Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that attacks the mesothelium, the tissue surrounding the body’s internal organs. The mesothelium provides the fluid that that aid in the smooth movement of the organs. There are actually three forms of mesothelioma but 75 percent of all cases are the pleural form originating in the chest cavity. The sole recognized cause for pleural mesothelioma is asbestos exposure in large amounts or over an extended period of time. The fibers of asbestos cause scarring and damage to tissue cells leading to the production of cancerous cells. These rapidly dividing cells create tumors which build up fluid and thicken membranes.
The warning signs of mesothelioma surface after many years of dormancy in the body. The diagnosis is usually made after the patient is already in the advanced stages of the disease. These latent cells may not appear for 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. In addition the disease is often misdiagnosed in its early stages as the symptoms mimic those of bronchitis, pneumonia or the flu. Some of the symptoms of mesothelioma are a dry or painful cough, fever, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Others may include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing which are also signs of common pneumonia.
Almost all cases of mesothelioma are discovered in persons that were exposed in the workplace. The first cases of lung disease were discovered among those who worked in asbestos mines in the early 1900’s. Despite the known hazards of asbestos the material use increased greatly throughout the 20th century until its use was regulated in the mid 1970’s. It was widely used in building material because of its fire resistant and non-conductive properties. It is estimated that there are over 700,000 buildings in the United States that still contain asbestos.
Prior to and during the 1970’s, many workers in factories, in construction and demolition were exposed. Asbestos was used in virtually every industry is one form or another. These workers are entering their sixties and seventies today and are part of the latest wave of new mesothelioma cases. There are asbestos remediation companies today whose sole effort is the removal of asbestos safely from schools, buildings, and even homes where asbestos materials were used. Most installed asbestos products do not pose a great risk to occupants of buildings unless the asbestos is in the friable form. Friable is the term for asbestos that is easily crumbled as in pipe wrappings or ceiling tiles. Non-friable asbestos is found in solid items such as floor tiles and roofing shingles. Asbestos in the friable form is a great deal more likely to release harmful fibers in the air which can be inhaled over a period of time leading to mesothelioma decades later. Anyone who owns a building or home built prior to 1980 should have it inspected for the presence of asbestos. Some asbestos products require removal while others can be safely contained.
Throughout the 20th century the dangers of asbestos exposure were known by manufacturers and employers but hidden from workers. They worked for years unaware of the health hazard. By the time the government stepped in and regulated the use and production of the material, it was too late for many of these workers who developed the disease decades later. Today many who suffer or have a loved one who suffers or died from mesothelioma have taken legal action against employers and asbestos manufacturers.
Mesothelioma causes great pain and suffering not only physically but financially due to medical bills and loss of income. It also takes an enormous emotional toll on the victim and family members. If you or a loved one suffers from mesothelioma your primary focus should be on getting healthy again. There are new treatments available as well as support groups that can help. After getting the proper medical and emotional support, contact an experienced asbestos attorney. The lawyer and your doctors will be able to determine the cause of your illness and the severity. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, loss of income plus pain and suffering.
Dolman Law Group has successfully represented asbestos related mesothelioma cases. We know the trauma of finding out and the toll you will pay both now and in the future. Contact Dolman Law for a no cost, confidential evaluation of your case. We are here to help you and your loved ones from the suffering of mesothelioma. Call us today at (727) 853-6275.
Dolman Law Group
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New Port Richey, FL 34652