Mesothelioma refers to cancer of the mesothelium, a thin film of tissue that coats the lungs, chest walls and other internal body organs. Exposure to high levels of asbestos contributes to over 80% of all mesothelioma occurrences. However, an individual’s genetics is also a significant risk factor. Some common symptoms of this disease include coughing, unintentional weight loss, shortness of breath and feeling constantly exhausted.
If you exhibit these symptoms, it’s important to undertake a medical imaging procedure to ascertain whether or not you suffer from mesothelium. You can also hire an experienced lawyer from a company such as Mesothelioma Lawyer to represent you in court if you decide to sue your company for intentionally exposing your workplace to asbestos, which is a known carcinogen.
Here are things you should know about mesothelioma in 2023:
Symptoms appear many years after asbestos exposure
People who work in construction, plumbing, automobile, and similar industries have a higher risk of contracting mesothelioma because of their constant exposure to asbestos. Sadly, the symptoms of this disease may start to manifest 15 to 20 years after exposure. Asbestos dust particles are virtually impossible to detect by sight, taste or smell. When someone inhales the minuscule asbestos fibers, they settle deep within the thin tissue lining the lungs and chest (mesothelium). Warning indicators only start to appear when it’s too late.
Different types of Mesothelioma
Majorly, there are four types of this disease and each one impacts different parts of the body, but the most common two are peritoneal and pleural. Peritoneal affects the abdominal cavity, pleural affect cavity found in the lungs, pericardial impacts cavity found in the heart, and testicular affects the testes.
Symptoms for different types of Mesothelioma
- Peritoneal signs and symptoms include swelling and pain in the abdomen, constipation, bowel obstruction, or/and diarrhea.
- Pleural signs and symptoms include breath shortage, persistent cough, chest pain. Its symptoms are more likely to pneumonia and flu.
- Pericardial symptoms can cause heart failure, irregular heartbeat, lower limb swelling, chest pains, cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue.
- Testicular Mesothelioma is a rare cancer and to date doctors are unable to find out the reason for the exact reason for its cause. Symptoms include pain in testes, lump on the testicle, inflammation of the epidermis.
Cases of mesothelioma are increasing rapidly
More than 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are reported in the U.S. every year. In addition, this type of cancer is more prevalent in males than in females. This year, we could witness more cases of this disease around the world. The prevalence of this disease has been growing steadily for the last half-century. Before industries started utilizing asbestos commercially, this was an extremely rare disease. To steer clear of this type of cancer, you should avoid exposure to asbestos and wear protective attire such as face masks when working around asbestos.
Treatment options available for mesothelioma
Once the patient is diagnosed with it, the following are its treatment options available:
Surgical resection: The most common treatment is surgical resection. In this cancer is removed from the pleural lining by the means of surgery.
Medication: With the advancement in the field of medicine, medication is a method to treat this cancer. Chemotherapy is also part of this medication treatment. With two or three cures and chemotherapy, one can live a cancer-free life.
Clinical trial: Clinical trial is a newly introduced method, however, a cure is not guaranteed. In this method, several new approaches are tried on patients including new methods of immunotherapy and targeted therapy cures.
Mesothelioma is treatable when caught early
When doctors diagnose an individual with mesothelioma, they can either proceed with surgical resection or systemic therapy. The former treatment involves surgical removal of cancer using highly advanced surgical equipment. Here, cancer cells are carefully removed from the mesothelium without touching the lungs. Systemic therapy, on the other hand, involves administering cancer cures to patients as part of a larger chemotherapy regimen. The two most common cures used in this treatment are pemetrexed and cisplatin.
Support and coping the problem of mesothelioma
It is not easy to have peace of mind when diagnosed with mesothelioma but can make a huge difference by adopting the following ways:
- Surround yourself with a support system: During this difficult phase of life, it’s okay to ask for help with appointment and treatment. There should be no shame in asking relatives and friends with everyday tasks and medicines.
- Learn everything about the disease: To take any final decision, it is very necessary for the patient and family to have thorough knowledge about the mesothelioma. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions related to the disease with the doctor. It is advisable to have full information about the problem to take the current and future decisions more appropriately. The best place to seek all details is the National Cancer Institute and other cancer organizations.
- Meet the cancer warrior: ask your doctor or health care team about the cancer support group. Sometimes, we feel comfortable asking questions to the person who has gone through the same pain. One can seek their help by directly paying a visit to them or can ask help online(if traveling is not possible).
You can file for a mesothelioma claim
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends that companies limit their asbestos exposure to 0.1 asbestos fiber/cm3. However, not all firms follow this directive. If you suffer from mesothelioma during your course of work, you can take legal action against your employer by filing a mesothelioma claim.
Some workers shy away from seeking legal redress because they’re unfamiliar with the nitty-gritty legal details of their case. However, you can hire an experienced lawyer to handle your case. Such lawyers have vast knowledge and experience to represent you professionally. They can help you prepare a strong claim and negotiate effectively with the defendant to reach a good settlement.
Gaining ample knowledge of mesothelioma will help you prepare for any eventualities that occur.