Mesothelioma is actually a group of rare malignant cancers, in the tissue surrounding the organs, typically found in a few different places within the body. There are different forms of mesothelioma: testicular, pericardial, peritoneal, and pleural. These different forms of mesothelioma could contain one of two cell-types: sarcomatoid or epithelial. Of diagnosed cases, the cell-types are comprised of 85% epithelial and 15% sarcomatoid.
Pleural Mesothelioma is Most Common
Of the different types of mesothelioma, pleural is by far the most common. This type of cancer is found in the chest mesothelium, and comes with a wide range of symptoms. As the disease progresses, symptoms can include loss of appetite, night sweats, weight loss, and voice change. Chest pain and shortness of breath are also symptoms, but pain does not increase with breathing, as it might with many other types of lung disease.
Commonly, patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma didn’t even know they had it until they went in for a routine chest x-ray for unrelated reasons. Those with pleural mesothelioma may also experience problems with their diaphragm, the muscle under the lungs which helps push air in and out.
How Patients Get Mesothelioma
Back in the 1940s and 1950s, many construction workers, military men, and those working for manufacturers were exposed to something called asbestos. This material was a cheap and fire-resistant solution for insulation in homes, businesses, and naval ships. Unfortunately, it was also deadly. By the time the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) put restrictions into place in 1983, the damage had already been done, for many Americans.
Even today, many people are being exposed to asbestos in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. After being exposed to asbestos – even in miniscule amounts – the disease can appear right away, or take upwards of 50 years to show itself.
Mesothelioma Trust Funds
Although there are few trust funds in place for mesothelioma victims, there are more than 10,000 cases of asbestos exposure each year. With such outrageously high numbers still occurring, it’s important to speak with an attorney who has experience in the complex area of mesothelioma litigation. They can explain all of your options, as well as guide you through the maze-like world of legal procedures, to ensure you get the compensation you will need for lost wages and medical treatment in the future.
Even if you haven’t yet begun to experience the life-threatening symptoms listed, don’t put off the decision too long. Many mesothelioma case filings come with time limits, and acting now could secure the funds you will need later.