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What You Should Know About Mesothelioma

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“Mesothelioma” is the term used to describe a cancerous tumor that involves the mesothelial cells of an organ. Mesothelial cells are cells that form a protective lining over the lungs, heart, and abdominal organs.

The most common type of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma. The pleura is a thin membrane found between the lungs and the chest cavity. It provides a lubricated surface so that the lungs do not rub and chafe against the chest walls.

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What causes Mesothelioma?

Virtually all cases of mesothelioma are related to inhaling asbestos fibers. There are about 3,000 cases per year (mostly men over the age of 40) and there will be about 300,000 cases before 2030.

Mesothelioma usually spreads rapidly through the mesothelial cells to the heart and abdominal organs. The life span is typically 24 months after diagnosis, but it depends on what stage the cancer is detected, the health of the patient, and other factors.

Although asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma, it has a latency period after exposure that could last 15 to 50 years.

This means that someone who worked in a factory with asbestos 40 years ago could be developing mesothelioma now. Anyone who knows they were exposed to loose asbestos fibers should be tested regularly for mesothelioma.

Diagnosis

The onset of mesothelioma is usually very slow. The first symptom is constant pain in the chest. This pain is later accompanied by difficulty breathing due to an accumulation of fluid in the chest. Other symptoms include coughing, fever, and weight loss. Mesothelioma can be diagnosed by your doctor with a chest CT scan.

Prognosis (the outcome)

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Mesothelioma advances in 4 stages:

Stage I

The tumor is limited to the area of the lining of the lung and is usually limited to only one side of the chest.

Stage II

The tumor extends to other organs within the chest cavity, such as the heart or lymph nodes in the chest.

Stage III

The tumor expands to the other side of the chest or spreads into the abdominal organs. The lymph nodes outside the chest are affected.

Stage IV

The cancer spreads to different parts of the body far outside the chest area (liver, brain, bone, etc…).

Mesothelioma is an extremely deadly disease. The average survival time is about one year from the date of diagnosis. About 20% of patients who find their cancer early and treat it aggressively will reach the five-year mark.

Do you know that Asbestos is also a disease just like mesothelioma is also caused by asbestos exposure? The only difference is that Mesothelioma is cancerous and uncurable whiles Asbestos is not cancerous.

Nevertheless, you can file a claim against the company or manufacturer of the product that exposed you to Asbestos or Mesothelioma for compensation. Do you need an asbestos/mesothelioma attorney? Click here to read more on how to get an asbestos lawyer that can advise you and help you file claims for settlements.

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