Did You Know?
Mesothelioma Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in asbestos-related injuries and illnesses.
Asbestos Mesothelioma Attorney - Choices: Deciding which asbestos lawyer to represent you and your case is very important. Choosing the right asbestos lawyer will be important to your settlement. You are entitled to an experienced asbestos lawyer who has a track record of success in asbestos lawsuits nationwide.
Asbestos Mesothelioma Attorney - Loss of a Loved One: If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos cancer or Mesothelioma cancer, or a family member has died as a result, you may be entitled to recover compensation from the companies that made these asbestos products.
The vast majority of cases of asbestosis and mesothelioma are due to exposure to the carcinogenic mineral asbestos, which was used in thousands of products dating from the 1880s through 1989. Every asbestos lawyer knows of the devastation that this cancer has on patients and their families. We are here to help you file a claim.
Those dealing with asbestos cancers face a number of challenges, including the tremendous costs of treatment. If you were unknowingly exposed to harmful levels of asbestos, you have legal rights and there is compensation help available for you.
This site is dedicated to providing important information on asbestos & mesothelioma cancers. We help asbestos patients and families make educated decisions about how to proceed when filing asbestos and mesothelioma claims.
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Asbestos has been linked to Mesothelioma cancer. Mesothelioma cancer is a group of diseases related to asbestos exposure. The two most common diseases related to asbestos lung cancer are asbestosis and Mesothelioma, with pleural Mesothelioma being the most common form of Mesothelioma.
Asbestos is made up of microscopic fibers that may become airborne when asbestos containing materials and products are damaged or disturbed.
Most asbestos fibers are invisible to the unaided human eye because their size. When asbestos fibers get into the air they may be inhaled into the lungs or swallowed into he digestive system where they can cause significant health problems. The word "asbestos" is derived from a Greek adjective meaning inextinguishable.
There are three most commonly used types of asbestos: white, brown, and blue. Brown and blue asbestos are most commonly associated with Mesothelioma.
Six minerals are defined as "asbestos" including: chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite and actinolite.
Asbestos was used in many products that were made for protection from heat and flame. This included clothing, such as gloves, to stuffing asbestos insulation into electrical conduit, to using asbestos to make fire proof cloth for use in power plants or petroleum refineries.
Asbestos also has excellent insulation and noise deadening qualities. Asbestos was used in many construction products, including floor and ceiling tiles and wall board. Any home built before 1978 probably contains asbestos somewhere.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which malignant (cancerous) cells are found in the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the body's internal organs. Most people who develop Mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles.
What is the mesothelium?
The mesothelium is a membrane that covers and protects most of the internal organs of the body. It is composed of two layers of cells: One layer immediately surrounds the organ; the other forms a sac around it. The mesothelium produces a lubricating fluid that is released between these layers, allowing moving organs (such as the beating heart and the expanding and contracting lungs) to glide easily against adjacent structures.
The mesothelium has different names, depending on its location in the body. The peritoneum is the mesothelial tissue that covers most of the organs in the abdominal cavity. The pleura is the membrane that surrounds the lungs and lines the wall of the chest cavity. The pericardium covers and protects the heart. The mesothelial tissue surrounding the male internal reproductive organs is called the tunica vaginalis testis. The tunica serosa uteri covers the internal reproductive organs in women.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma (cancer of the mesothelium) is a disease in which cells of the mesothelium become abnormal and divide without control or order. They can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. Cancer cells can also metastasize (spread) from their original site to other parts of the body. Most cases of Mesothelioma begin in the pleura or peritoneum.
Pleural Mesothelioma: This type of mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs, known as the pleura. It is the most common form of malignant mesothelioma, with around 70 percent of cases being pleural in origin.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma: This form of mesothelioma develops in the lining of the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneal membrane. Approximately 25 percent of mesotheliomas are of this type.
Pericardial Mesothelioma: This form of mesothelioma develops in the lining of the heart, known as the pericardium. About 5 percent of all mesothelioma cases are pericardial.
Testicular Mesothelioma: This is the rarest type of malignant mesothelioma; to date, there have been less than 100 recorded cases. Testicular mesothelioma develops in the tunica vaginalis of the testicles.
Benign Mesothelioma: The benign form of mesothelioma most commonly develops in the pleura. This is the only form of mesothelioma for which full cure and recovery is a probable outcome, though it may be a precursor of future asbestos-related problems.
How common is Mesothelioma?
Although reported incidence rates have increased in the past 20 years, Mesothelioma is still a relatively rare cancer. About 2,000 new cases of Mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year. Mesothelioma occurs more often in men than in women and risk increases with age, but this disease can appear in either men or women at any age.
What are the risk factors for Mesothelioma?
Working with asbestos is the major risk factor for Mesothelioma. A history of asbestos exposure at work is reported in about 70 percent to 80 percent of all cases. However, Mesothelioma has been reported in some individuals without any known exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos is the name of a group of minerals that occur naturally as masses of strong, flexible fibers that can be separated into thin threads and woven. Asbestos has been widely used in many industrial products, including cement, brake linings, roof shingles, flooring products, textiles, and insulation. If tiny asbestos particles float in the air, especially during the manufacturing process, they may be inhaled or swallowed, and can cause serious health problems. In addition to Mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos increases the risk of lung cancer, asbestosis (a noncancerous, chronic lung ailment), and other cancers, such as those of the larynx and kidney.
Smoking does not appear to increase the risk of Mesothelioma. However, the combination of smoking and asbestos exposure significantly increases a person's risk of developing cancer of the air passageways in the lung.
Who is at increased risk for developing Mesothelioma?
Asbestos has been mined and used commercially since the late 1800s. Its use greatly increased during World War II. Since the early 1940s, millions of American workers have been exposed to asbestos dust. Initially, the risks associated with asbestos exposure were not known. However, an increased risk of developing Mesothelioma was later found among shipyard workers, people who work in asbestos mines and mills, producers of asbestos products, workers in the heating and construction industries, and other tradespeople. Today, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets limits for acceptable levels of asbestos exposure in the workplace. People who work with asbestos wear personal protective equipment to lower their risk of exposure.
The risk of asbestos-related disease increases with heavier exposure to asbestos and longer exposure time. However, some individuals with only brief exposures have developed Mesothelioma. On the other hand, not all workers who are heavily exposed develop asbestos-related diseases.
There is some evidence that family members and others living with asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing Mesothelioma, and possibly other asbestos-related diseases. This risk may be the result of exposure to asbestos dust brought home on the clothing and hair of asbestos workers. To reduce the chance of exposing family members to asbestos fibers, asbestos workers are usually required to shower and change their clothing before leaving the workplace.
What are the symptoms of Mesothelioma?
Symptoms of Mesothelioma may not appear until 30 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. Shortness of breath and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleura are often symptoms of pleural Mesothelioma. Symptoms of peritoneal Mesothelioma include weight loss and abdominal pain and swelling due to a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. Other symptoms of peritoneal Mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.
These symptoms may be caused by Mesothelioma or by other, less serious conditions. It is important to see a doctor about any of these symptoms. Only a doctor can make a diagnosis.
How is Mesothelioma diagnosed?
Diagnosing Mesothelioma is often difficult, because the symptoms are similar to those of a number of other conditions. Diagnosis begins with a review of the patient's medical history, including any history of asbestos exposure. A complete physical examination may be performed, including x-rays of the chest or abdomen and lung function tests. A CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI may also be useful. A CT scan is a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body created by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. In an MRI, a powerful magnet linked to a computer is used to make detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures are viewed on a monitor and can also be printed.
A biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of Mesothelioma. In a biopsy, a surgeon or a medical oncologist (a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer) removes a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope by a pathologist. A biopsy may be done in different ways, depending on where the abnormal area is located. If the cancer is in the chest, the doctor may perform a thoracoscopy. In this procedure, the doctor makes a small cut through the chest wall and puts a thin, lighted tube called a thoracoscope into the chest between two ribs. Thoracoscopy allows the doctor to look inside the chest and obtain tissue samples. If the cancer is in the abdomen, the doctor may perform a peritoneoscopy. To obtain tissue for examination, the doctor makes a small opening in the abdomen and inserts a special instrument called a peritoneoscope into the abdominal cavity. If these procedures do not yield enough tissue, more extensive diagnostic surgery may be necessary.
If the diagnosis is Mesothelioma, the doctor will want to learn the stage (or extent) of the disease. Staging involves more tests in a careful attempt to find out whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to which parts of the body. Knowing the stage of the disease helps the doctor plan treatment.
Mesothelioma is described as localized if the cancer is found only on the membrane surface where it originated. It is classified as advanced if it has spread beyond the original membrane surface to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, lungs, chest wall, or abdominal organs.
How is Mesothelioma treated?
Treatment for Mesothelioma depends on the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, and the patient's age and general health. Standard treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Sometimes, these treatments are combined.
Asbestos and Mesothelioma Cancer
- Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma cancer comes from inhaling or digesting asbestos dust particles. Mesothelioma is a life-threatening disease and should not be left untreated. Most cases of Mesothelioma begin in the pleura or peritoneum.
- Mesothelioma cancer occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers your internal organs (mesothelium). The mesothelium is a membrane that covers and protects most of the internal organs of the body. It is composed of two layers of cells: One layer immediately surrounds the organ; the other forms a sac around it.
- The mesothelium produces a lubricating fluid that is released between these layers, allowing moving organs (such as the beating heart and the expanding and contracting lungs) to glide easily against adjacent structures.
- Mesothelioma is most common in the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and chest cavity), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity) or the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart).
- Most people who develop Mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or they have been exposed to asbestos dust and fibre in other ways, such as by washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos.
There are funds available for Mesothelioma victims
Asbestos and Mesothelioma - Cancer Symptoms
Mesothelioma symptoms include shortness of breath due to pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and the chest wall) or chest wall pain, and general symptoms such as weight loss
Asbestos Mesothelioma Cancer Symptoms:
- abdominal pain
- bowel function problems
- chest wall pain
- weight loss
- pleural effusion, or fluid surrounding the lung
- shortness of breath
- fatigue or anemia
- wheezing, hoarseness, or cough
- blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up (hemoptysis)
Mesothelioma Symptoms in Severe Cases:
- blood clots in the veins, which may cause thrombophlebitis
- disseminated intravascular coagulation, a disorder causing severe bleeding in many body organs
- jaundice, or yellowing of the eyes and skin
- low blood sugar level
- pleural effusion
- pulmonary emboli, or blood clots in the arteries of the lungs
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