Mesothelioma: What You Need To Know

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asbestos-1522143You have likely seen legal commercials referring to mesothelioma. This is a condition that has received a lot of media coverage over the past few decades. If you have received a diagnosis of mesothelioma, or know someone who has faced that fate, then you should learn more.

What is it? Mesothelioma is a form of cancer, which attacks the cells of the mesothelium. This is a sort of membrane, which can be found along the surfaces of the internal organs. One can understand how serious mesothelioma is given the fact that it can have an impact on the most vital organs.

The majority of cases of mesothelioma are first discovered in the chest cavity, but it has been known to form around the heart or in the abdomen as well. Regardless of where it is first discovered, it is a devastating diagnosis to receive. While some patients will live with the cancer for five years or more, these are the lucky few. Just ten percent of those diagnosed will surpass the five-year mark. The average life span, beyond initial diagnosis, is just one to two years.

It is not always the cancer that is the final problem faced by Mesothelioma patients. St. Petersburg hospitals would rule the cause of death respiratory failure or pneumonia, in most cases. With the cancerous cells attacking the respiratory system, the body just can’t fight back. In a small percentage of cases, it is not the lungs or airways that fail; tumors can develop in the bowels or the heart can be attacked.

Though it is considered a rare condition, as many as 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year. It can be deadly and it is often a result of hard work done by the patient. While they say it is the stress of the job that will get you, in these cases, it is the exposure to asbestos that causes the cancer to form. Three out of every four cases of mesothelioma has been linked to work with asbestos. It isn’t always the employee, though, who pays the price for working with the material. It has also been found that family members and others who are in regular contact with those who work with asbestos can be negatively impacted.

Unfortunately, the reason for the short life span after diagnosis is that the condition is not generally detected until the cancer has reached its later stages. It is important, especially for those who have worked in areas known to contain asbestos, to see a physician if any signs of trouble are noticed. Symptoms of the illness include trouble breathing, pain under the rib cage, pain or lumps in the abdomen, or significant and unexplained weight loss. Very often the symptoms described by mesothelioma patients are the same as the symptoms described by lung cancer patients.

If you have mesothelioma, or a loved one has been diagnosed, and you believe it was caused by exposure to asbestos, speak to a personal injury attorney about your rights. A Saint Petersburg lawyer may be able to help you make a claim against the company responsible for the harm that you have been caused.