Understanding Your Mesothelioma Diagnosis: What it Means and Why it Happened
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you probably have a thousand questions running through your head. What treatments do you need? What does this mean for your family? How high will your medical bills be—should someone else be paying them?
Many people who have been struck by this disease are frightened, overwhelmed, and uncertain about their future. The attorneys at Wayne Wright LLP can help you understand the effects of a mesothelioma diagnosis, and can take action to get you proper compensation for this injury.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that attacks the mesothelium, the protective lining of tissue that covers most of the body’s organs. It can cause a number of life-threatening side effects, can be difficult to diagnose, and there is currently no known cure.
The most common cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, a toxic mineral fiber that occurs naturally in rock and soil. Asbestos exposure has been linked to three different types of mesothelioma:
- Pleural mesothelioma. This is the most common form of mesothelioma. When people breathe in small asbestos particles, these fibers can become trapped in the protective lining of the lungs (pleura) and cause cancer cells to grow and spread. Pleural mesothelioma often results chronic coughing, chest pain, difficulty breathing, lumps under the skin on the chest, unexplained weight loss, coughing up blood, and night sweats.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma. In some cases, patients will develop mesothelioma in the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum), causing stomach cramps, abdominal pain, lumps under the skin of the torso, diarrhea or constipation, sudden weight loss, fatigue, and loss of appetite.
- Pericardial mesothelioma. Although rare, pericardial mesothelioma can still pose a deadly threat to victims. Asbestos fibers may become trapped in the membrane surrounding the heart, causing chest pain, uncontrollable coughing, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, lightheadedness, and “fluttering” sensations in the heart and chest.
Unfortunately, most cases of it mesothelioma are not diagnosed until the disease is advanced, making it necessary for patients to undergo immediate treatment. Patients may require surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy to stop the spread of disease, all of which carry side effects of their own.
How Does Asbestos Cause Mesothelioma?
Asbestos has been used for thousands of years due to its durability and heat-resistant properties. The fibrous mineral can be easilyseparated into long, thin strands, to spin or weave, making it a valuable heat shield for industrial uses. However, these fibers are just as easily inhaled into the lungs or absorbed into bodily tissues, making them just as harmful as they are useful.
A large proportion of mesothelioma victims suffered asbestos exposure in the workplace, with industrial workers among the most at risk. Many El Paso companies have profited by exposing their work forces to asbestos long after the material was banned, including:
- Construction, roofing, and insulation companies
- Automotive repair sites (especially involving brakes and clutches)
- Industrial or factory work sites
- Maritime and shipping companies
- Mining companies
- Oil refineries
- Steel mills
- Power plants
- Chemical manufacturing plants
Today, the use of asbestos has been restricted due to its known cancer risks. However, workers who worked with or around asbestos in the past do not begin to show side effects until several decades after their exposure, making the disease significantly advanced by the time symptoms arise.
You Can Focus on You, While We Take on Your Fight
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is vital that you remain dedicated to your treatment, healing, and recovery. While you focus on what is important to your life, our El Paso asbestos attorneys will focus on getting you the compensation you deserve for your pain and emotional suffering.
Do you have questions about asbestos exposure or mesothelioma? Call the attorneys at Wayne Wright today at 915-301-8255 to discuss the details of your case. We can investigate the circumstances of your work and medical history to determine the likely cause of your cancer diagnosis. Your consultation with us is always free, and you pay no attorney fees unless we win your case!
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