Almost all cases of mesothelioma cancer today are linked to past exposure to asbestos. Asbestos was once a popular material to include in products that required insulation or would benefit from the mineral’s fire-resistant qualities. Mesothelioma can affect several bodily organs and, although rare compared with other types of cancer, is difficult to effectively treat and is often fatal.
Four types of mesothelioma have been identified, and although each type affects the same tissue type—the mesothelium of the body, which serves as a lining for various bodily organs—they each affect a different part of the internal body.
This is the most common form of mesothelioma, accounting for three-quarters of all diagnosed cases of the disease. This type of mesothelioma is thought to be caused by inhalation of asbestiform fibers, and it afflicts the linings of the lungs. It may cause symptoms such as developing a cough, labored breathing, chest pressure, and fatigue.
This type of mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the abdomen and may be caused by the ingestion of mineral fibers like asbestos. Pain in the abdomen and decreased appetite may be symptoms of this form of mesothelioma.
Pericardial mesothelioma affects the lining of the heart and although it is rarer than pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma, this diagnosis can have grave consequences and lead to cardiac arrest. Symptoms may be similar to those of any cardiopulmonary disease and can include a crushing sensation in the chest and changes to heart rhythm.
By far the rarest form of mesothelioma, the cause of testicular mesothelioma remains largely a mystery. Fewer than one thousand cases have been diagnosed worldwide.
The treatments for mesothelioma may include chemotherapy and radiation as well as surgical resection of tumors. Often, these treatment protocols are combined in an effort to eliminate as much of the tumor as possible. However, sadly, mesothelioma is often not diagnosed until it has reached the fatal later stages, and treatment at that point becomes largely palliative.
Although dozens of countries in both the developed and developing world have banned the import and use of asbestos-containing materials, many nations—including the United States and Russia—continue to sell these products to consumers even though the severe risks of long-term exposure to asbestos are well-documented. If you suspect you have been hurt by asbestos-containing products, speak with a California defective product attorney to learn more about your legal options. Mechanics, construction workers, shipbuilders, and even people residing in older “fixer-upper” homes are all at risk of exposure to asbestos. Products that contain asbestos include older interior curtains (marketed as insulating or as fireproof), vinyl siding and vinyl tiling products, and auto parts such as brake pads.
If you have been injured or become ill as a result of an asbestos-containing product, consider contacting an experienced California product liability attorney. The lawyers at Mancini & Associates can evaluate your case and help guide you through the steps you need to take to receive financial compensation for your illness or injury.