Mesothelioma FAQ

What is asbestos?
Asbestos, a naturally occurring, fibrous mineral, was traditionally used for insulation in the construction, scientific and engineering industries, and in many other products. It releases microscopic fibers into the air that, when inhaled, can cause a variety of health hazards.

What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, caused by exposure to asbestos. It affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen and heart.

What do mesothelioma symptoms consist of?
Mesothelioma symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain and coughing up blood. This disease is hard to diagnose since it shares symptoms with many different conditions, as well as the natural signs of aging.

What are the three types of mesothelioma?
(1) Pleural mesothelioma, the most common form, affects the lining surrounding the lungs and chest cavity. (2) Peritoneal mesothelioma attacks the cell membrane around the inside of the abdomen. (3) Pericardial mesothelioma, the rarest form, damages the cells in the sac around the heart. All three are terminal.

Who is at risk of asbestos exposure?
The people who are most at risk for asbestos exposure are those who have worked in the asbestos, shipbuilding and construction industries.

How many people have been exposed to asbestos?
Millions of people have been exposed to asbestos due to the more than 3,000 products known to contain it.

Why is asbestos so dangerous?
Asbestos particles linger in the air, accumulate on clothing and are easily inhaled. Once that happens, they begin to damage the cellular structure of many internal organs, especially the lungs, which can lead to mesothelioma symptoms or other diseases.

Does asbestos exposure only lead to mesothelioma?

No. As numerous medical studies and legal documents have shown, another condition, asbestosis, is often caused by inhaling asbestos particles. It is the accumulation of scar tissue in the lungs caused by asbestos particles. This scar tissue will eventually cause lung and heart failure.

Does cigarette smoking cause mesothelioma?
Although cigarettes do not cause mesothelioma symptoms, people exposed to asbestos should not smoke. Smoking can aggravate damaged lungs, increasing the likelihood of a mesothelioma diagnosis by 50 to 90%.

Are there any effective treatments for people with asbestos-related illnesses?
There are no cures for mesothelioma or asbestosis, but medical science is constantly making progress in diagnosing and treating these conditions.

What should a person diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease do?

A victim should follow doctors’ orders closely and contact a mesothelioma attorney to determine what legal action can be pursued against the party responsible for his or her injuries.

Does the law limit how long victims can pursue justice by filing a mesothelioma lawsuit?
Yes. Each state has a statute of limitations, determining the time in which victims can initiate legal action. It is better to act sooner rather than later. Patients who have received a mesothelioma diagnosis and who may have worked around asbestos in the past should contact a mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible to learn about filing a mesothelioma lawsuit.

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