Was someone in your family exibiting symptoms of mesothelioma and had been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer? Are you concerned that perhaps you, too, will have mesothelioma injury from exposure to asbestos, and claim you as a victim? Read on to determine your risk level and learn whether you, too, may be in danger of developing this usually fatal malignancy.
People who have been exposed to asbestos may develope mesothelioma symptoms; and are most likely to develop mesothelioma cancers. The relationship between asbestos exposure and this form of cancer was suspected as early as the late nineteenth century. By 1929, experts were able to demonstrate such a strong link between the two that the first court proceedings against manufacturers were settled out of court. Unfortunately, however, the attorneys also agreed to pursue legal action against any other corporations, and so asbestos producers continued for many years to needlessly expose workers to this deadly substance.
During the 1960s, mine workers near Wittenoom, Australia, began to exhibit symptoms of mesothelioma cancer. Soon, people in town also began to develop this deadly malignancy. Physicians began to publish case reports of these individuals in medical journals, and soon asbestos lawsuits were being filed. The town was eventually closed, and a settlement was reached.
After this international outcry, the public eye focused on preventable deaths related to asbestos exposure. Workers who worked in areas that contained asbestos began wearing protective masks and gloves. They received education about the dangers of this material, and soon manufacturing companies stopped using it in their products. Buildings that contained significant quantities of asbestos, including schools and other public structures, were renovated and the asbestos removed.
One aspect of this cancer that makes this disease so insidious, and so fatal, is that people frequently do not develop symptoms of mesothelioma until decades after exposure to asbestos. Furthermore, the most common mesothelioma cancer symptoms mimic those of many other health problems. People may experience shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and tiredness for a number of reasons, such as congestive heart failure or emphysema. Because the mesothelioma symptoms are so vague, and so similar to those of many other disease conditions, diagnosing this cancer can be difficult until it reaches a more advanced stage.
Although many types of mesothelioma cancer exist, the most common by far is pleural mesothelioma. The only way to make a definite diagnosis of this cancer is with a biopsy, in which a physician takes a sample of lung tissue and examines it under a microscope for the presence of cancerous cells. Other tests that can help point to a mesothelioma diagnosis include chest x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and thoracentesis. This latter procedure involves the insertion of a needle into the space around the lung. A fluid sample is then removed and tested for the presence of mesothelioma cancerous cells.
If you or someone in your family has worked extensively around asbestos, and seem like there are signs of mesothelioma symptoms and side effects, you may have a high risk of developing this relatively rare cancer. If you begin to develop symptoms of mesothelioma, report them immediately to your physician, and discuss your firsthand or secondhand exposure to this deadly substance. Don’t delay – your life could depend on an early mesothelioma diagnosis!
As with any cancer, it is imperative that the mesothelioma patient is treated as early as possible for best survival odds. However, those who have mesothelioma are at a disadvantage because of the time factor. In many cases, patients first diagnosed with mesothelioma actually had their exposures 20 to 50 years prior…