Mesothelioma, a rare cancer affecting the lining of the body’s internal organs, is almost exclusively caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. Many Americans spent years of their lives working and living in close proximity to asbestos without even realizing the danger that they were being exposed to. There is no cure for mesothelioma, which may appear decades after the asbestos exposure.
A cancer diagnosis can be traumatic for both the victim and their family. Although there are some instances in which identifying the disease will allow the individual to effectively fight it, in some cases, by the time cancer is diagnosed, it has progressed to a point where it is no longer treatable. One of the most dangerous types of cancer is mesothelioma. This cancer develops slowly and unfortunately, does not show symptoms until it has taken root throughout the body.
At Williams Hart, we are deeply sympathetic to the pain and frustration that mesothelioma victims and their families experience, and we are committed to providing effective legal representation to individuals who are suffering because of this devastating condition. Contact our Houston mesothelioma lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.
Types of Mesothelioma
Medical science has identified three varieties of mesothelioma, all of which are associated with asbestos exposure. These are:
Pleural mesothelioma develops in the pleura, the protective lining of the lungs. When asbestos fibers get trapped between pleural cells, they can begin to cause cancerous cells to proliferate. This may result in the following symptoms:
- Chronic coughing
- Coughing up blood
- Chest wall pain
- Difficulty breathing and swallowing
- Lumps appearing under skin of the chest
- Significant, unexplained weight loss
- Night sweats
Individuals with peritoneal mesothelioma develop the disease in the peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity, and may experience a number of different symptoms as a result of their condition. Some of the most common of these include:
- Pain in the abdomen or stomach
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Sudden weight loss or loss of appetite
- Abdominal lumps
Of all the forms of mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest. This cancer attacks the membrane surrounding the heart. If asbestos fibers become trapped between the layers of the membrane, mesothelioma may start to form. Researchers estimate that only 1-6% of mesothelioma victims suffer from this specific type of cancer, but it remains a threat to people who have been exposed to asbestos.
- Pain in the chest
- Long-lasting coughs
- Irregular heartbeats
- Fluttering of the heart
- Difficulty breathing
Typically, mesothelioma attacks the lungs or abdomen. It is thought to be caused by the inhalation or accidental swallowing of tiny asbestos particles in the air. The disease sometimes affects the heart as well, though the causes of this variety of mesothelioma are less clear.
If you begin to develop these or any other potential symptoms of mesothelioma, you should consult with a qualified medical professional as soon as possible. The sooner you can start treatment for mesothelioma, the better your chances are of slowing the progression of the disease, so do not hesitate to take action if you believe you may have been exposed to asbestos and you begin exhibiting any symptoms of this dangerous disease.
Anyone who worked with or around asbestos could develop one of the harmful forms of mesothelioma cancer, however, the following workers are more likely to have encountered asbestos in their careers:
- Construction workers
- Contract workers
- Factory employees
- Military personnel
- Railroad workers
Another set of individuals that may face a higher risk of mesothelioma development are veterans. Many military tools, vehicles, and ships used asbestos as a durable construction material and the dedicated men and women that came in contact with asbestos during their military careers may now be showing signs of mesothelioma development.
Because asbestos was used so widely and for so long, an incredibly large number of Americans are thought to be at risk. If you feel that you may have been exposed to asbestos or are now experiencing symptoms of mesothelioma, it is important that you consult with a medical professional as soon as possible.
Learn More About Mesothelioma
The following information can be used to gain a deeper understanding of how mesothelioma affects the body and what you can do to treat this disease. For further information on any of the following topics, feel free to contact our team at any point:
- Symptoms of Mesothelioma
- Diagnosing Mesothelioma
- Stages of Mesothelioma
- Living with Mesothelioma
- Treatment for Mesothelioma
Besides mesothelioma, asbestos can cause other disorders such as lung cancer and asbestosis. People who develop these conditions have just as much right as mesothelioma victims to take legal action. If you or a loved one suspects that asbestos may have played a role in your condition, contact a Houston mesothelioma attorney right away to discuss your options.
A Texas mesothelioma lawsuit attorney can tell you more about your rights as a mesothelioma patient or family member of a mesothelioma victim. Contact the experienced staff of Williams Hart today to tell us your story.