Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer affecting the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen. Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos related diseases. Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause and risk factor for mesothelioma.
The cancer usually affects the thin, protective membrane surrounding the lungs, heart or abdominal cavity. Doctors diagnose an estimated 3,000 cases a year in the United States, and the majority of those are traced to job-related asbestos exposure.
Although asbestos use declined dramatically in recent decades in this country, the incidence of malignant mesothelioma remains steady. The disease can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos before it shows obvious symptoms and an oncologist can make a definitive diagnosis. There is currently no known cure for mesothelioma, but treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy can help to improve the typical mesothelioma prognosis and even increase one’s life expectancy.
Asbestos once filled countless U.S. homes and businesses in the form of insulation and heat-protecting materials. Throughout the massive construction boom following World War II, it was a key element in thousands of industrial and household products, including drywall, wiring, glues and adhesives, ceiling tiles, cements and shingles.
Some of these asbestos products remain in old structures and are usually harmless, as long as they are not disturbed. Workers usually were exposed to the harmful natural mineral while on the job, but others, including their family members, also faced secondary exposures at home and environmental exposures in communities that mined or processed asbestos.
The most harmful exposures have occurred at work. The risk for asbestos-related illnesses is highest for people who worked directly with the raw mineral or with asbestos-containing products on a daily basis. Some of the most prevalent occurrences of asbestos exposure that cause mesothelioma are/were in the following occupations:
- Shipyard workers
- Construction workers
- Power plant workers
- Chemical plant workers
- Industrial workers
- Boiler workers
- Auto mechanics
Unfortunately, there is no cure for mesothelioma. There are, however, a variety of experimental treatment options with new clinical trials being introduced on a regular basis by doctors and researchers trying to find a cure for mesothelioma. The treatment used is dependent upon a variety of factors, including the extent of the disease, the age and medical history of the patient, and the location and type of mesothelioma, but some common treatments include:
- Surgery – where the tissue in the affected area is cut out. This may involve removing part of the organ depending on the size of the affected area
- Radiation treatment – involving the use of radiation treatment to kill off the cancerous cells in the affected area
- Chemotherapy – using potent drugs in the body to kill off the cancerous cells
Treatments for mesothelioma can be expensive. The attorneys at SL Chaman can help you with this. Our job is to obtain monetary compensation from those responsible so you and your family can focus on fighting mesothelioma without the stress of financial worry.
Receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis can be overwhelming news, but our mesothelioma lawyers are ready to help you in any way they can. If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos or have been diagnosed with any asbestos disease, including lung cancer and mesothelioma, contact our office today at 800-550-2106 for a free legal consultation. We can help you understand your rights and options, and see that you have the opportunity to seek compensation for your injuries. We have successfully represented many mesothelioma clients. A SL Chapman attorney can help you obtain substantial financial compensation if you have been diagnosed with an asbestos related disease like mesothelioma cancer.