Malignant mesothelioma is a disease in which cancerous cells grow in the linings of the lungs, chest wall, abdomen, heart, or testicles, according to the National Cancer Institute. Malignant mesothelioma is so rare that screening for the disease is not routine practice for most doctors, making it difficult to diagnose in the early stages. As with most forms of cancer, there is no one-size-fits-all prognosis for any patient. While there are multiple risk factors that can result in malignant mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos is one primary cause.
There are currently regulations in place to prevent today’s most vulnerable populations from unnecessary asbestos exposure. However, with a latency period that can take decades, malignant mesothelioma is a real risk for former construction workers and their families. New cases of malignant mesothelioma are developing now in people who were affected years ago, before asbestos exposure was a well-known risk factor for the disease. If you or a loved one received a malignant mesothelioma diagnosis, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can ease the burden of seeking compensation for your care. Call us today at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your legal options.
Asbestos Exposure Increases Malignant Mesothelioma Risk
People with malignant mesothelioma tend to have one important risk factor in mind—they worked or lived in a place with regular asbestos exposure. The scenario can be different for every malignant mesothelioma patient, but often includes working in an industry like construction where asbestos materials were used. In recent cases, the children of construction workers and people who live or lived in buildings made with asbestos are being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma.
Symptoms of Malignant Mesothelioma
One of the challenges of diagnosing malignant mesothelioma is distinguishing between the symptoms of other non-fatal conditions. Some common symptoms of malignant mesothelioma include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chronic cough
- Pain felt underneath the rib cage
- Swelling, pain, or lumps around the abdomen
- Excessive or unusual blood clotting
- Losing weight without trying
The list above does not include every symptom that you or a loved one may experience. These symptoms can indicate malignant mesothelioma, but they can also be indicative of other conditions that range in severity—from benign medical issues to lung cancer.
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Thankfully, doctors can distinguish what is malignant mesothelioma from other chest conditions, including lung cancer. The tests and procedures used to pinpoint the exact starting point of malignant mesothelioma often varies based on each doctor’s preference and other factors. The diagnostic procedures for malignant mesothelioma are increasingly invasive, depending on the level of the condition:
- Physical exam: This option is the least invasive. It includes a physical wellness exam and a discussion about the individual’s work and life history to gauge risk of asbestos exposure.
- X-ray or CT scan: Doctors can use an X-ray or CT scan to get an internal image of an individual’s organs and bones, looking for any unusual physical growths or visually apparent damage from asbestos.
- Biopsy: Collecting cell overgrowth and tissue from affected areas of the body can be helpful for diagnosis. With suspected cases of malignant mesothelioma, biopsy procedures can be minimally invasive or may require an incision and more complicated measures.
Once cell tissue is removed and analyzed, doctors can give their prognosis. However, each case of cancer is unique and will not necessarily be limited by a doctor’s predictions. In any case, treatment of malignant mesothelioma can be costly to one’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being.
Legal Help for Malignant Mesothelioma
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) provides an outline of workers’ rights in the event of hazardous working conditions, including asbestos exposure. Employees have a right to safe working conditions under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, so even people with seemingly outdated cases of malignant mesothelioma could seek justice for the cost of treatment under the law.
If you or a loved one were needlessly exposed to asbestos, you can hold liable employers accountable by seeking compensation for your injuries.
Get Malignant Mesothelioma Help from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
You do not have to face this legal battle alone. A malignant mesothelioma lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can guide you through the litigation process and help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Call (800) 794-0444 today for a free consultation with a member of our team.