A mesothelioma attorney – a lawyer who specializes in cases surrounding negligent asbestos exposure – can assist individuals who are diagnosed with deadly mesothelioma cancer in obtaining the compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer knows the particulars of the disease, is familiar with treatment and its cost, and – most of all – understands that asbestos exposure, in most cases, could have been avoided if certain precautions had been taken and rules followed.
It can take as long as fifty years after exposure to unsafe asbestos for a patient to exhibit the symptoms of this very aggressive form of cancer. Many victims don’t see the first symptoms arise until decades after they’ve worked with the mineral and, in many cases, the exposure has been long forgotten. The disease comes as a surprise to those who never realized they were in danger.
But if you’ve worked with asbestos in the past and may be a candidate for the disease, it’s important to understand the warning signs of mesothelioma and to see a doctor immediately if these symptoms persist. Many potential meso victims overlook the very first signs of the disease because they are easily confused with those stemming from many less-severe conditions.
The very first symptoms that are likely to appear include extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pains, and cough – especially a dry, non-productive cough. These early symptoms of the disease may be mistaken for a common cold, bronchitis, or pneumonia, so if you know you’ve been exposed to asbestos and are experiencing these symptoms without relief, be sure to tell your doctor about the exposure.
Because asbestos fibers most often lodge themselves in the chest area, pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease. The pleura is the lining that surrounds the lungs. However, patients can also develop mesothelioma in other parts of the body including in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdomen), the pericardium (the lining of the lungs), and – in very rare cases - the testicles.
All varieties of mesothelioma are difficult to treat, but the pleural form is the one for which the largest variety of treatments is available. Often, patients with pleural mesothelioma will be candidates for surgery to remove the affected pleura or the pleura and the lung. In some cases, surgery will also remove parts of the abdomen as well as some of the lymph nodes. These surgeries are very serious, include a long recovery time, and are only recommended to patients who are physically strong and don’t suffer from other co-existing medical conditions.
In many cases, mesothelioma –especially the pleural variety – is treated with chemotherapy and sometimes radiation. Though the disease has historically responded poorly to most treatments, there have been some advances in treatments, the result being a slightly better prognosis for mesothelioma patients. Researchers continue to work with potential new therapies as well, including immunotherapy and gene therapy.
In most cases, mesothelioma could have been avoided if employers had opted to use safer materials that did not contain asbestos or had taken proper safety precautions to protect workers from asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma attorneys can help right this wrong! Contact one today to learn what you can do to receive compensation for medical bills and other expenses associated with your mesothelioma.