Mesothelioma is a type of cancer linked to asbestos exposure. The cancer affects the mesothelium, which is the lining of the chest wall, abdomen and lungs.
If you are exposed to asbestos or were exposed in the past, then it is very important that you know the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma. Catching this disease early can help you beat it. It’s difficult to cure, but remission is often possible if it’s caught in the early stages.
Two of the most common signs of mesothelioma include:
Pain under the rib cage
Shortness of breath
Since these signs are also indicative of other illnesses and injuries, it’s important to note if you’ve been exposed to asbestos in the last 20, 30, or 40 years. It’s rare for mesothelioma to develop much faster than a few decades, due to the way it slowly affects the lungs and abdomen. People may live with the disease for many years before its symptoms are serious enough to result in a visit to the doctor.
What is the prognosis for mesothelioma?
It’s hard to say for sure because every patient is different. In the early stages, it’s easier to treat mesothelioma and to prevent it from spreading. In later stages, the goal is typically to keep the patient comfortable and to protect their quality of life despite living with mesothelioma.
People who were exposed to asbestos may have a right to compensation from their previous employers or others. Your attorney can talk to you about the ability to file for workers’ compensation or other coverage if you develop mesothelioma.