Epithelial mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the epithelial, which is the thin tissue layer surrounding the body’s internal organs. Epithelial mesothelioma can affect the tissue surrounding different organs such as the lungs, abdomen, and heart. However, the most common form of epithelial mesothelioma affects the tissue surrounding the lungs and is called pleural mesothelioma.

Epithelial mesothelioma is caused by asbestos inhalation, and is most prevalent in men. While epithelial mesothelioma can develop in males or females of any age, this cancer usually develops in people between 50 and 70 years old. This is most likely because epithelial mesothelioma generally develops at least 20 years after initial asbestos exposure. In addition, asbestos exposure was unregulated in the United States until recently.

Epithelial Mesothelioma Risks Factors

People who were exposed to high asbestos levels for a prolonged period are most at risk for developing epithelial mesothelioma. Construction workers are particularly at risk, although professionals in the building, shipyard, railroad, and automobile industries may also be at risk.

In addition to people exposed to asbestos at work, epithelial mesothelioma can develop in people who did not themselves work near asbestos but had family members who did. This is because tiny asbestos fibers can bind to workers’ hair and clothing and be brought home. In rare cases, epithelial mesothelioma has developed in people with no known asbestos exposure at all.

Epithelial Mesothelioma Prognosis

Unfortunately, epithelial mesothelioma is a very serious condition and is generally considered to be fatal. One study suggests that only about 10% of all people diagnosed with epithelial mesothelioma will survive for three years. However, epithelial mesothelioma survival rate statistics are generally unreliable because the disease has not been extensively studied.

Typically, the cancer stage is the most important variable determining the prognosis and life expectancy of persons diagnosed with epithelial mesothelioma. However, mesothelioma is more difficult to “stage” than other cancers because epithelial mesothelioma is somewhat rare. In addition, since initial symptoms are subtle, epithelial mesothelioma is usually advanced by the time it is diagnosed. As a result, it is unknown whether all epithelial mesothelioma stages are equally life-threatening.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with epithelial mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Contact us  today.

Published November 17, 2011 by