbestos exposure with a free of charge asbestos screening. Thereby, if you were exposed to asbestos in occupational or military settings, we strongly encourage you to visit our medical facility in Birmingham, Alabama in order to receive a correct diagnosis and to find out whether you have asbestos fibers in your lungs.

By carefully examining your chest X-rays and using breathing and blood tests, our medical experts will be able to assign you a precise diagnosis. In the unfortunate case you developed a disease following asbestos exposure, our attorneys will help you recover the financial compensation you deserve.

We provide you with quality legal assistance if you struggle with asbestos-related diseases

Whether you suffer from mesothelioma, lung cancer, or another disease, which affects your lungs as a consequence of asbestos exposure, you have the right to take legal action.

With 30 years of experience in pursuing asbestos exposure cases, our attorneys will assist you with filing a claim with the asbestos trust funds of the companies which manufactured the dangerous products you were exposed to, as well as with the VA if you are a veteran.

By taking legal action, not only will you recover the compensation you deserve for your injury, but the liable parties will also be held accountable for their negligent actions. If you struggle with mesothelioma, your claim will be expedited, as this is the most serious disease asbestos exposure can cause.

Nevertheless, we always strive to recover compensation for our clients within the shortest time possible, regardless of their diagnosis. The money you will eventually receive will also help you afford superior healthcare and treatment, so we highly recommend taking legal action. It is also important to know that we work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not owe us anything unless we obtain financial compensation for you.

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