Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive form of cancer that’s directly linked to asbestos exposure. Many workers have come in contact with this material including shipbuilders, pipefitters, plumbers, and electricians. Even members of the military may have been affected. Thankfully, asbestos was banned in the United States. However, it can still be found in older buildings, homes, and factories.
Here are a few important things to know about mesothelioma:
1. Mesothelioma usually impacts the lungs. Roughly 80%-90% who are diagnosed have pleural mesothelioma, which involves the lungs. Less commonly, the disease can affect the heart, abdomen, or testicles.
2. Diagnosis can happen decades after exposure. One of the tricky parts about mesothelioma is that it can develop decades after an asbestos exposure – even as much as 60 years later! Sometimes, early symptoms are missed because they are similar to other common illnesses.
3. Not everyone who is exposed to asbestos will get it. Just because you were exposed does not mean getting diagnosed with mesothelioma is a sure thing. Remember: this is a very rare form of cancer, with only around 3,000 people diagnosed in the US every year.
4. Second-hand exposure is possible. Sometimes, a spouse or child of a worker will develop mesothelioma. This can happen because the tiny asbestos fibers attach themselves to clothes or shoes and are then brought home.
5. Compensation may be available for victims. Many companies knew there was a health risk but didn’t take steps to keep their workers safe. As a result, millions of dollars have already been set aside for victims.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, we encourage you to reach out to one of our personal injury lawyers for help. We can help determine if you’re eligible to receive a settlement. If so, we’d be pleased to assist your family.
Disclosure: always seek medical treatment from your doctor if you are experiencing worrying symptoms. Make sure to let him or her know if you’ve had a known asbestos exposure.