Mesothelioma: What is it?
Mesothelioma is a malignant cancerous disease of the cells lining the patient’s body cavities such as chest, abdominal region or the area surrounding the heart. It is thought to be associated with exposure to asbestos, and this asbestos association has been documented in 70-80% of all mesothelioma cases. Asbestos cancer or mesothelioma is very difficult to assess and diagnose consistently. The time between exposure and the onset of the disease, and the rate of progression of malignant mesothelioma, make diagnosis very difficult.
It is believed that even insignificant exposure to asbestos in environments such as asbestos mills, mines, shipping yards, some older Navy ships or even patient’s homes can result in mesothelioma. In many cases mesothelioma does not occur for decades after initial exposure to this cancer-causing asbestos. 2000-3000 cases of mesothelioma per year are currently being diagnosed. Family members of workers exposed to asbestos can also contract this disease through exposure to the worker’s clothing. Like many other cancers, smoking greatly increases the risk of contracting mesothelioma.
Some of the earliest symptoms of mesothelioma are commonly over looked due there similarity to symptoms of less serious diseases. Some patients do not show any signs of sickness in the early stages of development of the disease. The most common symptoms of mesothelioma include dyspnoea, pleuritic pain, lasting cough, fatigue, and weight loss. These symptoms may not be attributed to mesothelioma unless the patient is examined by a competent and knowledgeable health care provider who orders the appropriate tests. Test for mesothelioma, or asbestos cancer, may include CT scans, x-rays scans, or MRI. Surgery can be one of the treatment options; however, the recurrence rate of cancerous cells is high. It is very important that the disease is diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
This disease is not more prevalent in any particular race or ethic group; however it is more common in men. Most cases of mesothelioma occur 30-45 years after initial exposure to asbestos. Once it develops, this cancer will continue to grow until it is treated or the victim expires.
Although science is not certain as to the exact mechanism which causes mesothelioma, it is thought that the asbestos fibers puncture the parenchyma, become lodged in the pleura, and by process of irritation create the change in the cells which causes the mesothelioma.
The chance of recovery for a person with mesothelioma depends on several factors, including:
- Size of the cancer
- Location of the cancer
- Spread of the cancer throughout the body
- Response to treatment
- Appearance of the cells under a microscope
- Age of the patient
Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos-related diseases. Virtually all cases of malignant mesothelioma are attributable to asbestos exposure.
If you have mesothelioma or you know someone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, remember that time matters. The sooner you consult your doctor and get professional care the better your chances will be of dealing with this dangerous asbestos cancer.
There are three traditional methods of fighting cancerous mesothelioma:
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Radiation therapy.
Please contact your doctor as soon as possible to get more information.
The nature of Mesothelioma or Asbestos Cancer and the length of time before symptoms may occur has made conventional claims for compensation difficult. This has opened the door and presented a great opportunity for personal injury lawyers and personal injury and class action lawsuits.
An indication of the part that the Internet has played, or is playing in this, can be determined by the amount of money personal injury lawyers and law firms are spending to advertise their services on the Internet. Many of these Law Firms have entire websites dedicated to this subject. In fact much of the information in this article was culled from these law firms’ websites.
The punch line on all these websites of course is that the mesothelioma victim should hire this law firm to represent them in a personal injury or class action lawsuit.
Most reader know that it is possible to buy ads that will be displayed on Search Engine results pages when certain keywords are searched on. The current record high payment for keyword advertising of this type is held by “mesothelioma” and “asbestos cancer”. These law firms are currently paying more than any other seller of goods or services to attract visitors to their websites.
Is this good or is this bad? Obviously the law firms feel that there is a great deal of money to be made in these personal injury suits, but what about the mesothelioma victim? For him/her these lawyers, and law firms, may represent the only chance for adequate medical care and the means to support their families and live their lives with this debilitating disease.
Mesothelioma: The Summary
Mesothelioma, or asbestos cancer, is a terrible disease. The length of time between exposure and the onset of the symptoms hangs over the heads of many people like a life sentence. Personal injury lawyers and attorneys are often derided and condemned, however for the victims of Mesothelioma they may represent the only means of securing the funds to treat the disease or cope with the disabling impact of malignant mesothelioma.
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