According to The Mesothelioma Center, each year in the United States, about 3,000 people receive a mesothelioma diagnosis. Additionally, between 12,000 and 15,000 Americans die from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases annually. The symptoms of mesothelioma may vary depending on whether it affects the lungs, abdomen or heart. However, the early signs are usually mild and easily overlooked, regardless of the type of mesothelioma detected. This is often problematic, since this kind of cancer usually progresses quickly once it develops, though you may not develop mesothelioma until decades after asbestos exposure.
The symptoms of mesothelioma can be devastating as they worsen, and also often require extensive treatments. However, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills and other expenses through an asbestos lawsuit. For over 30 years, the mesothelioma lawyers at our firm have been standing up for victims of asbestos exposure whose health has been compromised. Therefore, if you need help after a mesothelioma diagnosis, a Washington DC mesothelioma lawyer from our firm fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that attacks the lining of the chest and abdomen, which is known as the mesothelium. This lining protects the lungs, heart and other vital organs. According to the American Cancer Society, about three-fourths of all mesothelioma cases start in the chest cavity, while another 10 to 20 percent begin in the abdomen. The remaining cases, which are rare, affect the tissue surrounding the heart. Most cases of mesothelioma cancer — about 80 percent — are caused by asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma symptoms can appear up to 50 years after your initial exposure to asbestos. Even though asbestos use is now severely restricted in the U.S., people who previously worked in occupations with a high incidence of asbestos exposure may still be at risk for developing this deadly disease because it has such a long latency period. Also, those who work around older, asbestos-containing products may currently be at risk of exposure.
There are strict federal and state regulations regarding the use of asbestos, many of which have been in place for decades. However, some companies may have ignored these regulations, leading to unnecessary and potentially deadly asbestos exposure for thousands of people. Even if the negligent company responsible for your injuries is out of business, you may still be able to recover compensation thorough an asbestos lawsuit.
Mesothelioma most commonly affects the lungs, but it can also occur in abdominal tissue as well as around the heart. As a result, the symptoms of mesothelioma may vary widely and can be difficult to detect.
Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lungs and is the most common type of mesothelioma, may include:
Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the abdomen, may include:
Finally, symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma, which affects the heart and is quite rare, may include:
Many of these symptoms may be mild at first, which can lead some people to delay a doctor’s visit. However, if you have any history of asbestos exposure, you should see a doctor immediately if you detect any of these symptoms. You should also seek medical attention for these symptoms if you worked in a high-risk industry such as shipping, metalworking or industrial plants of any kind.
If you or a loved one is suffering from any symptoms of mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, our personal injury law firm may be able to help. Our attorneys have fought and won mesothelioma lawsuits before, so we know how to investigate exactly who caused your condition. A number of laws exist to protect victims of asbestos-related diseases, and we can protect your rights under those laws.
A mesothelioma diagnosis is devastating, but we can help you get the compensation you need for treatment and for your family’s future. Contact us online or call our offices in Washington, D.C., Fairfax, Virginia or Greenbelt, Maryland to schedule a free consultation with a mesothelioma and asbestos exposure attorney.