Mesothelioma develops in the thin layer of soft tissue that covers most of the body’s internal organs. It is a type of cancer that is particularly aggressive and often fatal. Though there is treatment available for sufferers, there is currently no cure for mesothelioma. For people who contract mesothelioma under certain conditions (such as having been exposed to asbestos while in the workplace), they are eligible to pursue compensation from the party responsible for them being exposed to asbestos. A good lawyer will represent victims of mesothelioma and their families in legal actions against the liable party. A claim or lawsuit may result in compensation that can cover the costs of treatment and the loss of income when the person is unable to work.
The Classifications of Mesothelioma
Health experts divide mesothelioma into two types, and the classifications are based on where the person is affected by the disease:
- Pleural mesothelioma is diagnosed when the mesothelioma affects the pleura tissues that surrounds the lungs.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma is diagnosed when the mesothelioma affects the peritoneal mesothelioma tissues that surround the abdomen, heart, and testicles.
- Pericardial mesothelioma is diagnosed when the mesothelioma affects the tissue that surrounds the heart.
- Mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis is diagnosed when the mesothelioma affects the tissue surrounding the testicles.
The Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Symptoms vary depending on where the mesothelioma occurs in the body. Pleural mesothelioma symptoms include:
- Unanticipated weight loss
- Strange lumps of tissue beneath the surface layer of skin surrounding the chest area
- Painful coughing
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms include:
- Abdominal swelling or pain
- Unanticipated weight loss
Pericardial mesothelioma symptoms include:
- Difficulty with breathing
- Chest pains
Mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis symptoms include:
- A mass or swelling develops on a testicle
The Causes of Mesothelioma
As mentioned, mesothelioma is a form of cancer which begins its destruction when a number of mutations affect the DNA of cells. The mutation causes the unhealthy cell to grow and multiply far more and far faster than normal. This growing number of unhealthy cells may form the basis of a tumor. Questions remain about what causes the cell mutations that cause mesothelioma, but the primary risk factor is sustained or consistent exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos exposure is blamed in the majority of people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma. Asbestos is a natural mineral that was once heavily mined because of its heat-resistant properties. It was a popular material among many manufacturers who used it to line brake pads, house shingles, roof and wall insulation, and for many other types of products. The hazards of asbestos develop when the material is disturbed or broken into pieces. This is common during the initial mining process as well as when old asbestos insulation is removed. Once it is disturbed or broken, the resulting dust contains microscopic fibers from the asbestos. Those fibers enter the air and can be inhaled or swallowed by anyone in that area, or by anyone in proximity to wherever the dust lands — including on the clothing of the person who was initially exposed. In this way, more than one person or even an entire family can be exposed.
If you or a family member was exposed to asbestos in the workplace and has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Wieand Law Firm, who can help you get justice.