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Fact sheet about mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. According to the American Cancer Society, only 3,000 new cases are diagnosed in the United States each year. Yet mesothelioma is deadly – the average life expectancy of a person diagnosed with Stage 1 mesothelioma is only 21 months, and only 12 months for Stage 4. Some other facts about mesothelioma:

  • Mesothelioma usually begins in one of four main areas of the body – the chest, abdomen, heart or testicles.
  • Mesothelioma can be malignant (cancerous).
  • Approximately 66% of all mesothelioma diagnoses are in patients aged 65 or older.

Mesothelioma Attorneys

Rachel A. Placitella

Rachel A. Placitella

Rachel A. Placitella is a Partner at Cohen, Placitella &...

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Christopher M. Placitella

Christopher M. Placitella

Mr. Placitella has developed an award-winning reputation for his commitment...

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William Kuzmin

William Kuzmin

William L. Kuzmin is a Member of the law firm....

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Mesothelioma Videos

Risk factors for developing mesothelioma include age, gender (males are more likely to be diagnosed than females) and exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos exposure is common for people who have worked in mines or factories; installed insulation; or work in the construction or automobile manufacture fields. The risk of developing mesothelioma does not decrease once your exposure to asbestos is eliminated. And because a diagnosis of mesothelioma may not be made for 20 – 50 years following exposure, Allentown residents who have been exposed to asbestos are still at risk of developing the disease.

Common Types of Injuries Caused by Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma is a cancer that begins in the mesothelial cells. These cells line the chest, abdomen, the space around the heart, and the outer surface of most organs. This lining, called the mesothelium, lubricates the organs and allow them to move properly. Prolonged asbestos exposure can cause the mesothelial cells to become cancerous or can cause other injuries, including:

Malignant mesothelioma

Cells that have become cancerous grow to form tumors. These tumors usually begin in one of four areas – the chest, or pleural mesothelioma; the abdomen, or peritoneal mesothelioma; the covering that surrounds the heart, or pericardial mesotheliomas, or; the outer layer of the testicles, or tunica vaginalis.

Pleural disorders

Non-cancerous, pleural disorders are caused when asbestos fibers are inhaled into the lungs. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause changes to the membranes that surround the lungs (pleural plaques) or can cause dangerous levels of fluid to collect between the tissue that lines the lungs and chest cavity (pleural effusions).


Inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause scar tissues to develop in the lungs, which can cause difficulty breathing. Asbestosis is a non-cancerous conditions.

Lung cancer

Once inhaled, asbestos fibers stick to the mucus in the throat, windpipe and the large breathing tubes in the lungs. The resulting damage to the cells in the lungs can cause lung cancer.

Gastrointestinal and colorectal cancer

Although not definitive, some studies have demonstrated that there may be a link between asbestos exposure and the development of gastrointestinal and colorectal cancers. These studies have shown that exposure to asbestos also poses an elevated risk for developing throat, kidney, esophageal or gallbladder cancer.

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The Allentown mesothelioma attorneys at Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., understand that a diagnosis of mesothelioma or other asbestos-related condition is frightening and may have you wondering how your medical bills will be paid and, more importantly, who will provide for your family if you die. Our attorneys draw on more than 40 years’ experience handling mesothelioma and other asbestos-related injuries. We can help you get the get the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Investigating Mesothelioma Requires Resources

Mesothelioma cases are difficult. Because a diagnosis may not be made more than 20 years following your initial exposure to asbestos, evidence that can prove the existence of asbestos and a specific location, and your exposure to it, may be difficult to find. Proving that your mesothelioma or other injury was caused by asbestos exposure requires extensive experience and resources. The Allentown mesothelioma attorneys at Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. have what it takes to prove your case.

The first step in building a winning mesothelioma case is to prove your diagnosis. This is done by a thorough examination of your medical records, both past and present.


Documentary evidence will be used to show the extent or your injuries, your prognosis, and to establish liability for the harm that you have suffered. Medical records, test results, x-rays and other scans, and doctors’ notes will all be useful for demonstrating your condition. Further, any work records, incident reports or safety manuals dating back to the time of your exposure will be used to establish liability.

The mesothelioma attorneys at Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., draw on more than 40 years’ experience when handling your case. We have an attorney-physician on staff, as well as a nurse practitioner-paralegal, which means that we are uniquely equipped to handle the medical component of your case. Our attorneys have the expertise, staff and resources you need to build a winning case.


Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. offers a FREE CONSULTATION.

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2001 Market St Suite 2900
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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