The shock news that a loved one is suffering with mesothelioma cancer and may only have a few months left to live can overwhelm both victim and close family, and lead to ever-increasing levels of anxiety and stress.

In many cases, the family may be desperately worried over whether they have enough money to provide the special treatments and care needed. Palliative care is considered an essential part of the various asbestosis treatments and therapies, which play a crucial role in coping with pain, improving the quality of life and sense of wellbeing in the time remaining to a mesothelioma patient.

Tragically, an elderly victim may not survive long enough to see that a partner will be left financially secure in their remaining years. From the initial period of exposure to asbestos dust there can be up to 50 years or more before the first appearance of mesothelioma or asbestosis symptoms, such as repeated coughing or a difficulty with breathing. In many instances, the early warning signs may be mistaken for common ailments but almost invariably, cancer tumours would have spread to an advanced stage.

A recently published study has found that the acute stress brought on by financial pressure can significantly affect both the symptoms of disease and the quality of life for people diagnosed with cancer associated with the lungs or colon.

Financial hardships

For many ordinary men and woman, the years following the 2008 banking crisis have brought continuing financial hardships with a direct impact on savings. It is simply the case that a partner will not have the financial means to provide all the necessary care and support in the time remaining.

New research highlights the additional difficulties suffered by many patients diagnosed with a colon or lung cancer, such as asbestos-related lung cancer, mesothelioma or other debilitating asbestosis diseases. A study of more than 10,000 patients diagnosed with lung and colon cancers found that 40 per cent of lung cancer patients and 33 per cent of colon cancer patients said their financial reserves were limited.

Further examination revealed that those cancer patients without sufficient savings to fall back on during treatment not only experienced a poorer quality of life but also suffered more from their symptoms.

Among the problems observed in patients with limited savings were:

  • Increased levels of pain
  • Deeper depression
  • Reduction in overall health
  • Impaired activity levels

Researchers also discovered that financial problems could cause cancer patients to delay treatment or try to conserve their supply of expensive medications by skipping the recommended schedule for taking their pills.

Clearly, the findings of the study are a cause for concern. Limitations of time for a mesothelioma patient and the financial ability to provide the needed care highlight the importance of securing a mesothelioma claim at the earliest possible time.

Prompt lump sum payment

The standard time period for starting an action to bring a mesothelioma claim is three-years. In many cases, the patient who started the claim will pass away before the process can be completed or, in some instances, even before the action began. In these circumstances, the three year time limit will start from the date of the victim’s death, which allows the spouse or a family member to pursue the claim on behalf of the deceased. However, this is can only take place where the three year period has not already expired during the lifetime of the deceased.

However, all men and women with confirmed mesothelioma are entitled to a prompt lump sum payment from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) but only if they have not already received compensation in a civil claim. In addition, payment of the lump sum does not prevent a victim or their partner to pursue mesothelioma compensation through a solicitor for further damages, also as a lump sum.

It can be a lengthy process to trace an original employer / insurer who may no longer be in business. Once found, a defendant may decide to vigorously contest the claim or appeal a judge’s verdict with subsequent verdicts overturned by different appeal judges.

Establishing a cause of a victim’s mesothelioma as being the direct result of exposure to asbestos at a specific work location and the extent of employer liability can also be a challenging process, and sadly cause delays in a rightful settlement. A dedicated asbestosis lawyer will not only be up-to-date with current legislation but also have access to all the key resources that are crucial to ensure the patient receives quality medical care and support in the time remaining.