A Diagnosis of Pleural Mesothelioma
This month we will cover two sides of mesothelioma: the legal elements and the medical elements. Each side of this disease can be heavily daunting. One side of the coin gives you a diagnosis that in a large majority of the cases is fatal within 2 years. There are many obstacles to cover to prolong life and protect and preserve the quality of life that remains. The other side of the coin represents the law and the illegal exposure to asbestos that was the cause of your deadly illness. Most will want to legally pursue options to hold the parties of this exposure responsible and go after monetary compensation.
Your first inclination about asbestos-related illness will come from a medical diagnosis. Most people are devastated and do not know exactly where to begin. Finding a medical professional or specialist near you will be your first priority. Your next priority will be understanding the legal implications of the negligence of others afflicting you with a deadly disease and you will want to take legal recourse.
Both sides of this coin represent a battle – each with specific steps and understandings you must comprehend and master in order to win the war. This months’ blogs will help to empower you with information to cover both fronts.
With a diagnosis in the thousands each year, pleural mesothelioma is part of an asbestos epidemic in the United States. The primary reason for these diagnoses is prolonged or heavy exposure to a deadly carcinogen called asbestos. Impervious to heat and fire, the asbestos mineral was widely used in buildings, automotive parts and Navy vessels for decades.
People employed in industries that used asbestos from the early 1900’s up to 1980, when it was banned from most products, are the most at risk of developing a fatal asbestos-related illness including pleural mesothelioma. Such occupations include mesothelioma Navy veterans, shipyard workers, plumbers, electricians, construction workers, iron workers, machinists, automotive mechanics and more. Even family members who lived with these employees are at risk for developing an asbestos disease as the deadly fibers were carried home by the employees on their clothing. A hug or a simple chore of washing their clothes could cause someone to inhale or swallow the fibers. Once inside you, the fibers imbed themselves in the different organs throughout the body and sit for decades causing irritation and irrevocable damage.
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common of the four types of malignant mesothelioma. It accounts for up to 75% of all cases of the disease. One thing all four types of the cancer share is that they are extremely aggressive. Once a victims senses something might be wrong, it is imperative they get an accurate diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment.
Early symptoms of pleural mesothelioma to watch out for include, but are not limited to:
- shortness of breath
- difficulty swallowing
- muscle weakness
- pain in lower back or side of the chest