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Mesothelioma is a type of rare, aggressive cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, heart, or testicles. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), around 2,400 to 2,800 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the United States every year. It mostly develops as the result of exposure to asbestos, a set of six naturally occurring silicate materials that are used in construction and other industries. While the use of asbestos is banned in new construction projects in many developed regions of the world, it is still legal to use in the United States for the construction of cement asbestos pipes and other construction products.
Most people are exposed to asbestos at work. More than 75 different jobs in the United States have been known to lead to asbestos exposure, according to the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety. However, about 30% of all mesothelioma cases are military veterans. Asbestos was used by the U.S. military in hundreds of applications. From 1930 to 1978, as much as 25 million tons of asbestos were used by U.S. shipyards where more than 4.5 million workers were employed, many of them members of the military.
While the construction industry continues to be hit the hardest, plumbers, electricians, and steamfitters are the most vulnerable to asbestos. Most exposure is related to occupation, but families of workers were also affected when the asbestos fibers were accidentally brought home. Homes and apartment buildings built before 1980 also are often filled with asbestos, the fibers of which can be launched into the air and inhaled or swallowed by people nearby if the building is disturbed.
If you’ve been exposed to asbestos that led to mesothelioma, let us help you seek compensation for your medical expenses. Schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer today.
Types of Mesothelioma
There are four types of mesothelioma people could develop, including the following:
- Pleural: Around 75% of all cases of mesothelioma affect the pleura, the soft tissue that covers the lungs. Development of cancer typically happened after fibers of asbestos were inhaled by the patient.
- Peritoneal: This type of cancer accounts for less than 20% of all asbestos-related mesothelioma. It forms around the lining of the abdomen, the peritoneum, and can develop after someone swallows or inhales asbestos fibers.
- Pericardial: This is one of the rarest forms of asbestos-related cancer, and it develops in the pericardium, the thin membrane surrounding the heart. Only about 1% of mesothelioma cases involved the pericardium, and it usually occurs after ingesting or inhaling asbestos dust or fibers.
- Testicular: Testicular mesothelioma is even rarer than pericardial, occurring in less than 1% of all cases. It affects the lining covering the testicles, the tunica vaginalis testis. It also can’t be traced to inhalation or ingestion of asbestos dust or fibers.
Symptoms can include fatigue, weight loss, pain near tumors, shortness of breath, dry cough, fluid buildup, bowel obstruction, and difficulty swallowing. Many of these symptoms are shared by the various types of mesothelioma, so only a doctor can diagnose which type you may have.
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While mesothelioma can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, it is a fatal disease. Symptoms also may not appear until 20 to 50 years (or more) after exposure to asbestos. It’s often because of this delay that it can be difficult to determine where a person was exposed to asbestos to begin with. Talk to us in a free consultation about your case and our experienced personal injury attorneys can make recommendations about how best to get compensation. People should never be exposed to harmful chemicals just to create a bigger margin of profit for a construction company. Let us help you seek justice
Call us at (844) 464-0062 or fill out our online form to get your case started today.