You see the commercials everyday on television for lawyers that deal in mesothelioma claims. Before 1985, mesothelioma cancer was practically unknown, but when asbestos was discovered to be a proven carcinogen after the medical community suspected it for over fifty years of causing mesothelioma cancer and the asbestos companies staunchly denied it, this form of cancer became a household word to millions of American citizens.
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and it is believed that anyone who is also exposed to radion makes the development of the cancer even more likely. At one point in time, the material was found in flooring, ceiling tiles, pipe fittings, caulking, roofing, plaster, and other construction products. Most facilities and power plants that generated heat had pipes wrapped in asbestos. Asbestos releases fibers into the air when it is disturbed and workers breathe it in when they are dealing with it. It can also get on their clothing and shoes which subsequently exposes family members to it. Mesothelioma risks have decreased dramatically since 1985 and the movement to remove the asbestos from as many places as possible. However older homes and businesses that have not had the material removed still post serious mesothelioma risks to anyone coming into contact with it.
Mesothelioma symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, weight loss, persistence cough, hoarseness, trouble swallowing and fever. Unfortunately mesothelioma symptoms take years to develop and by the time they do, the person with mesothelioma could be diagnosed as having some other disease or type of cancer. It is also not just a type of lung cancer. The cancer starts in the lung lining or in the abdominal cavities and it can eventually spread to other organs, usually the heart and reproductive organs. It is an uncontrolled cellular growth that causes the mesothelium layers in the body to thicken and retain fluid and while some cases are benign, the majority are not.
As more and more cases are properly diagnosed, the rise in mesothelioma claims rise. It does not produce typical tumors like a regular cancer would and it is usually caught well after the asbestos in the system has metastasized an organ. It is a slow killer, the asbestos taking years to corrupt the body to the point of no return. Additionally the symptoms are so similar to other diseases that mesothelioma treatments sometimes come too late to make any difference.
Early diagnosis is the only way a patient can be treated for mesothelioma. While there is ongoing research into treatment options, treatment tends to steer towards slowing down the growth of the cells usually through chemotherapy or surgery it the mesothelioma is the pleural type and caught only in its earliest stages. Radiation therapy is also used in combination with the chemotherapy and in many cases, this is simply not enough. Mesothelioma is a disease that is usually diagnosed too late and many doctors are simply resigned to do everything they can to make their patients comfortable as treatments still need to be perfected towards reversing the damage.