Q. How can I protect my loved ones and myself from getting mesothelioma?
The main cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. This means that if you have not been working around any asbestos, then you do not have to worry about catching mesothelioma. However, if you worked in the construction industry, particularly between the1940s and 1970s, then it is important that you identify this particular workplace and find out if they were using asbestos. Keep in mind that if your loved ones worked in a place with asbestos, you are also in danger of having mesothelioma because of exposure to the particles and fibers of asbestos left on their skin, clothes, and hair. Also, if you worked in a building where asbestos was used, you are at risk of having mesothelioma. Remember that even if the company you worked for was not aware of the risk of asbestos causing cancer, you still have the ability to take part in a lawsuit against that company in order to deal with your medical bills and the expenses of your loved ones and family.Over 75% of the cases of mesothelioma are due to asbestos exposure. While there has been a medical study trying to link smoking and mesothelioma, it has shown that smoking does not increase the chances of mesothelioma. Don’t be fooled into thinking that smoking may have caused your mesothelioma – no studies have proven this connection.
Q. How is mesothelioma diagnosed?
An oncologist, a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer, performs a diagnosis of mesothelioma. A proper diagnosis includes an overview of the patient’s medical history with an emphasis on any history of exposure to asbestos. A physical examination that includes a check for lumps, chest x-rays and abdominal x-rays as well as lung functioning tests. A CAT scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to view images and areas inside the body. A biopsy is then used to confirm the existence of mesothelioma. A biopsy involves the removal of tissue samples for examination. The extracted sample is then sent to a pathologist who is responsible to examine the tissue under a microscope.
Q. How is mesothelioma treated?
The most common ways of treating Mesothelioma include:
Radiation Therapy makes use of X-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink the tumors. The radiation may come from radioactive materials (radioisotopes) inserted through plastic tubes in the affected area. Sometimes external machines are also used for treating tumors with radiation waves.
Chemotherapy makes use of drugs to kill cancer cells; these drugs are either meant to be taken orally or can be injected. In case of Mesothelioma, the drugs may be injected into the chest directly.
Surgery is the way to remove cancerous tissue. This is a common procedure for treating malignant Mesothelioma and is known as Pneumonectomy.
Q. Is mesothelioma a common disease?
There are many cases of mesothelioma throughout the United States throughout the last 20 years, although it is still believed by many doctors that mesothelioma is not a common cancer to have. Normally, mesothelioma can only affect you if you have come in contact with the lethal natural mineral known as asbestos. Most research indicated that mesothelioma is not a common cancer, even though there are 1500-3000 new cases of mesothelioma every year that are diagnosed in the United States. Interestingly, mesothelioma has a greater degree of effect on the male gender than it does on the female gender. However, this imbalance may be due to the fact that so many men have had greater exposure to asbestos in the workplace than women. ^ TOP Q. Is mesothelioma contagious?
No. However, people who live with others who have been exposed to asbestos are at risk of mesothelioma. This peculiarity is thought to result from the asbestos-based dust and fibers that workers bring into the home in their clothing and other belongings that are exposed at the worksite.
Q. Is there a cure for mesothelioma?
No. Some treatment methods are described as curative, which means they attempt to cure the disease. However, there is always a risk of not being able to remove the cancer that characterizes mesothelioma, and thus, not curing the disease. Many other treatment options are palliative, which means they attempt to reduce or eliminate the pain and symptoms of the disease.
Q. What are the risk factors of mesothelioma?
Asbestos has been identified as the major risk factor for mesothelioma. It is estimated that asbestos is responsible for 70 to 80 percent of all cases of mesothelioma and it could be higher. Though there is consensus in the medical and scientific community that mesothelioma is caused by the inhalation and swallowing of asbestos fibers and dust, there is no medical or scientific explanation for exactly how it occurs.
Q. What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
The symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on the location of the mesothelium membrane that is affected. Symptoms are often times characteristic of other illnesses and can only be definitively associated with mesothelium dysfunctions by a doctor. In many case, patients seeking assistance with other types of health issues are later diagnosed with mesothelioma. A buildup of fluid characterizes all types of malignant mesothelioma.
Q. What are the types of mesothelioma?
There are five types of mesothelioma that correspond to the five sensitive organs in the body that are protected by mesothelium membranes.
Pleural mesothelioma (chest and lung)Peritoneal mesothelioma (abdomen)Pericardial mesothelioma (heart)Vaginalis testis mesothelioma (male reproductive organs)Serosa uteri mesothelioma (female reproductive organs)
Pleural and peritoneal mesotheliomas are the most studied and understood forms of the disease. Pericardial, vaginalis testis and serosa uteri mesothelioma are rare forms of the disease and not much information is available for these forms of mesothelioma.
Q. What increases the chances that a person will get mesothelioma?
Many people throughout the world were exposed to asbestos and worked around asbestos without ever worrying about getting mesothelioma. This is due to the fact that no one knew the health risks that asbestos can cause just by being exposed to this natural mineral. This is why there were literally millions of people that inhaled asbestos dust between the 1850s and 1950s. Many construction workers and electricians would work with asbestos and inhale the dust particles and fibers without realizing that this could be dangerous to their health.The main types of workers that were affected by asbestos exposure included those that worked inside construction warehouses or in asbestos mines. With many people working these types jobs between the 1850s and 1950s, it is no surprise that mesothelioma was able to spread and be such a common disease. The other job fields that had exposure to asbestos included jobs such as electricians, roofers, and any other people who assisted in the construction of homes or buildings where asbestos was used. Even those people who later worked in these buildings had some risk of exposure to asbestos. Furthermore, the families of workers were also at a great risk of catching mesothelioma because of the asbestos fibers and particles.
Q. What is a mesothelium?
One of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to mesothelioma is what exactly is a mesothelium? The mesothelium is the main target of the mesothelioma cancer cells and it is a membrane within your body that protects your organs and ensures that they are safe and healthy. This particular membrane protects areas such as the liver, the stomach, and the heart. The mesothelium membrane keeps excess fluids from affecting your organs, but mesothelioma targets this membrane and causes extra liquid to get inside of your mesothelium. Excess fluids are extremely detrimental to your body, opening up the avenues for infections while also placing unnecessary pressure and pain on your organs. In addition, this extra fluid ends up turning into clumps of cancerous tissue and causes serious problems to your major organs. The lumps of cancer on your major organs can lead to the failure of these organs and can possibly lead to death
Q. What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a cancer that is brought on by exposure to the natural mineral known as asbestos. Mesothelioma can cause fluid buildup through its affects on your mesothelium. It can cause your major organs to act up and will damage some of the very important tissues that are your primary natural defense system, the mesothelium. This disease has affected many workers throughout the world and a large number of lawsuits have occurred recently, bringing this dangerous disease and its cause to the forefront of public attention. The fact that it can affect any person just by asbestos exposure is what makes this disease so scary, especially considering that asbestos was such a commonly used construction product during the 1940s through the1970s.
Q. What kind of treatment exists for mesothelioma?
Treatment of mesothelioma is dependent upon the location and stage of the cancer as well as the age and health of the patient. Standard treatment involves surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and combinations of the three. Treatment that attempts to remove cancer and cure the disease is described as curative. However, removal of the cancer is not always possible. As such, palliative treatment methods may be used to relieve patients of pain and discomfort.
Q. How can I protect myself against the risks of asbestos?
Workers should follow the general guidelines involving asbestos handling at the workplace. They should wear protective clothing and cooperate with employers to prevent occupational exposure to unacceptable levels of asbestos.Individuals who suspect that an asbestos containing object in their homes maybe damaged and may cause exposure should contact professionals to handle the suspicious material instead of handling it themselves
Q. Is asbestos dangerous to my health?
Exposure to higher levels than what is acceptable for asbestos can potentially lead to health hazards, these include:
· Pleural thickening and calcification.
· Pleural carcinoma known as mesothelioma
· Lung scarring known as asbestosis.
· Lung cancers particularly in smokers.
Q. Is asbestos banned for use?
Not all asbestos-based materials are banned. The EPA has banned specific products for use in the US. Language established for the ban of asbestos-based materials includes specific definitions, prohibitions on the manufacture, import and processing of asbestos materials and prohibitions on the distribution of such materials in commerce. The language also specifies labeling requirements for specific asbestos-based materials and products.
Q. What are the types of asbestos?
There are three common types of asbestos:White asbestos: Also known as chrysotile. Chemically, it’s a magnesium silicate compound. Its color ranges from grayish white to green or yellow. It is present in the form of three subtypes; clinochrysotile, orthocrysotile and parachrysotile. The three types however, are very difficult to distinguish from each other. It is the most common type of asbestos found in products. It consists of white curly fibers obtained from serpentine rocks. It is a flexible type of asbestos and can be used in the fabric industry as well as the production of joint compound (which is commonly referred to as “mud”). - Brown/Gray asbestos: Also known as amosite. It contains magnesium and iron and is formed of straight fibers. Is commonly obtained from Africa and its name is actually an acronym that stands for Asbestos Mines of South Africa - Blue asbestos: Otherwise known as crocidolite. Belongs to the same group of amphiboles as brown asbestos. It is a sodium iron magnesium silicate compound and is microscopically formed of straight, dark blue fibers. This is considered the most dangerous form of asbestos to health. There are additional forms of asbestos like termolite, actinolite and anthophyllite ^ TOP Q. What exactly is asbestos?
Unlike what is commonly believed, asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral found all over the world. It’s formed of a combination of oxygen, hydrogen, silicon and several metals such as iron and magnesium. Microscopically, it’s formed of long, silky and flexible fibers. It has many unique qualities that have made it popular in many industries. It’s characterized as being resistant to both heat and chemical erosion yet flexible ^ TOP Q. What is asbestos used for?
It can be found in thermal insulation because of its heat resistant properties, acid resistant pipers, the fabric industry, tiling, gutters and joint compound production.^ TOP Q. Where does asbestos come from?
It can be found all over the world but the sites where asbestos mining still occurs (since many countries have outlawed its mining) are Canada, Zimbabwe, Russia and South Africa. ^ TOP Q. Who is at risk of being exposed to asbestos?
Workers in industries involving asbestos, those living in close proximity to areas producing asbestos and those who handle deteriorating material containing asbestos in buildings such as floor tiling, pipes and various materials. ^ TOP
LegalQ. Can I sue the company that caused me to have mesothelioma?
If the company let you work there without informing you that asbestos can cause debilitating diseases, then yes, you can sue this company for negligence. Most lawsuits included both for the medical bills and for the pain and suffering caused by the cancer. Just by having mesothelioma, the time that you will have with your family and friends will be shorter (even if your treatments work successfully). Do not let these companies think that you are not entitled to anything. This is your life and mesothelioma will affect both you and your family. ^ TOP Q. Where do I get a lawyer who specializes in Mesothelioma cases?
Many attorneys are fighting for the rights of the Mesothelioma victims. If you or your relative is a victim of this life threatening disease, then you can consult a Mesothelioma attorney for being acquainted with your legal rights. ^ TOP Q. How much will it cost me for a law firm to investigate my claim?
It depends on the law firm but typically there is never a cost to you for any services and this includes the preliminary investigation of your potential claim. If you later decide to retain an your attorneys they will work for you on a contingency fee basis. This means they are paid only if they win a judgment or negotiate a settlement on your behalf.^ TOP Q. How much will it cost for a law firm to represent me?
Again, for most firms, there is never a cost to you for legal representation. Most law firms work on a contingency fee basis, which means they will only get paid if they get you a monetary award or settlement. Their fees and expenses will then be subtracted from this final amount. ^ TOP Q. What is a contingency fee?
A law firm that works on a contingency fee basis does not charge by the hour. Instead, a percentage of the money awarded to you will go to this office and the rest will go to you. Most plaintiffs' attorneys in civil cases operate on a contingency fee basis. This means they take all the financial risks involved in the lawsuit. ^ TOP Q. I don't live in the same state as a law firm. Can they still help me?
For straightforward legal assistance, such as drafting a will or transferring property, it makes sense to contact a local attorney. However, for complex issues - such as asbestos litigation – it is often best to seek a law firm with the appropriate expertise, no matter where that law firm is located. Some law firms are able to serve clients nationwide by affiliating with local attorneys in your city or close by. Physical distance should not hinder representation. Clients will still receive personalized attention and quick responses to their questions, regardless of where they live in the United States.The question about where to actually file an asbestos lawsuit can only be answered on a case-by-case basis after examining all the facts. ^ TOP Q. How large of a settlement can I expect?
The value of your potential mesothelioma claim depends on many factors, such as the medical evidence that confirms your diagnosis, the gravity of your injuries, your actual and potential losses, the ability to identify the asbestos-containing products that you were exposed to, the existence of the companies that made these products, and their financial resources
In other words, it really is not possible to answer this question without knowing a lot about your potential claim, and you should be suspicious of any lawyer that guarantees you a specific amount or range on your first meeting. ^ TOP
Q. Can I wait and think about it?
This depends on the legal deadlines, called statutes of limitations, which will apply to your case. These statutes vary from state to state and depend upon the kind of legal claim you wish to pursue. It is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as you are diagnosed with mesothelioma because once your statute has expired or "run," you are forever barred from pursuing your claim.As mesothelioma disease progresses rapidly, it is very important that, in addition to medical treatment, legal representation is obtained soon after diagnosis, so that evidence can be collected and compensation can be obtained for the patient, his or her spouse and family.^ TOP Q. What is the first step if I decide to sue?
If you choose to contact an lawyer, you may call toll-free 1-800-362-1479. One of our staff will answer your questions, and an attorney will contact you immediately.^ TOP
Q. What typically happens in a mesothelioma lawsuit?
This is a difficult question because every case is unique, and every case is handled on an individual basis. Nevertheless, asbestos litigation, in whichever state, has some common features, and follows similar procedures below:
Type of LawsuitPreliminary InvestigationFiling the complaint Discovery Bankrupt defendants Trial Preparation and Settlement Offers If you would like more infromation about the above procedures please contact us by filling out the form to the left.