One of the dangers of getting exposed to asbestos is a type of cancer called mesothelioma. When asbestos fibers stick to the membranes covering your internal organs, it can lead to inflammation to the point that it causes genetic damage and stimulates cancerous growth. Mesothelioma is quite rare, with only around 3,000 new cases annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, it is also a highly aggressive disease that can kill patients in a year if not treated just as vigorously.
The main reason for the small number of mesothelioma cases is also its primary risk factor. Asbestos exposure is not something many people come in contact with unless it is present in the environment where they live or work. Construction or factory workers would be in more danger than someone with an office job, since they may have to handle products that contain asbestos regularly. A person who lives in an old house that most likely has many materials containing asbestos has a high risk of inhaling the fibers if a fire starts.
In response to the risks that asbestos carries, federal and state authorities heavily regulate its handling and use. Asbestos mining in the U.S. is also no longer allowed, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Furthermore, the government can ban or implement a recall for products that pose more danger to people if they contain asbestos, such as children’s toys or school supplies. While these laws do not entirely outlaw asbestos, they help reduce the risk of asbestos exposure among the general populace.
Another reason why mesothelioma is so rare is due to its latency period or the time between exposure and appearance of symptoms. On average, this disease has a range of latency between 13-70 years after inhaling or ingesting asbestos. It is a rare occurrence for its side effects to appear 10 or 20 years after exposure. A person may even die for a different reason while the mesothelioma remains dormant.
By familiarizing yourself with mesothelioma, you and your loved ones may detect it sooner. You can stand a better chance of surviving your cancer and, if necessary, seek justice against those responsible for your sickness.
How Will I Know If I Have Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma can be challenging to detect because it is easy to mistake its signs for other diseases, according to Mayo Clinic. For example, pleural mesothelioma affects the lung linings and has side effects similar to other respiratory illnesses. You can start experiencing coughs, chest pains, breathing difficulties, which are identical to what you would feel if you had bronchitis.
If you suspect that your symptoms could mean you have mesothelioma, do not hesitate to see a doctor as soon as possible. But you need not wait for any of them to manifest. The appearance of these conditions means that your cancer has already advanced significantly. It becomes difficult and expensive to treat mesothelioma in its later stages successfully.
Your best chance at detecting it is to undergo screenings at least every year, especially if your occupation puts you at risk for exposure to asbestos. You should also check if your family has a history of mesothelioma cases. It can mean you have a predisposition to developing this cancer as well.
Can I Get Compensation for Mesothelioma?
Yes, you can have your treatment costs covered by another party. One way is through your health insurance plan. You can choose from either private or public providers.
Filing a civil lawsuit is an option for those who developed mesothelioma due to someone else’s negligence, such as an employer. If they fail to provide adequate protective gear against asbestos, they could be liable if you develop health complications from the incident. Winning a case lets you recover from damages such as medical expenses, lost income, and even your pain and suffering.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 794-0444
We Can Help You Seek Compensation
Asbestos exposure explains why mesothelioma is so rare; however, its rarity does not mean you cannot suffer exposure. A mesothelioma lawyer from the office of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you file a lawsuit against the parties responsible for your or your loved one’s condition.
For free case reviews, you can also call us at (800) 794-0444 to discuss your concerns.