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Mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, either by inhalation or ingestion.
Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos-related diseases. Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause and risk factor for mesothelioma. It usually between takes 10 to 50 years to develop symptoms after asbestos exposure. From there, the disease progresses rapidly, with most patients dying an extremely painful death in less than two years. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, but treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy can help to improve the typical mesothelioma prognosis.
Pleural mesothelioma, the most common form of mesothelioma, affects the lung's protective lining in the chest cavity and represents about 3/4 of all mesothelioma incidence.
Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the abdominal cavity, and pericardial mesothelioma affects the cardiac cavity.
FAQs About Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of early-stage mesothelioma can be easily mistaken for other less serious illnesses. If you suffer from any coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, or sudden weight loss, see your doctor right away if you know you’ve been exposed to asbestos.
What are some of the at-risk occupations?
Pipe coverers, navy seamen and workers, laborers, brake mechanics, auto mechanics, millwrights, painters, plasterers, merchant marine seamen, pipefitters, cement finishers, foundry workers, carpenters, plumbers, roofers, sailors, navy yard workers/yardbirds, paper workers, electricians, bricklayers, boilermakers, machinists, lathers, insulators, welders, sheet metal workers, crane operators, aircraft mechanics, engineers, steamfitters, masons, longshoremen, plant workers, powerhouse workers, railroad workers, inspectors, maintenance workers, among others.
What are some common products with asbestos?
Cement pipes, brake shoes, insulation, roofing, fireproofing materials, flashing, packing materials, fire doors, caulking/putties, pumps, valves, boilers, turbines, navy ships, printing presses, joint compound, cement gaskets, HVAC duct insulation, siding, floor tiles, sheet flooring, construction mastics, cooling towers, pipe insulation, plaster, electrical panel partitions, electrical cloth, textured paints/coatings, electrical wiring, chalkboards, ceiling tiles, lay-in panels, among others. According to OSHA, these materials are presumed to contain asbestos if installed before 1981.
What You Need to Know About Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos has been used for its heat and fire resistant properties in thousands of products since the late 1800s, even though the health risks have been known and documented since the early 1900s. It is a common ingredient in construction materials in older homes, including ceilings, flooring, wiring, and paint. As long as the asbestos remains sealed and contained, you're not at risk of inhaling the fibers. However, as homes age and deteriorate, the asbestos becomes exposed. Remodeling or even making small repairs can release the fibers to cause asbestos exposure. High-risk industries and environments include:
•Small appliance manufacture
•Automotive manufacture and repair
Workers inadvertently expose their loved ones to asbestos symptoms by bringing the fibers home on their clothing and in their belongings. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, anyone who lived in your household at the time may be at risk of developing this as well.
Mesothelioma is often confused with lung cancer because the most common type of the illness affects the lungs. However, there is a distinct difference: Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelium, which is the protective lining around the lungs, abdominal organs, and heart. Most patients with a mesothelioma diagnosis are usually given less than a year to live. Early detection gives patients a better chance at survival, as the most advanced and effective treatments are available only to those in the early stages of the disease.
If you have developed mesothelioma because of your exposure to asbestos, the mesothelioma attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers can help you receive compensation for your damages.
If you've been exposed to asbestos while on the job, contact our workers' compensation attorneys for a free consultation today.