For Veterans: An Overview of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
Over the next several weeks, we’ll explore some of the key topics of interest for veterans of the military regarding exposure to asbestos and the possible consequences to their health and finances that can result from the exposure.
Veterans at risk for potentially fatal levels of asbestos exposure typically are those who served between the years of the First World War and Vietnam. Those individuals were not made aware of the risks to their well being at their time of service, and some may not even be aware of them now. The purpose of these next several articles is to educate and inform those who may have been affected by toxic levels of asbestos about their medical, legal and financial options in the years following exposure.
More information about the risks and consequences of asbestos exposure for veterans of the U.S. Military, including a free consultation of your possible case against those responsible for exposing you to a known dangerous carcinogen, you can contact Shrader Law and Associates, LLP directly anytime of the day TOLL-FREE at 1-877-637-6347.
PART IV: AN OVERVIEW OF MALIGNANT PLEURAL MESOTHELIOMA
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is, by far, the most diagnosed of the four types of mesothelioma cancer-for veterans and the general public alike. Named for the affected region of the body, mesothelioma is found in four different forms, pleural (found in the linking of the lungs and chest cavity), peritoneal (found in the lining of the stomach and abdominal cavity), pericardial (found in the lining of the heart) and testicular (found in the male scrotum). Pleural mesothelioma, however, makes up for somewhere between 80 to 90 percent of the total mesothelioma diagnoses globally.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is found in the delicate layer of protective tissue (called the mesothelium) that coats the lungs and surrounding chest cavity. When tumors form within that thin, film-like membrane-usually over abrasions or scar tissue-they can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (producing and containing cancer cells).
The overwhelmingly predominant-and only conclusively proven-cause of malignant pleural mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. When an individual is exposed to airborne asbestos particles, those microscopic fibers can be ingested or inhaled-ultimately working their way into the body and becoming ensnared and trapped within the mesothelial tissue. Once lodged, asbestos particles remain in place for the life of the victim. In some cases, the damage is not significant enough to lead to further consequence. But in the cases, of those unfortunate victims who end up with a mesothelioma diagnosis, the trapped particles create friction that over time breaks the tissue down-leaving scars that are then at risk for developing tumors.
Preliminary screening for mesothelioma is conducted through basic physicals and if concern is raised, a chest x-ray and/or lung function test. Should suspicion be furthered by these initial procedures, physicians will typically order an advanced imaging test such as MRI or PET scan. A conclusive diagnosis of mesothelioma, however, requires a biopsy of the identified growth and confirmation of malignant cell presence.