Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops from the thin layer of tissue that covers many of the internal organs (known as the mesothelium). The most common area affected is the lining of the lungs and chest wall. Less commonly the lining of the abdomen and rarely the sac surrounding the heart, or the sac surrounding the testis may be affected. Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma may include shortness of breath due to fluid around the lung, a swollen abdomen, chest wall pain, cough, feeling tired, and weight loss. These symptoms typically come on slowly.
The main risk factor for mesothelioma is working with asbestos. Asbestos is a group of minerals with thin microscopic fibers. Because these fibers are resistant to heat, fire, and chemicals and do not conduct electricity, asbestos has been mined and used widely in the construction, automotive, and other industries.
If tiny asbestos fibers are released into the air, as they are in the manufacturing process, they can be inhaled or swallowed, leading to serious health problems. As many as 75% of mesothelioma cases can be linked to exposure to asbestos at work. There is also some evidence that family members and others living with asbestos workers have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma, and possibly other asbestos-related diseases. This risk may be the result of exposure to asbestos dust brought home on the clothing and hair of asbestos workers. Cases of mesothelioma have also been seen in people living close to asbestos mines.
The statute of limitations to make a mesothelioma claim is two years from the date of the diagnosis or from the date of death if no diagnosis was made and there is a finding of mesothelioma in an autopsy or medical report. Because mesothelioma is a latent disease there is a difference between the exposure date and the diagnosis date and therefore the “discovery rule” comes into place when determining the statute of limitations.
Mesothelioma can take a long time to develop, and the symptoms of the disease often do not present themselves until the cancer has progressed to later stages. Early signs of mesothelioma can be easily mistaken for common, everyday ailments, and as a result, early symptoms are often ignored, dismissed, or misdiagnosed.
Symptoms can also vary significantly based on the type of mesothelioma a person has.
There are three types of mesothelioma;
1) Pleural 2) Periotoneal 3) Pericardial.
Pleural Mesothelioma symptoms include
- Pleural Fatigue
- Dyspnea – difficulty breathing
- Hypoxemia – low oxygen level
- Dysphagia – difficulty swallowing
- Fever/night sweats
- Pleural effusion – fluid buildup
Perioteoneal Mesothelioma symptoms include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Thrombosis – blood clots
- Peritoneal effusion – fluid buildup
- Anorexia – loss of appetite
- Hypoglycemia – low blood sugar
Pericardial Mesothelioma symptoms include;
- Arrhythmia – irregular heartbeat/palpitations
- Chest pain
- Fever/night sweats
- Dyspnea – shortness of breath
|Asbestos refers to a group of six fibrous minerals that occur naturally in the environment.|
These minerals have been used in many industrial and household products over the years. Asbestos is considered a dangerous carcinogen, which means it is a cause of cancer.
|Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure.|
Mesothelioma statistics show that:
- More than 20 million people in the United States are at risk of developing malignant mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure.
- More than 100,000 U.S. citizens are expected to die of mesothelioma during the next 40 years.
- More than 18,000 Americans died from malignant mesothelioma between 1999 and 2005. Almost 15,000 of the deaths occurred in men.
- Today, malignant mesothelioma is responsible for approximately 3,000 deaths per year in the United States and 5,000 deaths in Western Europe.
- However, mortality rates are expected to increase by 5 to 10 percent per year in most industrialized countries until about 2020.
- An estimated 1.3 million construction and general industry workers potentially are being exposed to asbestos.
- The World Health Organization estimates that asbestos causes approximately half of all deaths from occupational cancer, and 125 million people worldwide are exposed to asbestos in the workplace.
The real tragedy is that this fatal disease could have been avoided.
Alex R. Hernandez Jr. has handled dozens of Mesothelioma cases and clients, unfortunately whose time has been cut short but there is hope that they will be able to collect even after their death because of a fund created for Mesothelioma victims.
Call Alex R. Hernandez Jr. to discuss your mesothelioma case further 888HDZLAW8. We handle Mesothelioma cases nationwide but have particular interests to the Texas Gulf Coast and other Texas areas.
Alex R. Hernandez Jr. PLLC Principal Office Corpus Christi Texas