Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure: Mesothelioma is a somewhat rare type of cancer that is difficult to diagnose, shares symptoms with lung cancer and asbestosis, and inflicts terrible pain on those afflicted by it. The purpose of this article is to explain what mesothelioma is, how it is linked to asbestos exposure, and what the medical and legal options are for the afflicted and their loved ones. If you or a loved one are suffering with mesothelioma or asbestosis, contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney today.
Mesothelioma is the Signature Disease of Asbestos Exposure
Mesothelioma is the signature disease of asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a collection of minerals possessing fine microscopic fibers. These fibers are unique because they are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals, and do not conduct electric current. Because of these unique, flame-resistant characteristics, asbestos has been mined and used extensively in the construction, automotive, shipyards and ship building, steel mills, chemical plants, oil refineries, HVAC, and other industries. While these special fibers possess a certain utility in these industries, they pose serious risks to the workers and other individuals who come into contact with them. Specifically, if asbestos fibers are released into the air that workers breath during the manufacturing or construction processes, they can be breathed in or swallowed by the workers.
The inhalation or swallowing of asbestos fibers can lead to asbestosis or mesothelioma, both dire health problems. Science shows us that the relationship between workplace exposure to asbestos and mesothelioma and asbestosis is strong. Specifically, as many as 75% of mesothelioma cases can be linked to asbestos exposure at work. In addition, because the thin asbestos fibers can cling to the hair or clothes of workers, family members may also be exposed to asbestos when workers return home. This is often referred to as secondhand asbestos exposure. The effects of asbestos exposure are far different than something like catching the common cold at work. On the contrary, mesothelioma symptoms commonly do not manifest until 20 to 50 years after the initial exposure to asbestos. When symptoms do appear, they affect the lungs and commonly include shortness of breath and chest pain. The pain, unfortunately, can be immense.
In its malignant cancerous form, mesothelioma may metastasize in the tissues and internal organs. While mesothelioma, in its cancerous form, is always fatal, proper diagnosis, treatment, and therapy can prolong both the quality and quantity of life.
What to Do if You are Exposed to Asbestos in the Workplace or by Secondhand Exposure
If you worked in an industry utilizing asbestos and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or are experiencing mesothelioma-like symptoms, contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney. An experienced attorney will work to help you obtain the medical care you need for your condition, and financial care you deserve for both the cost of treatment and pain and suffering you are experiencing. For your health and legal rights, contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney today.