Mesothelioma is perhaps best described as a malignant tumor (cancerous) within the body. While it's assumed only to affect the lungs, it actually has the potential to affect the torso throughout. Asbestos can get into the body through breathing in fibers or by swallowing them.
Every year, there are approximately 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma recorded by medical providers. These are usually linked to companies that have allowed their employees to come into contact with asbestos fibers without the right protection.
What are the kinds of mesothelioma?
There are three kinds of mesothelioma. These include:
- Pericardial mesothelioma
- Peritoneal mesothelioma
- Pleural mesothelioma
Each one is located in a different part of the body. Pleural is located in the thoracic cavity and affects the lungs. Peritoneal begins in the abdomen and is rarer, affecting up to 20% of patients. The third type, pericardial mesothelioma, is the rarest type. It affects the cavity around the heart.
Mesothelioma is hard to diagnose, especially when it's a rare type. It can also take years for mesothelioma symptoms to emerge, so even if a patient has the condition, they may not know it until it's become severe.
Most people who develop mesothelioma find out that they have the condition between the ages of 50 and 70. However, since the illness can have a latency of 30, 40 or more years, it could be many decades before someone finds out that they've been exposed to dangerous asbestos.
Attorneys focus on helping people with mesothelioma seek compensation, so they can get the best care possible to extend their lives.