VanDerGinst Law is currently investigating claims from Mesothelioma victims who were exposed to asbestos during the course of their work. Mesothelioma is a cancer which can only be caused by exposure to asbestos. It is a serious personal injury which can lead to a wrongful death claim against manufacturers of asbestos and employers who were aware of the dangers and failed to warn their employees. Builders using asbestos can also be exposed to liability.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma (a.k.a asbestos cancer) is a highly aggressive and rare form of cancer usually of the lining of the lung (pleural). Mesothelioma can also occur in the lining of the heart (pericardial) and abdominal cavity (peritoneal). The only known cause of Mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. About 2,000 new cases of Mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year.
The major symptoms of Mesothelioma may not become evident until 15 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. in its early stages, Mesothelioma may not have any visible symptoms and can be difficult to detect. In the later stages, as cancer develops, certain symptoms may become evident and are usually caused by the pressure placed on certain nerves by the growth of the cancer.
There are two types of mesothelioma; Peritoneal and Pleural.
Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma include weight loss, abdominal pain and swelling due to a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. Other symptoms may involve bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever.
If the cancer has spread beyond the Mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, difficulty swallowing, or the swelling of the neck or face. Shortness of breath and chest pain due to the gathering of fluid in the pleura are also symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms:
• Abdominal/stomach pain
• Abdomen swelling
• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss
• Constipation and diarrhea
• Swelling of the feet
Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms:
• Lower back of chest pain
• Continual cough
• Shortness of breath
• Husky voice
• Weigh loss
• Fever or sweating
• Trouble swallowing
While these symptoms may be caused by other illnesses not related to Mesothelioma, if you have been exposed to asbestos in the past or if the symptoms persist, it is very important that you consult with a doctor as soon as possible.
Traditionally seen in older men, usually with a background of working in a factory, shipyard, mine or other environment with heavy asbestos exposure, today more and more cases of secondary exposure are being diagnosed. The average age for someone with Mesothelioma used to be around 72, but each year it seems Mesothelioma affects younger people. Recently, a 3-year-old girl was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, stunning the physicians who were treating her.
What are the dangers associated with Mesothelioma?
Asbestos is the name of a group of minerals that occur naturally as masses of strong, flexible fibers that can be separated into thin threads and woven.
Asbestos has been widely used in many industrial products, including cement, brake linings, roof shingles, flooring products, textiles, and insulation. If tiny asbestos particles float in the air, especially during the manufacturing process, they may be inhaled or swallowed, and can cause serious health problems.
In addition to Mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos increases the risk of lung cancer, asbestosis (a noncancerous, chronic lung ailment), and other cancers, such as those of the larynx and kidney.
The onset of Mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos can take many years to develop. The first symptom is usually a constant pain in the chest and is accompanied by shortness of breath, pain or swelling in the abdomen. Other symptoms include persistent coughing, coughing blood, fatigue and significant weight loss.
A person’s life span is typically 12 – 24 months after diagnosis of Mesothelioma, but it depends on the size of the cancer, where it is, how far it has spread, how it responds to treatment, the health of the patient, etc.
The real tragedy of Mesothelioma is that it is a disease that is easily preventable. But for years, manufacturers hid the dangers of asbestos exposure. Corporate documents from as early as the 1930s note the deadly nature of asbestos, but these findings were never shared with the public, and no measures were taken to protect people exposed to asbestos. Even today, asbestos is not completely banned in the United States, even though research has proven there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.
What can I do?
If you feel you have a claim, VanDerGinst Law would like to talk to you. You may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation at 866-788-LAWS (5297) or e-mail info@Vlaw.com.