Mesothelioma can spread to other organs, so it is essential to catch it and treat it early. The American Cancer Society classifies mesothelioma as a cancer that starts in the linings of certain parts of the body. However, screening tests typically are not recommended for mesothelioma for people considered not at increased risk for it.
One of the most important factors in being screened for mesothelioma is knowing that you might have been exposed to asbestos. There are different approaches to screening once you are identified as an at-risk person.
Unfortunately, some people do not know they have or are at risk for mesothelioma from asbestos exposure until it is too late. This ignorance is due to unethical practices by companies like Johnson & Johnson, which currently faces over 17,000 lawsuits concerning claims from people who were exposed to asbestos from using their products. If you or a loved one had or has mesothelioma, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you assess if you are eligible for compensation for medical bills and other damages.
About the Spread of Mesothelioma
Some people may not know they have mesothelioma because the symptoms can appear like those from other illnesses. According to the American Cancer Society, “Most people with mesothelioma have symptoms for at least a few months before they are diagnosed.” As a result, doctors may find it difficult to determine if mesothelioma is the reason for someone to show symptoms.
How Mesothelioma Begins
Mesothelioma typically starts in a few common areas of the body. Here are a few types of mesothelioma and their associated symptoms:
- Pleural mesothelioma: Mesothelioma of the chest comes with symptoms like pain in the side of the chest or lower back, trouble breathing, difficulty swallowing, and swelling of the face and arms.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma: Mesothelioma that affects the abdomen lining is shown through symptoms like stomach pain, swelling, or fluid in the abdomen, nausea, and constipation.
- Pericardial mesothelioma: When mesothelioma affects the heart, patients can display symptoms like chest pain, an irregular heartbeat, and shortness of breath.
This is not an exhaustive list of symptoms that may indicate mesothelioma in various parts of the body, but they are some of the most common.
Mesothelioma Spreading and Staging
Cancer cells can spread from where the original tumor was located throughout the body, either by growing directly into nearby tissue or organs or traveling through the bloodstream or lymphatic system.
The Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania describes how the spread of mesothelioma is confirmed by looking at the fluids and tissues of the affected parts of the body. This can be done through an X-ray, a CT scan, and a tissue biopsy. Doctors know that mesothelioma is spreading when they find the same type of cells in a different part of the body from where the cancer was thought to originate.
The center also explains that mesothelioma is staged to “determine the extent of the disease” and the best courses of action for treatment. Staging can be different for every person with mesothelioma, and so can treatment options.
Mesothelioma is treated in different ways, depending on the following circumstances:
- What stage the cancer has progressed to.
- Where the tumor is located.
- The age of the patient.
- Their state of health.
As with many types of cancer, the earlier the mesothelioma is treated, the better the chances of treating it become. However, mesothelioma treatments can lead to some long-term complications and symptoms that need to be managed long after treatment, including fluid in the lungs, medication, and more.
Mesothelioma Cases from Using Johnson & Johnson Products
The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine reported a study that showed talcum powder as a potential risk factor in causing cancers like mesothelioma. While doctors and researchers have not come to a uniform agreement on the link between talcum powder and cancer, one thing is certain: The mines where consumer-level talcum powder is sourced may also have naturally occurring asbestos, a known carcinogen.
A December 2018 report by Reuters revealed internal documents showing that Johnson & Johnson, a manufacturer of talcum powder, worried for decades that its product had been tainted by asbestos exposure and failed to notify regulators or the public. Although the company denies that its product contains asbestos or causes mesothelioma and other cancers, thousands of consumers have filed lawsuits against the company seeking compensation for medical bills and other damages.
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Call Pintas & Mullins to Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve
The lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm understand the history of corporations like Johnson & Johnson that produce everyday hygiene products containing talcum powder covering up potential asbestos contamination. Failing to protect consumers from asbestos exposure has long-term—and sometimes fatal—consequences.
If you or a loved one was a daily user of talcum powder products and was diagnosed with mesothelioma or another form of cancer, you may want to speak to Pintas & Mullins Law Firm about your case. Call our offices today for a free legal consultation with one of our team members at (800) 794-0444.