The medical condition known as mesothelioma is often the focus of many legal disputes in the United States. More often than not, mesothelioma is at the forefront when it comes to legal compensation being sought as a result of over-exposure to asbestos. If you need legal advice and assistance, contact mesothelioma lawyers.
The following will provide information in regards to some basic concepts revolving around mesothelioma:
What is Mesothelioma? – Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which affects the mesothelium, a protective membrane that lines the human body’s cavities.
The most commonly affected are the pleura, which lines the lungs, and the peritoneum, which lines the abdominal cavity. In certain instances, the pericardium, which lines the heart, is also affected.
Types of Mesothelioma – The types of mesothelioma that exist are divided in terms of the parts of the body they ultimately affect.
1. Pleural mesothelioma is formed in the lining of the lungs and proves to be most common type of mesothelioma.
2. Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the lining of the abdominal cavity.
3. Pericardial mesothelioma is the kind that forms in the protective sac around the heart.
4. In more rare cases, mesothelioma can also affect the testicles, where it forms in the tunica vaginalis, which is the lining that protects the testicles.
What Causes Mesothelioma? – Mesothelioma cancer is almost exclusively caused by the exposure to asbestos and asbestos-related materials. The inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers causes for scar tissue to form in the affected region, hindering its normal function.
In the case of pleural mesothelioma, for example, the asbestos fibers cause for scar tissue to form in the pleura, which then restricts the normal expansion and contraction of the lungs. As these fibers collect in the body’s organs, the cells can become cancerous and cause the affected area to thicken, developing scar tissue.
What are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma? – One issue in regards to mesothelioma is the symptoms and their apparent latency in developing. Most patients that develop mesothelioma will not exhibit or experience symptoms until decades after the initial exposure to asbestos.
Furthermore, because the symptoms often times will resemble those associated with more common ailments, such as the flu or pneumonia, the sickness will go untraced for quite some time. However, the symptoms will usually tend to include coughing, chest and/or abdominal pain, fatigue, and difficulty breathing.
Other symptoms may also be present, depending on the part of the body in which the mesothelioma cancer is formed. For example, peritoneal mesothelioma may also be accompanied with constipation or diarrhea, whereas pericardial mesothelioma may cause heart palpitations and chest pains.
Mesothelioma Treatment – Unfortunately, there is no known cure for mesothelioma, though there are various treatment options available. Most medical treatments for mesothelioma will concentrate on diminishing or controlling the experienced symptoms in a patient versus actually eliminating the disease.
However, surgery will often times be used to remove cancer tumors, and if need be, removed certain affected areas of the body. Often times, surgery will be followed by chemotherapy, radiation, or both. Though chemotherapy or radiation has not proven to be extremely effective on their own, they will prove to be of worth after surgery has taken place.