According to the National Cancer Institute, mesothelioma is a malignant cancer of the pleura, the peritoneum, and the pericardium (the sacs lining the chest, abdominal cavity and the heart). Malignant mesothelioma has been linked to asbestos exposure, and those exposed to more asbestos or for a longer duration are likely to have more intense cases of mesothelioma. People stopped using asbestos in insulation materials in the 1970s, so with the 20 to 50 year latency period between exposure and acquisition of mesothelioma, many are just now discovering that they have the cancer.
People usually come into contact with asbestos through construction jobs or the clothes of family members working on construction sights. Asbestos is an insulation material used in pipes, boilers, cements, plasters, joint compounds, fireproofing spray, firebrick, gunnite, furnaces, roofs, floors, ceiling tiles, transite siding, brakes and clutches. Thus, the construction workers most exposed to asbestos include insulation installers, boilermakers, plumbers, pipefitters, steamfitters, plasterers, shipyard workers, those in the Navy, electricians, mechanics, bricklayers, millwrights, carpenters, steel workers, and maintenance workers. Sites with the largest concentration of asbestos include shipyards, power plants, refineries, paper mills, manufacturing plants, foundries, and construction sites.
Since early symptoms of mesothelioma are non-specific, many sufferers will not be diagnosed with the cancer until it is too late to treat it. These early symptoms are often mistook for pneumonia (shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pain). If you feel that symptoms you are having could be related to mesothelioma, contact a doctor to diagnose you to know for sure what you have and what you should do. Diagnosis procedures can include x-rays, CT scans, MRI, PET, thoracoscopy, peritoneoscopy or a biopsy.
Fighting mesothelioma can be expensive and the disease can cause great emotional trauma to the patient and his or her family. If you have been diagnosed with asbestos related mesothelioma, a mesothelioma lawyer can help you fight those responsible for this cancer. If you have mesothelioma, the employer or organization that put you into contact with asbestos is at fault and you deserve compensation. Find a mesothelioma lawyer today.