Mesothelioma – Asbestos Cancer FAQS
At the Prim Law Office, PLLC, our personal injury attorneys are dedicated to helping workers and their families who have developed mesothelioma, lung cancer, or lung disease due to asbestos exposure. Filing an asbestos-related personal injury claim can be very complex. It may be difficult to determine if you are at risk for an asbestos-related disease, or to trace your cancer or lung disease back to a particular place of exposure. However, our attorneys have over 30 years of combined experience litigating asbestos cases, allowing us to help you obtain the recovery you need. To discuss your case with one of our asbestos attorneys, contact our West Virginia office today.
To learn more about asbestos exposure, please click on the following links:
- What are the health risks associated with asbestos exposure?
- What are the symptoms of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases?
- Who is at risk for mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases?
Q. What are the health risks associated with asbestos exposure?
A. Frequent exposure to asbestos over time increases your risks of developing an asbestos-related disease. If you were exposed to airborne friable asbestos, you may have breathed in fibers that remain embedded in your lungs. Although symptoms may not develop for several years, exposure to asbestos may cause serious lung diseases and cancer, including asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.
- Asbestosis: Asbestosis is a serious, progressive, long-term disease of the lungs. It is not cancer. Asbestosis is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers into the lungs, causing irritation and scarring, which makes it difficult for oxygen to move into the blood. As of yet, doctors have not found an effective treatment for this disease.
- Lung Cancer: Lung cancer is the most deadly asbestos-related disease, and is likely to affect workers in the mining, milling, asbestos manufacturing, and construction industry.
- Mesothelioma: Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer where cancer cells are found in the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the body’s internal organs. There are three main types of mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lungs; peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the abdominal cavity and pericardial mesothelioma, which affects the heart.
Q. What are the symptoms of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases?
A. The following include some common symptoms of asbestos-related diseases:
- Asbestosis: Shortness of breath and a dry, crackling sound in the lungs when inhaling.
- Lung Cancer: Coughing and changes in breathing, shortness of breath, persistent chest pains, hoarseness and anemia.
- Mesothelioma: Shortness of breath and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleura are common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma; and weight loss and abdominal pain and swelling due to a buildup of fluid in the abdomen, bowel obstruction, blood clots, anemia and fever are common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma. Symptoms of may not appear until 30 to 50 years after exposure.
Q. Who is at risk for mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases?
A. Asbestos was a widely used industrial and construction product from the 1940s to the 1980s. It was used in building materials, such as roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, paper products, and cement products; in friction products, including automobile clutches, brakes and transmission parts; and in heat-resistant fabrics, packaging, gaskets and coatings. Shipyard workers, asbestos mines and mills workers, asbestos products producers, workers in the heating and construction industries, and other trades people have been found to have a high risk of asbestos exposure. In addition, family members and others living with asbestos workers may have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases because of exposure to fibers in the hair and clothes of asbestos workers.
However, even present-day workers and their families may be exposed to asbestos. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 2,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. Although the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets limits for acceptable levels of asbestos exposure in the workplace, asbestos is still commonly used in many products and workers may still suffer from ongoing exposure if safety precautions are not carefully followed. The only way to determine if you have mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease is to contact a medical specialist who is experienced in the diagnosis of asbestos-related illnesses.