There is little question asbestos causes most if not all cases of malignant mesothelioma. Medical researchers, including epidemiologists, have concluded mesothelioma is extremely rare in patients who have not been exposed to asbestos at some point in their lives.
However, unlike many other illnesses caused by toxic substances, malignant mesothelioma normally takes between 20 and 50 years for patients to develop noticeable symptoms of the deadly disease. By the time most patients develop symptoms, the cancer is often at a very advanced stage, and there is little time left to live. There are some radical treatments, but no effective cure. Though, early intervention can improve one’s prognosis.
It is important to understand and be able to recognize the symptoms of mesothelioma. As noted by the Mayo Clinic , pleural mesothelioma often presents with shortness of breath, chest pain below the rib cage, abnormal lumps under the skin of a patient’s chest, unexplained weight loss, and a painful cough.
Pleural mesothelioma is when the cancer is affecting the lungs and surrounding tissues. Many people think of mesothelioma as lung cancer, and, while it can and often does affect the lungs, it is not technically lung cancer. It is an entirely different form of cancer. Malignant mesothelioma can also be found in a patient’s abdomen and chest surrounding the heart.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is the medical term for when the cancer is found in a patient’s abdomen. Symptoms of this form of mesothelioma include abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, lumps of tissue in the patient’s abdomen, and unexplained weight loss. It is often possible for a patient to have malignant mesothelioma in both lungs and abdomen because the layer of tissue known as the mesothelium is present in both.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact a doctor at once. If you are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis, or other asbestos-related respiratory illness, you should also contact an experienced asbestos injury lawyer.
One of the most important things you can do to increase your chance of obtaining a full and appropriate financial recovery for the pain and suffering caused by the asbestos industry’s negligence is to try and figure out when and where you were exposed to the toxic substance, keeping in mind most patients do not become sick for decades after exposure. While there is often no doubt exposure to asbestos caused your mesothelioma, there were many manufacturers and users of asbestos and vermiculite during much of the last century, and your lawyer will need to know who to name as a defendant in your case.
One way to do this is write down your complete work history and the work history of those with whom you lived. Jobs in factories, shipyards, on ships, and in the construction industry were common sources of asbestos exposure. The auto parts and auto repair industry also heavily used asbestos, due to its natural ability to resist heat and cheap cost to manufacture.
You should also talk to coworkers you had at these jobs if you are able to contact them to see if they developed mesothelioma as well. They may have already filed a case and have done much of this research for their legal matters.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with mesothelioma in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
More Blog Entries:
EPA Investigates Improper Asbestos Removal at Old School Building Slated for Demolition, August 28, Boston Mesothelioma Lawyers Blog