Those who have been exposed to asbestos always have the fear of a diagnosis of mesothelioma hanging over their heads. This rare and always fatal form of cancer is difficult to treat, but knowing that you are at risk can help. Those who are on the lookout for mesothelioma's symptoms are more likely to be diagnosed early and have the most treatment options available to them.
Asbestos use has been severely curtailed in the United States since the days when it was widely used, but unfortunately that does not mean that people are no longer getting sick from having worked with the toxic mineral. It can take fifty years or more for symptoms to start to develop, and the longer it remains latent in the body, the more it may spread.
Knowledge is your Best tool Against Mesothelioma
If you are aware that you are at risk of mesothelioma due to working with or near asbestos during the course of your employment or due to some other exposure, then it is important for you to be familiar with the disease's symptoms. Many people mistake the characteristics of mesothelioma for those of other, less dangerous illnesses, and this causes the loss of valuable treatment opportunities.
Approximately 3,500 people die in the United States every year as a result of mesothelioma, and the disease is always considered fatal, but those at risk have the best chance of extending the length of their survival by being vigilant about the symptoms so that they can get diagnosed as early as possible.
Simon, Greenstone Panatier & Bartlett are Mesothelioma Advocates
Giving yourself the best chance against mesothelioma is important, and it is what the law firm of Simon, Greenstone, Panatier & Bartlett does every day for our mesothelioma clients. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today.
Mesothelioma Impacts Different Parts of the Body
Mesothelioma arises in the body as a result of asbestos fibers being either inhaled or ingested, and the method by which the asbestos enters determines where the disease will occur. Patients who inhale asbestos fibers generally are afflicted with pleural mesothelioma, which impacts the lining of the lungs, as well as the surrounding tissues within the diaphragm. Patients who accidentally ingest asbestos fibers are usually diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, which occurs within the abdomen and the peritoneal cavity.
The symptoms that arise from both of these forms of the disease are extremely similar to those that are seen in a number of every day maladies, and this is a big part of why it is so hard to diagnose this form of cancer early. Patients often wait before going to the doctor, thinking that they simply have a cold or the flu and it will resolve on its own. Likewise, physicians who are unaware of a patient's asbestos exposure may mistake the symptoms for those of another disease and spend valuable time treating the wrong malady.
Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma is the most frequently diagnosed form of the disease. Because it forms in the mesothelium lining of the lungs, the tumors slowly grow and put pressure on the patient's ability to breathe. The symptoms include coughing and difficulty or pain upon breathing, often making victims and doctors alike believe that they are dealing with a cold, the flu, or even pneumonia or bronchitis.
It is often only after typical treatments for these other illnesses fail that physicians begin looking to other possible causes, leaving less time for mesothelioma physicians to attempt treatment and more time for the disease to spread.
Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Peritoneal mesothelioma does not get diagnosed as frequently as pleural mesothelioma, and it is less responsive to available treatments. Because of this it is especially important that it is diagnosed as early as possible. The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include pain and discomfort in the stomach.
Patients often experience nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea and weight loss. These symptoms closely resemble those of heartburn, stomach ulcers and stomach viruses, leading to delays in correct diagnosis. It is often the lumps of the tumors themselves on the patient's chest or abdomen that make a diagnosis possible.
Mesothelioma Attorneys with Experience
The more that a person who has been exposed to asbestos knows about mesothelioma, the better prepared they are and the better they are able to help themselves. The same is true when it comes to a mesothelioma law firm.
At Simon, Greenstone, Panatier & Bartlett, we are deeply knowledgeable about the best ways to fight for the rights of mesothelioma victims. Contact us today and let us fight for you.