Asbestos exposure is the primary risk factor for contracting mesothelioma, and workers handling asbestos fibers are at the greatest risk for mesothelioma.
There are many misconceptions and myths surrounding the diagnosis of mesothelioma. One of the misconceptions is that mesothelioma is lung cancer. Mesothelioma that originates in the pleural lining of the lung has similar symptoms but is not true lung cancer. Treatments can vary greatly between lung cancer and mesothelioma of the pleural lining of the lung.
A mesothelioma myth is that only asbestos workers develop mesothelioma. While the overwhelming majority of mesothelioma cases are attributable to asbestos exposure, other cases of people not exposed to asbestos do exist. Families exposed to the clothing and shoes brought home by workers have contracted mesothelioma.
Another misconception is that a small amount of exposure is not harmful. No amount of exposure to asbestos is safe. The smallest particle of asbestos fiber lodged in the pleural lining can result in mesothelioma. The misconception that there is no hope for mesothelioma victims is perhaps the most troubling. Doctors and researchers are working every day towards finding a cure and eradicating this disease.
Mesothelioma is, in fact, a rare form of cancer that occurs in the mesothelium, a thin layer of tissue that covers almost all of the internal organs of the human body.
- Pleural mesothelioma affects tissue surrounding the lungs
- Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the tissue surrounding the abdomen
- Pericardial mesothelioma affects tissue surrounding the heart
- Mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis occurs in the lining of the testicles
Two to three thousand people are diagnosed each year with mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form seen in this disease.
Warning Signs of the Disease
Mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose due to the subtle changes affecting the body in the early stages of the disease. The symptoms of mesothelioma are often ignored and attributed to common everyday ailments. People with pleural mesothelioma experience lower back pain or side chest pain and shortness of breath. They may also have difficulty swallowing, a persistent cough, fever, weight loss and show signs of fatigue. Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms include abdominal pain, weight loss, nausea and vomiting. Pericardial mesothelioma symptoms include trouble breathing, shortness of breath and chest pain. Mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis may present as a mass on one or both testicles.
If you live in the Baltimore, Maryland or Washington, D.C. area and you or a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, please visit the website of the mesothelioma attorney, Brown | Gould | Kiely, LLPtoday to learn about your legal rights.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma you may be entitled to a settlement. Please contact Brown | Gould | Kiely, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C..