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Mesothelioma

Without warning, a healthy individual suddenly becomes short of breath, x-rays reveal fluid on the lungs and the night mare begins. Questions are asked and you answer, Yes, I was exposed to asbestos dust ...

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Tragically the word mesothelioma is becoming more and more well known, the mere mention of it striking fear into all of us for we know that it is associated with death. Asbestos is the reaper, mesothelioma its hand maiden.

Asbestos, the wonder product of the fifties is now recognized as an enemy of the twentieth century. A ruthless enemy which will kill more people than the war. Men, women and children will fall victim to its prey, innocents who have at some time in their lives inhaled asbestos dust.

Most of us have been in contact with products containing asbestos in our life times. We sat in asbestos class rooms, stood beside our fathers as they cut asbestos fencing, pulled up old linoleum with asbestos clogged to the back of it. Visited the local tip where broken sheets of it lay open to the wind.

Records show that there are a higher number of people afflicted with asbestosis and mesothelioma who have directly worked in asbestos mines, ship yards and companies making products from asbestos; however there are a large number of people afflicted, who have never worked in these industries. Their contact with asbestos, due to the dust brought home on their husband’s clothes or from the asbestos tailings placed around mine houses and town perimeters. But the tragedy does not end there, children innocently playing in their own back yards played amongst the asbestos tailings as children elsewhere play in the sand. They had no way of knowing that their sand was asbestos blue. A good bath at the end of the day may have removed the dust from the skin but the dust in the lungs remained and would lay dormant for many years before claiming its deadly legacy.

Without warning, a healthy individual suddenly becomes short of breath, x-rays reveal fluid on the lungs and the night mare begins. Questions are asked and you answer, Yes, I was exposed to asbestos dust but I was only in the town for a few short months and that was over 40 years ago. How can this be? This is the most perplexing thing about mesothelioma. Why is there such a long period of time between inhalation of asbestos dust and onset of the disease? What triggers a strong healthy body to suddenly succumb to it? What can we do to prevent this from happening?

Blood tests are now available to determine whether mesothelioma is present in the body, before a person is aware of any symptoms. This is an amazing breakthrough and perhaps the first step towards curing the disease before it becomes terminal. Recently mesothelioma was cured in a mouse and attempts to give it back to the mouse were unsuccessful. This too is exciting stuff and holds a glimmer of hope for us all.

I have witnessed first hand the devastation of mesothelioma. My husband was a strong and virile man who rarely had a sick day in his life. Suddenly at the age of 52 he became short of breath and was subsequently diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. He had lived in the asbestos mining town of Wittenoom in Western Australia for a few short months at the age of seven. The asbestos dust he inhaled then, took forty five years to become lethal. I still find this hard to believe.

Despite his prognosis of three to nine months, Brian survived for two years. He was 54 years old when he died.

 

Mesothelioma: The Basics

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is usually found in those previously exposed to asbestos. Legal action can be taken to get compensation for the illness and all the troubles the victim and their family must deal with.

Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is usually found in those previously exposed to asbestos. Cancerous cells form in the mesothelium, which is a protective lining that covers most of the body’s internal organs. These cells typically form in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or the sac that encircles the heart.

The average life span of a person diagnosed with the disease is about 4 to 24 months from the finding. About 3,000 people in the U.S. die of mesothelioma every year. People at risk are those who have been previously exposed to asbestos dust, including former steel workers, auto mechanics, mineworkers, and military workers, among many others. Their family members may also be at risk, as the asbestos dust from clothing can travel through the air.

Mesothelioma has an extremely long latency period, which means that symptoms of the disease may not emerge until 30 to 50 years after the initial exposure to asbestos. Pleural mesothelioma, which is the most common type and affects the area around the lungs, may cause shortness of breath, chest pains, and a persistent cough, which may lead to coughing up blood. These symptoms are caused by the build up of fluid between the lining of the lung and the chest cavity. The disease may start in the chest area and spread to other areas of the body. Other symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include weight loss, severe breathing trouble, fever, difficulty swallowing, and swelling of the face and neck areas. It should be noted that some people with the disease do not experience any serious symptoms at all.

Peritoneal mesothelioma is rarer than pleural mesothelioma, and affects the abdominal area. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal swelling and pain due to the build up of fluid in the abdominal cavity, nausea, loss of appetite, and vomiting. Breathing complications and chest pains may also be present, as well as bowel obstruction, anaemia, fever, and blood clotting.

The rarest form of the disease is pericardial mesothelioma, which first forms in the area surrounding the heart. Tumors grow in the tissues around the heart and spread from there. Chest pain, shortness of breath, constant coughing, and shivering may be symptoms of this form of mesothelioma.

Diagnosis of the disease is oftentimes difficult, due to the fact that the symptoms associated with mesothelioma are similar to those of other conditions. The symptoms of the disease become more serious as the cancerous tumors enter the later stages of development, so people who have been exposed to asbestos at any time in their lives should contact their doctor immediately. Even if a person has never been exposed directly to asbestos but is experiencing any of the above symptoms, they should inform their doctor as soon as possible, as asbestos dust and fibres may have traveled through the air from items such as clothing.

People who have been diagnosed with any form of mesothelioma should immediately contact a lawyer. Individual states have their own statutes of limitation, meaning that there is a set time limit regarding how long a patient has to act on their diagnosis. When searching for a lawyer to handle your case, be sure to find one that has prior experience with mesothelioma cases. They will have the contacts and resources to take care of your case in a timely manner. The Internet is a helpful and efficient resource for a mesothelioma lawyer search.

Patients do not have to be concerned with paying lawyers up-front, since the majority of mesothelioma lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that they will not request payment of any kind unless they successfully settle your case. Lawyers will usually take a 35% cut of whatever settlement or reward the patient receives, but patients seeking compensation for their disease have nothing to lose and everything to gain in going to a lawyer for help.

The average mesothelioma-related settlement in the U.S. is $1 million. Cases that go to trial average awards of approximately $6 million, according to the RAND Corporation. A bill called the Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2005 (FAIR Act of 2005) introduced on March 17, 2005, seeks to create set amounts of compensation for mesothelioma victims, which would depend on their symptoms.

People who have mesothelioma are able to seek large compensation amounts because their disease is a result of a company’s decision not to take sufficient measures to protect its workers from breathing in asbestos while on the job.

 

Mesothelioma – Your Basic Information

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is becoming more and more common. The most common cause of this cancer is exposure to asbestos. When constantly exposed with insufficient protection, asbestos dust and fibres affect the mesothelial cells which make up the mesothelium.

mesothelioma,cancer,pleural,asbestos,malignant,symptoms,treatment

<p>Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is becoming more and more common. The most common cause of this cancer is exposure to asbestos. When constantly exposed with insufficient protection, asbestos dust and fibres affect the mesothelial cells which make up the mesothelium. The mesothelium is the outer lining that protects some of the body’s most vital organs such as the heart and lungs. The mesothelial cells become abnormal after lengthy periods of constant exposure to asbestos causing an array of problems.</p>

<p>Due to the latency period and symptoms of this cancer, mesothelioma is very difficult to diagnose. Mesothelioma takes decades to mature and develop fully and this is why many elderly men who were exposed to asbestos thirty years before are just discovering they have the cancer. A lot of these men are currently lodging multi-million dollar lawsuits against the companies that exposed them to the dangers of asbestos without sufficient protection.</p>

<p>The organs that are affected most by mesothelioma are the lungs. The most common type of mesothelioma which is called pleural mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs and can cause symptoms such as coughing, breathing and swallowing difficulties, shortness of breath and fever. Another area that can be affected by mesothelioma is the abdomen. This is less common and this is known as peritoneal mesothelioma. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include nausea and vomiting, weight loss, fever, bowel obstruction, loss of appetite and general pain in the stomach area. The last and least common type of mesothelioma is known as pericardial mesothelioma and it affects the heart and the tissue surrounding it. Symptoms of this form of the cancer include palpitations, breathing difficulties and persistent coughing. Generally, the symptoms of mesothelioma are typical of many other diseases and this makes it very difficult to diagnose.</p>

<p>There are treatments for mesothelioma although these are usually unsuccessful. If the cancer is treated aggressively in its early stages then there is a good chance of a patient surviving. However, due to the difficulty to diagnose mesothelioma, the cancer is not normally found until it is too late. Treatments that are used for mesothelioma include surgery, radiation therapy, palliative therapy and chemotherapy. Research for additional treatment of mesothelioma is being done at various cancer centers all over the United States as well as by pharmaceutical companies. For more information on the treatment of mesothelioma go to <a href="http://www.1-mesothelioma.co.uk/treatment.html">http://www.1-mesothelioma.co.uk/treatment.html</a></p>

<p>William Johnston




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