Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally-occurring mineral that was used in various products during the 20th century. When asbestos particles are inhaled or ingested though food and drink, they can become trapped in the body and may cause cancerous tumors to form on the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart. Mesothelioma is considered malignant, meaning it can become progressively worse and spread to other areas of the body.
Nearly all mesothelioma victims were exposed to asbestos prior to their diagnoses, and these victims may have legal recourse against the asbestos manufacturers who put their health at risk. If you are interested in learning more about filing a lawsuit against an asbestos manufacturer, contact us today.
The primary risk factor for developing mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Most mesothelioma victims were exposed to asbestos in the workplace; however, people who lived near a mineral deposit or with someone who worked with asbestos may also be at risk for developing mesothelioma.
People who worked in the following occupations, fields or industries may be at the greatest risk for developing mesothelioma:
Those who are exposed to asbestos in the workplace may bring the particles home with them on their clothing, skin or hair. This may put family members at risk for secondhand exposure to the dangerous mineral.
While asbestos mines are no longer operative, those who reside near mineral deposits may still be at risk for developing mesothelioma, as small amounts of these fibers may become airborne.
Minor risk factors for mesothelioma include exposure to the following:
The three main types of mesothelioma may cause symptoms unique to the area affected by the cancer.
Symptoms may also vary depending on the stage of the disease. For example, early-stage mesothelioma may cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue and dry coughs. In contrast, advanced-stage mesothelioma may be signaled by chest pains, weight loss and respiratory complications.
Because mesothelioma has a long latency period, victims typically don't experience these symptoms until decades after they were exposed to asbestos. As a result, those who develop mesothelioma are typically diagnosed when they are in their 50s, 60s or 70s, and the prognosis for these victims typically ranges between six and 18 months.