Have you ever heard of the medical term mesothelioma? If you have, you might have figured out that mesothelioma is a rare term and diagnosis to come across; however, it has changed the lives of thousands of people. In the United States, there are about 3,000 cases diagnosed a year. The problem with mesothelioma is that when the diagnosis is made it may be too late to do anything for the individual.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a tumor in the mesothelium – a tissue that surrounds your lungs, heart, stomach, and other organs. Mesothelioma usually starts in the lungs; however, it can also start in the stomach or other organs.
Have you been exposed?
Most people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma get it because they were exposed to asbestos, in most cases they are exposed in their workplace. Some of the high-risk occupations include:
- Construction Workers – prior to the 1980s many construction products contained asbestos, so demolition crews and home renovators are at a high risk of exposure, however, roofing and flooring materials are still made with asbestos.
- Firefighters – fires damage asbestos products at high rates and causes fire to become airborne; many firefighters were exposed during and after 9/11
- Industrial Workers (mechanics, foremen, machinery operators, chemical workers, etc.) – workers are exposed through asbestos textiles, insulation, fireproofing, and gaskets among others; industrial insulators are at a higher risk in the industry
- Power Plant Workers – workers are exposed through products like pipe insulation and fireproof spray; cutting old asbestos pipes is one of the biggest threats to these workers
- Shipyard Workers – boiler workers and those who work in the vessels themselves (constructing, repairing, or demolishing) are at the highest exposure
- Railroad Workers – workers were exposed through cement used in railroad ties, sealing cement, insulation, clutches, brake pads, gaskets, and caboose ceilings.
What are the symptoms?
After being exposed to asbestos it can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years for the symptoms to appear. Symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Trouble breathing
- Painful coughing
- Wight loss (reason unknown)
- Pain under the rib cage
- Lumps, swelling, and pain in the abdomen
What should you do?
If you have been exposed to asbestos and start feeling the symptoms make sure to go to the doctor so that they can start the tests and diagnose you as soon as possible. If the diagnosis shows that you do, indeed, have mesothelioma talk to your doctor about treatment options. The treatment that your doctor recommends will depend on your health and other aspects of the tumor, for example, location and stage. Some of the current treatments for mesothelioma include: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and clinical trials.
Because mesothelioma is a very aggressive disease and is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage, for most people a cure isn’t possible. However, make sure to talk to your doctor about all of your options and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Contact Brooks Law Group
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact Brooks Law Group today at 1-800-LAW-3030 for an in-depth review of your case. Attorneys at Brooks Law Group will be there with you every step of the way and work on a contingent basis, meaning that they don’t get paid until you receive compensation.