As mesothelioma attorneys, we get asked questions about mesothelioma all the time. This article contains answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about mesothelioma.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is rare and aggressive. It can develop when a person is exposed to asbestos. When you inhale asbestos fibers, these fibers can get stuck in the lining of either the lungs or heart or abdomen. Over time, these fibers can cause mesothelioma.
Is Mesothelioma the Same as Lung Cancer?
Mesothelioma and lung cancer are not the same. Lung cancer is a type of cancer that develops inside the lung and affects the lung itself. On the other hand, mesothelioma attacks the mesothelium tissue, which is a tissue that lines the lungs and other body organs.
Another difference between lung cancer and mesothelioma is that asbestos exposure can result in a person developing lung cancer, whereas asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma.
What are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
According to Mayo Clinic, mesothelioma symptoms vary depending on where the cancer occurs. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma, which is the form of mesothelioma that affects the tissue around the lungs, include;
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unusual lumps of tissue under the chest’s skin
- Painful coughing
- Chest pain
Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma, which is the form of mesothelioma that occurs in the tissue in the abdomen, include;
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal swelling
What are the Mesothelioma Risk Factors?
Asbestos exposure is the most significant mesothelioma risk factor. And when it comes to asbestos exposure, there is no safe level of exposure. Even one instance of asbestos exposure can result in the development of mesothelioma. If you worked in an industry that frequently incorporated the use of asbestos or if your loved one worked in such an industry, you are at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma.
Other risk factors of mesothelioma include;
- Age (people aged 60 and older)
- Gender (male)
- Poor health and nutrition
- Smoking and asbestos exposure
- Genetics (although rare)
- Radiation exposure
What is the Latency Period for Mesothelioma?
After initial asbestos exposure, it can take up to fifty years for mesothelioma to develop. The majority of people living with mesothelioma today were exposed to asbestos at least 15 years ago. It is rare to have a mesothelioma latency period of below 15 years.
Is There a Cure for Mesothelioma?
Unfortunately, there is still no cure for mesothelioma. However, the prognosis for early stages is more favorable than for later stages. That said, there are several ways to control mesothelioma side effects and improve the quality of life. Additionally, researchers are refining already-existing treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery to find a mesothelioma cure.
How Common is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is still rare in the United States, even though reported incidence rates have increased in the past two decades. It is estimated that around 3,000 people are diagnosed with this type of cancer annually in America.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.