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What is Mesothelioma?
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Many patients who have been plagued by symptoms they thought were a common cold or virus are shocked and aggrieved to learn that they are suffering from mesothelioma, a rare and fatal form of cancer. A mesothelioma diagnosis is a tragedy that affects approximately 3,500 people per year in this country, and part of its tragedy lies in the fact that it is a completely preventable disease.
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that has been widely used for centuries all around the world. It was particularly popular in the years leading up to, during and following World Wars I and II because of its heat and insulation characteristics. It is extremely strong and continued to be used for building and industrial purposes for many years.
Mesothelioma is Caused by Asbestos
Much of the popularity of asbestos lies in the fact that it is both inexpensive and readily available, and this became part of the problem. When asbestos companies learned that the material was causing serious illnesses in their employees they chose to keep the information hidden in order to preserve their profits.
The fact that these companies kept asbestos’ dangers hidden from those who were working with the substance every day endangered millions, and resulted in untold numbers of asbestos-related diseases, including lung cancer, asbestosis and mesothelioma. People continue to die each year from exposure to asbestos, and the companies that made the tragic decision to continue its use have been made to pay.
Kaiser Gornick Can Get Justice for Mesothelioma Victims
The courts have determined that those who knowingly exposed the public to asbestos are responsible for their expenses and damages. The mesothelioma attorneys at Kaiser Gornick have successfully helped many mesothelioma victims to get the compensation that they deserve. Contact us today for information on how we can be of assistance.
A Disease that Affects the Mesothelium
Mesothelioma gets its name from the part of the body that is impacted by the disease. The mesothelium is an organ that few people have heard of. It is made up of a specialized type of cells called mesothelial cells that form a protective lining around different organs in the body. This lining enables organs to expand and contract and to function in close proximity without adhering to each other.
The mesothelium is present in several different locations throughout the body, but only a few are impacted by asbestos. These are the mesothelium that surround the lungs and diaphragm and the mesothelium that are in the abdominal cavity. The reason that these areas are impacted is that when asbestos breaks down into fine fibers it is easily ingested or inhaled and carried into these regions.
The fact that asbestos breaks down in this way is what makes it so very dangerous. When it is exposed to heat in a manufacturing environment or to conditions in a building environment, it is broken down into a fine dust. This dust has been noted for coating the skin, hair and clothing of those who worked with asbestos in an occupational setting. It was easily transported into their homes and communities, affecting the health of thousands.
The people who have been impacted by mesothelioma are not just those who were exposed to it in an occupational setting, though that is the case for many. In the United States, the majority of those who have been diagnosed with the disease served in America’s armed forces and were exposed within the walls of the ships and transport vehicles that they travelled in and the building that they lived and worked in.
Many others were sickened in construction settings, and still others by the asbestos dust that came home on the clothing of their spouses who worked in these settings. Much like second-hand cigarette smoke, the impact of the material was just as dangerous to those who were laundering the clothing of those who worked with the material as working with it directly was.
Asbestos Ban Doesn’t Stop the Disease
Although the use of asbestos has been largely banned in the United States for the past few decades, its impact continues to be felt. This is due in large part to the fact that mesothelioma has a very long latency period. It is extremely common for a mesothelioma victim’s symptoms to first appear decades after they have been exposed to the toxic material.
In addition to the fact of its long latency period, mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose because its symptoms so closely resemble those of a number of common, benign illnesses that people feel that they can treat at home, or that their physicians try to treat through the use of antibiotics or other medications. Valuable treatment time is often lost to misdiagnosis and lack of familiarity with this rare disease.
The Attorneys of Kaiser Gornick Can Help
There is a great deal of help available for those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Treatment centers across the country offer specialized medical care that can significantly extend life expectancy, and the courts have provided a remedy that enables victims to receive compensation for the damage that has been done to them. The Kaiser Gornick law firm can help you get the justice you deserve.