What is Mesothelioma?
What is Mesothelioma Exactly?
Chances are you’ve heard something about the dangerous side effects of asbestos exposure. You may have even heard the word “mesothelioma” but wondered “what is mesothelioma, exactly?”
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, the heart, or the stomach. Pleural mesothelioma refers to the cancer that forms in the lining of the lungs and chest cavity; pericardial mesothelioma refers to the cancer that forms in the lining of the heart; and peritoneal mesothelioma refers to the cancer that forms in the lining of the stomach.
Exposure to asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma. Up to 80 percent of mesothelioma cancer patients have been exposed to asbestos for at least six months while at work. According to the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, there are more than 75 occupations that have routinely been exposed to asbestos. One study revealed that more than 50 percent of workers who were exposed to asbestos from 1940-1970 may be living with an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma cancer.
Asbestos exposure is most likely to occur in certain occupations, including:
- Construction Workers
- Auto Mechanics
- Military Personnel
- Shipyard Workers
- Factory Workers
- Power Plant Workers
- Chemical Plant Workers
- Emergency Personnel
Mesothelioma cancer can also affect the family members of people who have been exposed to asbestos at work. Recent studies have shown that spouses and children may have been unknowingly exposed to asbestos fibers that were brought home via clothing, shoes and hair.
Symptoms of asbestos mesothelioma include:
- Pain in the lower back or chest
- Shortness of breath
- Painful coughing
- Trouble swallowing
- Swelling in the face or arms
- Fever, sweating and fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Unusual lumps of tissue under the skin on your chest
About 2,000 new cases of mesothelioma cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. every year. Mesothelioma has a latency period of 10-60 years, which means that it takes about 10-60 years from your first asbestos exposure for mesothelioma cancer to develop. Due to this latency period, it is estimated that cases of mesothelioma cancer will peak from 2010-2015.
Exposure to Asbestos
Asbestos is a mineral that is resistant to heat, water, chemicals and electricity – making it ideal for practically every construction and commercial project, as well as every day household products and appliances. It was widely used at the height of the 20th century but was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency for use in certain products, such as corrugated paper, rollboard, commercial and specialty paper, flooring felt, pipe insulation, and artificial fireplace embers.
Although the EPA continues to ban the use of asbestos for use in products and for importation and distribution, there is still reason to be concerned about exposure to asbestos. It has not been banned in common materials such as clothing; brake pads; cement sheets, pipes and shingles; gaskets; and roof coatings. Additionally, many buildings that were constructed before the 70s still contain asbestos.
Asbestos mesothelioma cancer can be devastating for individuals and families, resulting in severe physical pain and overwhelming financial debt. Many people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma lose income because they need to take time off work to get treatment, and then have to pay for expensive medical treatments that aren’t covered by insurance.
Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. are fighting back by filing mesothelioma lawsuits against the companies responsible for manufacturing asbestos, or exposing workers to asbestos and failing to warn them of the potential health risks. More than one company in more than one state can be held accountable in a mesothelioma lawsuit.
Currently, there are more than 600,000 plaintiffs involved in mesothelioma lawsuits and over 6,000 defendants. These types of claims are estimated to cost defendants more than $200 billion.
Whether you were directly exposed to asbestos and developed asbestos mesothelioma, or were indirectly exposed to it via a family member, you could be eligible to receive financial compensation.
There are two main types of mesothelioma lawsuits: a lawsuit filed by an individual who is suffering from asbestos mesothelioma, or a lawsuit filed by the family of someone who has passed away due to mesothelioma.
Although every case is different, a mesothelioma lawsuit can help you recover financial compensation for:
- Income loss
- Medical expenses
- Medical fees not covered by insurance
- Travel expenses for medical treatments
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses
- Mental and emotional support
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a lawyer from 1-800-THE-LAW2 can help – without having to pay any out-of-pocket fees.
Every state has it’s a statute of limitations on how long you can wait before filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, so don’t put if off. Act now! One 10-minute call could change your life.