Mesothelioma is a cancer affecting the lining of the lung, abdominal cavity, or chest cavity. The disease is almost exclusively linked to exposure to asbestos, a hazardous material that was widely used in hundreds of industries worldwide. Asbestos fibers, which are extremely toxic, break apart easily and become airborne. Once the fibers are ingested or inhaled, they permanently fix themselves in the lung, abdominal, or chest cavities leading to life-threatening risks such as mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Risk Factors
Those who work in the steel, plumbing, mining, milling, electric, and insulation industries, among thousands of other workers who handle asbestos products, have the highest risk of developing mesothelioma. Family members of those frequently exposed to asbestos also have a greater risk of developing the cancer since asbestos fibers cling to hair, clothes, skin and shoes and may be tracked into the home by workers. While the risks of mesothelioma increase depending on the intensity and frequency of asbestos exposure, there are numerous mesothelioma cases in which individuals were exposed for as little as one month.
Types of Mesothelioma
There are several types of mesothelioma, some of which are more common forms of the disease. Pleural mesothelioma, the most common type, affects the lining of the lung cavity. Peritoneal mesothelioma grows on the tissue lining the abdominal cavity and pericardial mesothelioma affects the heart cavity. Other types of mesothelioma include epithelial, and cystic.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma has a long latency period and symptoms of the disease may take as long as 20 to 50 years to appear from the initial exposure to asbestos. Common symptoms of mesothelioma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Severe weight loss
Unfortunately, the symptoms of mesothelioma are often mistaken for symptoms of other diseases leading to a delayed diagnosis. Mesothelioma rapidly spreads and is usually in its advanced stage when a diagnosis is made. A full recovery may not be possible.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma that you suspect was caused by asbestos exposure, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your losses and suffering. It is important to consult with a qualified and experienced Mesothelioma lawyer who can help protect your legal rights and maximize your interests. Please contact us today to learn more about your legal options.