The quest for a healthy and fit body is always a priority for everyone. We only have one physical body so we should take good care of it. However, illnesses such as cancer can strike anytime, regardless of age, stature, and gender. What’s scary is that cancer is still not totally treatable and while there are treatment options like chemotherapy, there is no total assurance that you can survive from it. The common types of cancer include breast, colon and lung cancer but there are lesser known or rare types of cancer that are similarly dangerous like mesothelioma.
What is Mesothelioma?
This type of cancer happens in the lining that extends over the outer surface of the internal organs or mesothelium. These are some of the types of mesothelioma by location:
- Pleural mesothelioma – cancer of the protective lining of the lungs or pleura
- Pericardial mesothelioma – cancer of the protective lining of the heart
- Peritoneal mesothelioma – cancer of the protective lining of the abdomen
- Testicular mesothelioma – cancer of the membrane lining of the testes
Causes of Mesothelioma
The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, which is a mineral naturally found around us. Asbestos is widely used in brakes, shingles, insulation and in construction which puts people such as construction workers at great risk. Its microscopic fibers penetrate the lungs and other vital issues of the body, eventually leading to mesothelioma which typically develops at least 20 years after one is exposed to asbestos. Some of the people with higher risk of contracting mesothelioma include electricians, plumbers, brake mechanics, shipyard workers, home remodelers and pipefitters. There’s also a greater chance that you’ll have mesothelioma if you have a family history of this type of cancer and if you were exposed to chest radiation therapy.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Unlike other types of cancer, the symptoms of mesothelioma gradually develop over a period of years after asbestos exposure. These include:
- Pleural mesothelioma – painful coughing, pain in the chest, unexplained weight loss, tissue lumps under the skin of your chest, loss of appetite, swollen fingertips
- Peritoneal mesothelioma – abdominal pain and swelling, nausea and unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, diarrhea or constipation
- Pericardial mesothelioma – heart palpitations, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, fever
- Testicular mesothelioma – pain in the testes or groin, inflammation and cyst of the epididymis, lump or mass in the testicles, excess fluid in the scrotum
How is mesothelioma diagnosed?
These are the procedures that are made to determine if you have mesothelioma:
- X-ray of your suspected internal organ like the chest or lungs
- CT scan
- Fluid drainage – done by inserting a needle through the skin to get a fluid sample for analysis
- Laparoscopy – done by inserting a thin camera through a small incision in your chest or lungs to obtain a tissue sample for biopsy and analysis
Possible Treatments for Mesothelioma
While there is still no known cure for cancer, there are some possible treatments for mesothelioma. These include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery.
How to find legal representation, file a claim and get reimbursed if you have mesothelioma
If you contracted mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure in your workplace, then you should seek the help of an asbestos attorney or mesothelioma lawyer. These are some of the qualities that you should look out for in searching for the right one:
- He/she should have empathy and who listens and understands what you and your family are experiencing.
- He/ she should be an expert in the field of asbestos litigation.
- He/she should be experienced and has a vast experience when it comes to mesothelioma lawsuits.
- He/she should be comprehensive and collects vast resources and information to come up with a viable and strong case.
There are at least five options when filing for a mesothelioma claim and these are:
- Mesothelioma personal injury claim – You can file for this type of claim if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. This claim aims to seek compensation for loss of income, pain and suffering and medical expenses.
- Asbestos bankruptcy fund claim – You can file for this type if the company responsible for your mesothelioma has filed for bankruptcy but still has money in a trust fund. Your mesothelioma lawyer will assist you in going through the claims process so you’ll be compensated.
- Wrongful death claim – This type of claim may be filed if you have a family member who died due to mesothelioma. It aims to assist the bereaved family to secure funeral and burial costs as well as medical expenses.
- Veterans’ benefits claim – This type is intended for military personnel who were diagnosed with mesothelioma.
- Workers’ compensation claim – You can file for this type of claim and entitled to compensation benefits if you contracted mesothelioma while on the job and had to quit work after the diagnosis.