Do Women With Mesothelioma Need Different Types of Treatment Compared to Men?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Mesothelioma & Asbestos Published on December 30, 2019 and updated on March 7, 2022.

mesothelioma in womenWhile most malignant mesothelioma diagnoses have affected older men who were exposed to asbestos in labor intensive industries such as construction, shipping and mining, women have increasingly been diagnosed with this disease as time goes on. Women now account for up to 25 percent of new cases.

Learn about the treatment options for mesothelioma in women compared to men below. Our Maryland mesothelioma lawyers understand how devastating a mesothelioma diagnosis is and are prepared to help you seek just compensation. Call Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices for a free consultation.

Risk Factors for Mesothelioma in Women

The primary risk factor for mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. This mineral was commonly used in a variety of products prior to the 1970s, including in construction products, vehicles and shipbuilding.

Fewer women worked during this time period than men, so historically men have been exposed to asbestos at a higher frequency than women. However, asbestos is still permitted in many products today, so women may still continue to be at risk of exposure to this dangerous toxin.

Some of the risk factors for mesothelioma in women include:

Occupational Hazards

Some jobs that have been historically linked to more women workers also have an increased incidence of mesothelioma, such as teaching. Asbestos-containing materials were used in many school buildings. Over years of exposure, teachers may have developed mesothelioma.

Secondhand Exposure

Another way that women were affected by asbestos was through secondhand exposure. If their husbands, fathers or other family members were exposed to asbestos at work, the fibers from these materials could cling to their clothing and person.

When a woman did the laundry or hugged the family member, she could breathe in these toxins and develop mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases over time.

Environmental Exposure

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral. Women who live near asbestos deposits may have been exposed to this dangerous mineral at toxic rates. Asbestos was also mined for many years, so women who lived in towns near an asbestos mine are also at risk of exposure.

Exposure Through Asbestos-Containing Products

Women may have been exposed to asbestos from products they use. For example, many recent cases allege that asbestos was present in talcum powder beauty products that women used and caused them to suffer from ovarian cancer or mesothelioma. Asbestos is also contained in some makeup products.

Diagnosis and Treatment Methods

Diagnosis and treatment methods are similar for men and women. Diagnosis does not typically occur until decades after victims are exposed to asbestos. However, women tend to be diagnosed at a younger age than men. Diagnosis typically occurs from having a chest cavity imaging completed, followed by biopsies and examination of tissue cells.

Treatment options typically include chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Since women may be diagnosed at an earlier age, they may have more treatment options available to them because they are in better health.

Prognosis and Survival Rates

Women tend to have a better prognosis and survival rates than their male counterparts. Women may be able to use more aggressive treatment strategies that cure their condition, rather than just a palliative approach.

This is because women are more likely than men to be diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, a more treatable form of the disease than others. 45 percent of women are alive after one year of diagnosis of mesothelioma, compared to 38 percent of men.

Unique Challenges Women With Mesothelioma Face

Women may face distinct medical and legal challenges after being diagnosed with mesothelioma, including:

  • They may be diagnosed with a rarer form of mesothelioma, so there may not be a large number of doctors who know how to treat the disease
  • They may not have been exposed due to work, so it may be difficult to pinpoint how they were exposed to asbestos
  • Women may be more likely to be misdiagnosed since mesothelioma is not as common in women

Get the Legal Help You Need Today

If you were recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may have a legal right to pursue a claim for the damages you have suffered due to asbestos exposure.

The legal team at Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices is prepared to investigate your claim, determine the source of asbestos exposure and explore all legal options for recovery. We have helped many mesothelioma victims and their families over the years secure significant financial compensation.

Contact us today at 410-244-7005 to schedule a free consultation.