Many people have never heard of Mesothelioma and are unaware of its symptoms. Although considered a rare form of cancer, each year the number of cases grows. With the prevalence of this disease on the rise, it is critical to understand why and how Mesothelioma develops and what courses of action can be taken in the event of diagnosis. The following is a list of frequently asked questions and answers that will provide you with some information on Mesothelioma, and the legal issues surrounding it.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is the term used to describe a cancerous tumor found in the mesothelial cells of an organ. The organs where this form of cancer is most commonly found are the lungs, heart and abdominal organs. Pleural Mesothelioma is cancer of the lung lining and is the most common form of Mesothelioma.
What causes Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is often found in building materials used before the mid 1970's. In addition, materials such as pipes, boiler insulation, floor, ceiling and roof tiles may contain asbestos.
How much asbestos exposure will cause Mesothelioma?
Generally, the probability of developing this form of cancer is in accordance with the length of time you are exposed to asbestos. Also, your health is at risk if your exposure to asbestos is intense. It should be noted that Mesothelioma has a latency period of 20 to 50 years. This means that you may develop the disease long after your exposure to asbestos. On average, people tend to develop Mesothelioma somewhere between 35 and 40 years after exposure.
How quickly does Mesothelioma progress?
The onset of Mesothelioma is quite slow. Patients will begin to experience symptoms such as lower back pain and chest pain. These symptoms may also be accompanied by weight loss, fever and difficulty breathing. Unfortunately, once Mesothelioma develops, it quickly becomes aggressive and treatment must be sought immediately.
Can Mesothelioma be treated?
Doctors are able to use several traditional methods of cancer treatment for Mesothelioma, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Like all forms of cancer, detecting the disease at the earliest stage possible greatly increases the patient's chances for survival. If you have worked in an industry such as construction or suspect that you may have been exposed to asbestos, be alert for symptoms and contact your doctor immediately.
What legal courses of action can be taken?
Anyone suffering from Mesothelioma is entitled to compensation from asbestos manufacturers. Additionally, if you are the spouse or child of someone who has died from Mesothelioma, you are entitled to file a claim and seek compensation.