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What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, the only cause of which is asbestos exposure. While there are a number of other asbestos-related diseases, mesothelioma is the most aggressive and the most well-known. Roughly 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year.
Mesothelioma targets the cells that line many of the body’s internal organs, known as the mesothelium. The cells in these tissues that surround and contain the organs begin to multiply at an abnormally fast rate, leading to the buildup of scar tissue, excess fluid, and tumors. This stiffens the casing of the organ and impedes organ function.
There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, but there are a number of ways you can receive mesothelioma help including treatments that may lessen the effect of mesothelioma symptoms. There are also a number of clinical trials and experimental drugs developed by mesothelioma experts, offering hope to mesothelioma patients.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a common and naturally-occurring mineral that has been valued throughout history for its insulation and heat resistant properties. Asbestos is the only cause for the form of cancer known as mesothelioma as well as other diseases such as asbestosis.
Historians have found evidence that asbestos was used as far back as Ancient Egypt for textiles and construction. Interestingly, Charlemagne was known to have an asbestos tablecloth that he enjoyed throwing into the fire to demonstrate its fire resistance.
Even in these early days, it became known that asbestos caused respiratory problems. In Ancient Egypt, slaves who worked with asbestos were less valuable because of their propensity to die of respiratory failure. Asbestos was officially linked to cancer in the mid-20th century.
Despite widespread knowledge of the dangers of asbestos, companies continued to mine, distribute, and manufacture asbestos products. Because of this, many workers all over the world have contracted mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Since the dangers of asbestos exposure were known when many of these individuals were exposed, many patients can get mesothelioma help and are eligible to file suit against the parties responsible for their exposure to asbestos.
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease and you have questions about what to do next. we invite you to contact Shrader & Associates L.L.P. Our Illinois mesothelioma attorneys would be happy to answer your questions and help you understand your legal rights. We serve clients throughout the United States.
Is there mesothelioma help for this type of lung cancer?
While the most common form of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma, affects the lining of the lungs, it is not actually classified as a lung cancer. This is because mesothelioma grows in the cells that line the internal organs, not the organs (lungs) themselves. Furthermore, there are actually 3 types of mesothelioma:
- Pleural mesothelioma, affecting the lungs
- Peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the organs in the abdominal cavity
- Pericardial mesothelioma, which grows in the cells that line the heart
Lung cancer, which is mainly attributable to smoking, can also be triggered by exposure to asbestos, but is not always referred to as an asbestos cancer.