Mesothelioma Lawyer

How Long for Mesothelioma to be Detected?

How Long for Mesothelioma to be Detected?

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. It grows slowly. It is usually not detected until decades after a person is exposed to asbestos . If you spend any time in the vicinity of asbestos, you are breathing air which contains asbestos fibers. For example, on a construction site, asbestos insulation was moved around, cut, attached, and so forth, sending microscopic fibers floating into the air unseen.

They lodge in the lungs. The body tries to dislodge them so they can be excreted. It sends special cells called macrophages whose job is to attack and ingest foreign bodies, making them harmless. But instead of the macrophage winning, the asbestos fibers win, killing the macrophages.

Asbestos is “inextinguishable”
The name asbestos comes from a Greek word meaning inextinguishable. It is one tough group of minerals (six in the group). It is fire-resistant, impervious to electricity, resistant to chemical damage, blocks sound, and has great fibrous strength. It is not surprising that the Greeks used it, nor that our society did. Most buildings constructed between about 1860 and 1960 used asbestos for insulating pipes and structural steel, in drywall joint compound, and in many other ways. Besides that, thousands of people worked in asbestos mines.

The mesothelium
The body has protective membranes around many structures. The lungs have one called the pleura, the abdominal cavity is lined by the peritoneum and the heart has the pericardium. A cancerous tumor growing on any of these membranes is known as a mesothelioma.

What we normally refer to as mesothelioma is cancer on the pleura, usually from breathing in those tiny asbestos fibers; but not everybody with mesothelioma has spent time working or living around asbestos. It takes many years, even decades, for the presence of those fibers to build up symptoms to the point where mesothelioma is diagnosed. There will be chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, coughing and maybe blood coughed up. A person might live with these for a long time, using over-the-counter products to minimize them.

The symptoms increase in number and intensity until procedures like chest X-rays and lung function tests finally rule out other possibilities such as tuberculosis. Mesothelioma diagnoses are increasing now, as people age and their symptoms become more severe. It might have been 50 years ago that a person worked on construction sites, but only now are they being diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Please contact us for a free case evaluation if you would like to learn more about your legal rights. We have represented many mesothelium sufferers and have long experience in negotiating and fighting for compensation for our clients.