Mesothelioma is a rare but very aggressive and very deadly form of cancer that usually develops in the lining of the lungs, although it can also form in the abdomen, the heart, or possibly even the testicles. The usual cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, and there is currently no known cure and the disease prognosis is usually very grim. After diagnosis, life expectancy with mesothelioma will depend on the stage of the disease, the cell type and the locations of the tumor or tumors. One of the best ways to make sure you and your family are taken care of is to hire a mesothelioma injury lawyer to help get you the compensation you deserve from those responsible for your injuries.
How Common is Mesothelioma?
According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 2,500-2,800 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year, but at highest risk of developing the disease are workers who work with and are exposed to asbestos. After exposure to asbestos, it can be very difficult to diagnose in the early stages and it can take anywhere from 20-50 years for symptoms to appear. Among the symptoms that manifest themselves most often include general chest pain below the rib cage, accumulation of fluid in the chest, unusual lumps under the skin on the chest, breathing and swallowing difficulties, face and neck swelling, unexpected weight loss and others.
While there is no cure, some treatments are available for mesothelioma. Medical professionals have divided mesothelioma into a number of different types based on which part of the mesothelium (abdomen) has been affected. The most common form of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lungs, although there are also less common forms, like peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the abdominal tissue, pericardial mesothelioma, which affects tissue around the heart, and mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis, which affects the tissue surrounding the testicles. All of these are very serious and deadly, and treating them is essential. A highly qualified mesothelioma injury lawyer can help you get the treatment you need.
How to Spot Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma cancer begins when the cells experience a series of genetic mutations that eventually grow and multiply out of control. While it is not currently known what causes the initial mutations, researchers have surmised that it could be a variety of factors, including genetic conditions, health conditions, environment and lifestyle choices. The primary factor, however, is exposure to asbestos fibers. An experienced and knowledgeable mesothelioma injury lawyer is able to get the best clinical minds on the case and find out when you were probably exposed to the deadly mineral.
Asbestos in a natural mineral and its fibers are very strong and resistant to heat. That made them very useful in many applications, including insulation, shingles, flooring, vehicle brakes and many other products. When asbestos is intact, it is safe, but when it is broken up, such as during the mining process or when removing asbestos insulation, the fibers can become airborne and be inhaled or swallowed, where they will settle in the lungs or stomach and cause mesothelioma years later.
While most people exposed to asbestos fibers never develop mesothelioma, many others develop the cancer after just a brief exposure. That said, cases of mesothelioma have become so common that asbestos is no longer used in most applications, due to the inherent danger. There are some very important regulations that must be followed when removing asbestos from a building, so as to limit exposure. Everyone, including workers, employers and supervisors, have an important part to play in avoiding asbestos exposure and limiting the number of mesothelioma cases. A qualified mesothelioma injury lawyer can determine whether proper precautions were taken to prevent your exposure and determine whether an old employer or someone else is liable in some way.
The diagnosis of mesothelioma is not unlike that used for other respiratory diseases, and it generally includes a chest X-ray and a CT scan, with a biopsy used to confirm the initial diagnosis. Diagnosing the cancer is extremely difficult, so, by the time it has been diagnosed, the mesothelioma is often in its advanced stages. That makes effective treatment extremely difficult. In those cases when the cancer is detected at an earlier stage, some treatments may be available and effective, in the form of medications, surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. There are also a number of newer treatments under study right now that may be available for some patients who don’t respond to more conventional therapies. There are palliative treatments available, capable of reducing the level of pain and discomfort associated with mesothelioma. These can improve the patient’s prognosis and quite possibly extend their life.
There is a reason why OSHA and other regulations regarding asbestos exposure have become stricter over time. The danger of such exposure is well known and employers who don’t keep their workplaces as safe as possible may be in violation of the law. Of course, that means they may be responsible for your mesothelioma, so you should do something to make them take responsibility. That something is to hire the most knowledgeable and experienced mesothelioma injury lawyer that you can find to file a claim and get you the compensation you need.
Contact Our Experienced San Antonio Mesothelioma Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you probably have many questions, for which you deserve answers.
- What does the diagnosis mean?
- What caused the disease?
- How can I cover the high cost of treatment?
- How can I hold those responsible for contracting mesothelioma accountable?
The experienced and knowledgeable San Antonio mesothelioma injury lawyer at Hill Law Firm can answer all those questions and all others you may have, and also help you protect your rights under the law. The expert San Antonio injury attorneys at Hill Law Firm is here to answer your questions and help you with all of your injury-related questions, so call our office today for a free consultation, 210-960-3939.