Many people think of lung cancer when hearing the term mesothelioma or exposure to Asbestos. While this is a logical train of thought, asbestos exposure is a known cause of lung cancer – other parts of the body are at risk as well. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer of the abdominal wall lining (peritoneum). This thin membrane is a lubricant in the abdominal cavity and serves to allow other organs to expand and contract as they are supposed to within the body. When the peritoneum is damaged and ravaged by the destructive cancer, mesothelioma, a person experiences severe pain.
This terrible disease is contracted by exposure to asbestos. This deadly chemical kills people all across the country every single year. Those exposed years ago are not safe. At times it can take 20 to 50 years for asbestos exposure to manifest itself into this or other deadly forms of cancer. The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are similar to that of a hernia or stomach discomfort so it often goes misdiagnosed. Mesothelioma is such an aggressive form of cancer that misdiagnosis can lead to a once healthy person becoming terribly ill and dying within a matter of months. If you have been exposed to asbestos and are experiencing hernia like symptoms ask your doctor to do a test and make sure it is not a form of mesothelioma.
Asbestos was so widely used prior to the 1980’s that exposure is very common. It was used as insulation and still is in many older buildings today. While most of it was supposed to be removed people should have their homes inspected to make sure there is no asbestos in the wall. The substance is durable and resistant to fire so asbestos was even used as string or yarn, woven into fabrics. That means uniforms, gloves, and aprons could have contained asbestos prior to the 1980’s. Additionally everyday objects like hair dryers contained asbestos fibers. Women blow drying their hair could have been releasing asbestos into the air and breathing in this terrible toxin. If you have any old hair dryers lying around – throw them away. It is simply not worth the health risk to keep them.
Those that served in the military are especially at risk for asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. The Navy used tons of asbestos to line its engine rooms and the product was used as insulation in most military buildings. As a result Veterans represent 30% of the mesothelioma victims while being only 8% of the general population.
Mesothelioma is a terrible cancer and an aggressive disease. To date no one has found a cure for traditional mesothelioma and the life expectancy after diagnosis is only 4 to 18 months on average. Those diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma have a better prognosis if it is caught early, as surgical options are available. The key is to properly diagnose the disease as soon as possible. Since doctors often overlook it, patients must be pro-active in asking for the appropriate tests.
Those suffering from asbestos exposure and subsequent diseases have the right to seek justice for their loss of health, pain and suffering. At Teague & Glover, P.A. we are experts in mesothelioma and skilled at representing victims of asbestos. It takes a skilled and knowledgeable attorney to understand the complexities of mesothelioma cases. Not only do they need to understand the law, but understand the disease. We have dedicated countless hours to its study and are here to answer questions, give advice, and inform you of your rights under the law.
Andrew Miller is an avid legal blogger and manager of over 20 attorney blogs. This article was written on behalf of Teague & Glover, P.A. : Personal injury attorneys located in North Carolina.