Pleural disease is often seen in people who have been exposed to high levels of asbestos on the job. It sometimes takes 10 years or more for changes to appear that are indicative of pleural disease which affects the thin membrane layer in the chest. These differences can include a thickening or calcification of the pleural lining and is usually diagnosed as pleural plaques, pleural thickening and pleural calcification.
In most instances, pleural disease is not considered fatal but it does have the ability to impair lung function and it does confirm that a person has sustained significant asbestos exposure and could be at a higher risk for developing more severe asbestos cancer. If you have been diagnosed with pleural disease it is important to preserve your legal rights.
However, pleural plaques can lay the groundwork for mesothelioma, which is an extremely aggressive cancer known only to be caused by asbestos exposure. Pleural mesothelioma originates in the pleura but quickly spreads to the outer chest wall, abdomen, and heart. Mesothelioma is typically fatal within 1 year of diagnosis. However, early recognition of risk factors, like asbestos exposure will typically lead to early detection of the cancer. Those whose disease is discovered early enough will likely be much more eligible life-sustaining and bettering treatments. Mesothelioma patients who receive an early diagnosis may be eligible for surgical resection of the cancer, which can extend life years beyond that of typical mesothelioma patients.
Other treatments are available for mesothelioma, including traditional radiotherapy and chemotherapeutic methods which can ease symptoms of the disease and make the cancer much more manageable.
Don't Let Time Get in the Way!
Don't let time prevent you from taking legal action. Every state establishes set timeframes for filing lawsuits for an asbestos related injury. These timeframes are also known as the state statutes of limitation. The deadlines established in the statutes are fixed so it is important to consult with a legal professional soon after the onset of an asbestos related illness to determine what, if any action may be appropriate.