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Mesothelioma for Dummies

Image of a hospital patient, representing a person seeking quick answers and legal advice through a mesothelioma for dummies-style article.

Have you or has someone you love recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma? Looking for pertinent, key facts on the disease? This article, Mesothelioma for Dummies, will answer your most fundamental questions on what the disease is, who is at risk, treatment options, and where to turn for legal help.

Mesothelioma for Dummies: The Basics

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that causes tumors to develop around the thin layer of tissue that covers the internal organs, in most cases, the lungs, heart, or abdominal cavity.  The most common type of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma, affects the lungs.  Peritoneal mesothelioma impacts the abdomen, and pericardial mesothelioma originates in the pericardium, which lines the heart.

One of the most important mesothelioma facts to know is this: Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of this rare form of cancer. Asbestos is a fibrous material used mainly in construction, especially during the 20th century. However, even after they were discovered to be hazardous, asbestos companies continued to make products containing this toxic material because of their strength and resistance to heat.

Who’s at the Greatest Risk for Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a disease largely caused by occupational exposure.  Some of the occupations most at risk include electricians, carpenters, machinists, plumbers, boilermakers, and military personnel.  Additionally, family members of employees who worked in power plants, refineries, steel mills, construction sites, and Navy ships could be at risk for secondhand exposure.  It is unknown how many people get mesothelioma from second hand exposure, but it is contracted from the dust brought home on clothing, hair, or skin.

A large majority of victims of mesothelioma are veterans of our country’s armed forces who served from 1930 through 1980. Asbestos was commonly used throughout shipyards and naval vessels during those years.  Asbestos was an effective and inexpensive way to safeguard sailors from fire, heat, and electrical shock.  It was also used in sleeping quarters, engine rooms, and mess halls as insulation.

Mesothelioma for Dummies: The Disease

Mesothelioma can be difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms can mirror those of many other illnesses.  An early mesothelioma diagnoses is difficult but can happen accidently through a routine x-ray or blood test. If you have been exposed to asbestos, watch for the symptoms and notify your doctor of your risk for mesothelioma.

What are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?

The early signs of mesothelioma can be mistaken for indigestion, pneumonia, bronchitis, or even the flu.  The growth of the cancerous tumors occurs gradually, and sometimes it takes decades for the symptoms to even present themselves.  As a result, mesothelioma statistics show that by the time the cancer is diagnosed, it has reached the later stages of development. By recognizing symptoms immediately, mesothelioma patients have a significant advantage in receiving an early diagnosis, which can determine the best course of action for prolonged life expectancy.

Pleural Mesothelioma (occurs in lining of the lung)

  • Fatigue
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Fever/night sweats

Peritoneal (occurs in lining of abdomen)

  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloating

Pericardial (occurs in lining of the heart)

  • Chest pain
  • Fever/night sweats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Coughing

What are the Treatment Options for Mesothelioma?

Despite years of research, no cure currently exists for mesothelioma. However, there are treatments that can improve a patient’s prognosis and quality of life.  The most common treatment for mesothelioma is a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

Many people choose to also pursue alternative therapies for mesothelioma treatment including:

  • Immunotherapy-assists a patient’s own immune system in fighting the cancer
  • Gene therapy-injects genetic material into the body to target and kill the cancer cells
  • Photodynamic therapy-uses a drug together with light energy to kill the cancer cells

Mesothelioma for Dummies: Your Legal Options

Mesothelioma patients and their families deserve justice and financial compensation for their pain and suffering.  While reading our article about Mesothelioma for Dummies is a great starting point, finding a lawyer who is familiar with asbestos laws and the disease itself is critical.  The attorneys at the Nemeroff Law Firm have the dedication, compassion, and experience you are looking for.  They will fight hard to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t wait, contact us today at 866-342-1929 or by email.

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