Who Is At Risk for Mesothelioma?
The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, many people who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma either didn't know they were exposed to asbestos at some point in their life, or they were not warned about the danger of being regularly exposed to asbestos fibers.
Asbestos had, and still does have, many commercial applications throughout the United States and the world. Its affordability, strength, and insulation capability make it a sought-after manufacturing material in many different industries, meaning a great number of people have been exposed to asbestos. Not everyone who is exposed to asbestos will develop mesothelioma, but it's still a risk that you should be made aware of by an employer, product manufacturer, or landlord.
Many individuals who were eventually diagnosed with mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos in the workplace, while on active duty in the military, or through secondary exposure.
Workplace exposure to asbestos accounts for a large amount of mesothelioma diagnoses in the United States. In fact, the number one cause of work-related deaths is asbestos exposure. The following occupations have the highest risk of asbestos exposure.
- Industrial or manufacturing plants workers
- Railroad workers
- Construction workers
- Auto mechanics
- Brick and stone masons
- Shipyard workers
Some statistics suggest that upwards of 30% of all mesothelioma patients are veterans of the military, as it was a common building and insulating material for many military products, including:
- Shipyards and naval ships
- Airplanes and jets used by the Air Force
- Jeeps and other military vehicles
Some individuals are diagnosed with mesothelioma even though, to their knowledge, they were never directly exposed. Secondary exposure occurs when you have contact with someone else who was exposed to asbestos fibers. For example, an individual can develop mesothelioma after coming into contact with someone who brought asbestos fibers home with them (such as on their clothing). It is particularly common in women, especially in wives whose husbands were in the military or had an occupation that frequently handled asbestos material.
What Are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
Many individuals who were exposed to asbestos for a significant period of time will contract mesothelioma or other asbestos related conditions in their lifetimes. If you or a loved one worked in an environment where asbestos was present even for a relatively short period of time, you should know the critical signs and symptoms of mesothelioma. The sooner you catch this condition, the better your chances will be. It is also important to note that family members of workers who were exposed to asbestos are at risk for mesothelioma. Be on the lookout and know what to watch for so you can protect you and your family.
The most common symptoms and signs of mesothelioma are:
- Weakness in the muscles
- Dry coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain or chest pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Respiratory problems
- Pleural effusion, which is excess fluid around the lungs
When it has become advanced, mesothelioma may be evidenced in later stages by the following symptoms and signs:
- Serious chest pain
- Sudden, unexplained weight loss
- Severe respiratory complications
- On average, people do not begin to experience symptoms of mesothelioma until 20 to 50 years after initial asbestos exposure.
- Men are nearly 5 times more likely than women to be diagnosed with mesothelioma.
- There are a few different types of mesothelioma, but the most common (70-90%) is pleural mesothelioma.
- The survival rate after diagnosis is 1 year for 40% of patients, 2 years for 20% of patients, and 3 years for 10% of patients.
- In the last year for which we have statistics, more than 2,000 people died from mesothelioma (2013).
Treatment options vary depending on the type of mesothelioma, the stage of cancer, and the health of the patient.
Some of the most common treatment options for patients with mesothelioma are:
- Surgery to remove the cancerous tissue
There are also a number of alternative and experimental therapies that many mesothelioma practitioners have been testing on patients who enroll in clinical trials. Please consult a qualified physician if you are interested in learning more about these therapies.
Determining how you were exposed to asbestos is an important part of a mesothelioma lawsuit. Contact the mesothelioma attorneys at Bailey Cowan Heckaman today so that we can investigate your case and determine who is responsible.
What if I don't know when I was exposed to asbestos?
A mesothelioma diagnosis is not your fault. Because manufacturers and corporations were not transparent with their use of asbestos, most individuals who are diagnosed with mesothelioma have no idea when or where they were exposed. We can help answer those questions and hold the liable party responsible. Manufacturers and other corporations knew the risks of asbestos at least as far back as the 1930s and did nothing to stop innocent workers, veterans, and consumers from exposure. Even into the 1980s, manufacturers did not warn about the risks of asbestos exposure in order to prevent workers and consumers from having any idea what they were working with. We hold these entities responsible so that our clients can get the treatment, care, and compensation they deserve.
Are Asbestosis & Mesothelioma the Same?
No. Asbestosis is a lung disease caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers that results in scarring and fibrosis of the lungs. Mesothelioma targets the lung lining and is almost always fatal. Asbestosis is not cancer but individuals diagnosed with asbestosis are at a high risk to later be diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Can I Still Recover Compensation If the Negligent Company Has Gone Bankrupt?
More than 100 companies have gone bankrupt because of asbestos exposure lawsuits. When a company responsible for asbestos exposure goes bankrupt, they typically put money aside in a trust used to dole out payments to victims of mesothelioma. Many of these trusts are in the billions of dollars. BCH has an in-house team dedicated exclusively to recovering monies from those trusts for our injured clients.