What is asbestos?
Asbestos basically refers to a set of 6 fibrous minerals that occur naturally. Asbestos has six primary sub-classifications: tremolite, chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, actinolite, and anthophyllite. But the most common asbestos include amosite and chrysotile. The asbestos fibers alter the proper function and properties of the secretory macrophages, ultimately creating the most favorable conditions for the development of mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases. Macrophages typically generate excessive amounts of hydroxyl radicals, which are typical by products of cellular anaerobic metabolism. The free radical membrane active agents have been discovered to highly promote asbestos carcinogenicity. These oxidants often partake in oncogenic process by directly and indirectly interacting with the DNA, and then modify the membrane associated cellular events.
Exposure to these toxic minerals become lodged in the respiratory tissue and eventually leads to asbestosis, which is directly and scientifically linked to a number of lung and respiratory health conditions. The sharp and straight shape of the mineral fibers makes it difficult for a body to dislodge and expel. When these fibers stay in the body for a long period, they normally cause irritation, scarring, and inflammation which cause symptoms that primarily affect the lungs.
The symptoms normally don’t appear until approximately 20 years after exposure to asbestos. The common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in your chest
- Chest pain
- Persistent dry cough
- Loss of appetite with weight loss
- Nail deformities
- Finger clubbing
What is mesothelioma?
This refers to a rare form of cancer which usually develops from mesothelium cells; the protective lining that covers the internal organs of the body. There are 3 common types of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common and its anatomical site is the pleura, which is the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall. Peritoneal mesothelioma arises in the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum). The last type is Pericardial mesothelioma which originates in the pericardium (the sac that surrounding the heart).
Generally, the main cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Individuals with a past asbestos exposure history and who experience symptoms are highly advised to right away seek a competent medical provider for accurate mesothelioma diagnosis. There are a number of treatment options available when the disease is diagnosed at an earlier stage.
Symptoms of mesothelioma appear between 20 to 50 years, even more after a person is exposed to asbestos. The most common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:
- Pleural effusion
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue or anemia
- Chest wall pain
- Hoarseness, wheezing, or cough
- Blood in the sputum coughed up
Abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites; a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity are the most common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma. Other signs may include fever, night sweats, vomiting, weight loss, poor appetite, and constipation. If the cancer spreads beyond the mesothelium cells and extends to the other parts of the body, symptoms may include swelling of the neck or face, pain, or trouble when swallowing.
In some cases, the condition may be severe causing an individual to develop many tumor masses. The person may develop a pneumothorax condition, or the lungs may collapse. There are high chances that the disease may spread to other parts of the body. Tumors that develop around the abdominal cavity usually don’t cause symptoms until when at a late stage. These symptoms include:
- A mass in the abdomen
- Abdominal pain
- An abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen
- Weight loss
- Problems with bowel function
Other signs and symptoms that may be present in severe cases of the disease include:.
- Pleural effusion
- Low content of blood sugar
- Disseminated intravascular coagulation. This is a disorder that causes severe bleeding in many of the body organs
- Blood clots in the veins and may cause thrombophlebitis
- Blood clots in the arteries of the lungs
- Severe ascites
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes
Pericardial type of mesothelioma is not well characterized; however the common observed cases have included cardiac symptoms such as heart failure, constrictive pericarditis, cardiac tamponade, pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the arteries of the lungs). Besides that, there are also some other nonspecific symptoms such as shortness of breath when lying flat, substernal chest pain, and cough. All these symptoms are caused by the tumor infiltrating the heart.
Manufacturers and distributors of asbestos publicly came out and made a concert aimed at hiding the dangers of asbestos from the general public. Consequently, they profited heavily from the high sale and manufacture of the harmful asbestos products causing respiratory health complications. Many of the products were generally responsible for asbestos exposure sustained by both those individuals who participated in manufacturing the products as well as those who used them at industrial, commercial, and even military jobsites.
If you are suffering from Mesothelioma, you can seek compensation from the asbestos manufacturers and asbestos products by simply hiring an experienced mesothelioma lawyer. There are three things which you should think about to decide whether you should pursue your legal rights or not. First, you need to ask yourself if the asbestos manufacturers had prior knowledge of the dangers associated with producing asbestos-consisting products and knowingly put many hardworking women and men at a risk. Second, the treatment cost for mesothelioma can be extremely expensive. Third, you can protect your loved ones in the future by simply exercising your legal rights.
If you decide to pursue your legal rights, make sure that you hire a competent Mesothelioma attorney. The attorney will help you maximize recovery from both feasible and bankrupt asbestos defendants. More than 65 asbestos trusts have been established and hold billions of dollars combined across them. These trust funds have been set aside specifically to help provide compensation to workers who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos related diseases.
Most of the people think that the legal process involved to seek compensation for mesothelioma victims is excessively burdensome. But, it is a worthwhile process that should be strongly considered to help provide financial security for the loved ones as well as offset the expensive treatment costs associated with Mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases.